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Raytheon warns of worker losses as companies impose vaccine mandate

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October 26, 2021

(Corrects vaccination deadline in paragraph 1 to Dec. 8, not Jan. 1, removes reference to mid-December in paragraph 3)

(Reuters) – Raytheon Technologies’ top boss warned on Tuesday the U.S. aerospace and defense firm will lose ‘several thousand’ employees who refused to take COVID-19 vaccines, as it prepares to meet the Biden administration’s Dec. 8 deadline for immunization.

“We will lose several thousand people,” Raytheon Chief Executive Greg Hayes said in a CNBC interview on Tuesday, adding that staff hiring was underway. The company has a total of 125,000 U.S. employees.

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Raytheon, the maker of Tomahawk missiles, last month said it will require all U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated, after the Biden administration mandated immunization for nearly all federal employees and contractors, to widen vaccination coverage in the country.

Many federal contractors, such as Boeing Co, 3M and American Airlines, have announced vaccination mandates since. European planemaker Airbus, which supplies helicopters to the U.S. Army, also joined the list on Tuesday.

“We will require all employees and temporary workers of Airbus in the U.S. to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8,” a company spokesperson said.

Other companies such as Gillette maker Procter & Gamble Co also have mandates in place.

To be sure, not every company is facing a pushback from its employees. United Food and Commercial Workers, the union which represents 26,000 workers at Tyson Foods Inc, said on Tuesday over 96% employees were now vaccinated.

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While some other large U.S. employers such as Walmart were yet to issue broad requirements, the Labor Department’s standards will require them to introduce mandates.

Separately, Raytheon’s Hayes said he expects Biden’s vaccine mandate to cause “some disruption” in the supply chain in a post-earnings conference call.

General Electric, another federal contractor that has mandated vaccines, however, said it was too early to say if the decision would have an impact on the U.S. conglomerate’s operations.

“We will have a better read as we get closer to the compliance date,” GE Chief Executive Larry Culp told Reuters.

(This story corrects vaccination deadline in paragraph 1 to Dec. 8, not Jan. 1, removes reference to mid-December in paragraph 3)

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(Reporting by Kannaki Deka, Vishal Vivek in Bengaluru and Rajesh Kumar Singh in Chicago and Tim Hepher in Paris; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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Canada’s Shopify records Black Friday sales up 21%

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November 27, 2021

(Reuters) – Canadian e-commerce company Shopify Inc recorded worldwide sales of nearly $2.9 billion on Black Friday, an increase of about 21% in comparison to last year, the company said Saturday.

New York, London and Los Angeles were among the top-selling cities, the company said, while apparel and accessories was the top-selling product category.

Shopify also said it funded 23,000+ tonnes of carbon removal to counteract emissions from the delivery of every order placed on its platform on Black Friday.

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(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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Xiaomi to open car plant in Beijing with annual output of 300,000 vehicles – Beijing govt

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November 27, 2021

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp will build a plant that can produce 300,000 vehicles annually in Beijing for its electric vehicle unit, authorities in the capital said on Saturday.

The plant will be constructed in two phases and Xiaomi will also built its auto unit’s headquarters, sales and research offices in the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone, the government-backed economic development agency Beijing E-Town said on its official WeChat account.

Beijing E-Town said it anticipated the plant reaching mass production in 2024, a goal announced by Xiaomi’s Chief Executive Lei Jun in October.

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In March, Xiaomi said it would commit to investing $10 billion in a new electric car division over 10 years. The company completed the business registration of its EV unit in late August.

The company has been opening thousands of stores to spur domestic sales growth for its smartphone business but eventually intends to use these shops as a channel for its plans to sell electric vehicles.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by William Mallard)

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Eni sells Snam 49.9% stake in Algeria gas pipelines for 385 million euros

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November 27, 2021

MILAN (Reuters) -Italian energy group Eni has agreed to sell gas group Snam 49.9% of its stake in strategic pipelines carrying Algerian gas into Italy for 385 million euros ($436 million), the two companies said on Saturday.

The pipelines will be jointly controlled by the two companies, they said in a joint statement.

Italy imports more than 90% of its overall gas needs and Algerian gas currently accounts for around 30% of flows.

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“This transaction allows us to free up new resources to be used on our energy transition path,” Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi said.

Eni is working on spinning off a series of oil and gas operations into new joint ventures to help reduce debt and fund its shift to low-carbon energy.

Snam, which owns a 20% stake in the TAP pipeline that carries Azeri gas into Italy, makes most of its money from managing Italy’s gas transport grid.

It has pledged to spend more on new green business lines such as hydrogen and, like other gas grid operators in Europe, is upgrading its gas network to be hydrogen ready.

“In the future, North Africa could also become a hub for producing solar energy and green hydrogen,” Snam CEO Marco Alvera said.

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The pipeline companies involved in the deal posted net income of around 90 million euros in 2020.

($1 = 0.8836 euros)

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Giselda Vagnoni)

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