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Starbucks to hike U.S. employee pay to attract workers during labor crunch

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October 27, 2021

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK (Reuters) – With U.S. restaurants nationwide struggling to find enough waiters and cashiers to serve customers, Starbucks Corp on Wednesday said it will give pay raises to workers in the United States with at least two years of employment and offer $200 referral bonuses.

Workers with at least two years of employment could get up to a 5% raise and those with at least five years could receive a 10% pay boost in late January, Starbucks said.

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Average pay for all U.S. workers will range between $15 and $23 an hour, averaging nearly $17 an hour, by summer of 2022, the Seattle-based company said.

Many chains are lifting wages to try to attract more workers.

Restaurants are struggling to recruit and retain enough labor to keep stores open at full capacity amid a widespread staffing shortage.

McDonald’s Corp reported on Wednesday that some of its locations have had to close early or seen their service times slow down because of labor shortages.

In December, Starbucks raised pay by 10% or more for existing staff and said it would boost starting pay to at least $15 an hour over the next couple years.

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The changes over the last two years will total $1 billion worth of investments in wages and benefits, it said.

Shares of the global coffee chain, which reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, are up about 7 percent since the start of the year.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by David Gregorio)

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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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