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CEO fires 900 people through Zoom. “I felt like I was kicked in the stomach.”

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CEO fires 900 people through Zoom.  "I felt like I was kicked in the stomach."

“Hello everyone, thanks for joining. I will not come to you with good news. As you know, the market has changed and we must move on to survive and continue to thrive and fulfill our mission. This is not news that you want to hear, but in the end it was my decision and I wanted you to hear it from me. It was a very, very difficult decision. This is the second time in my career that I have done this, and I don’t want to do it. ” So on December 1, Vishal Garg, chief executive of the American company Better.com, began laying off 900 employees through Zoom.

Faced with the shocked expressions on the workers’ faces, he added: “The last time I did this, I cried. This time I hope to be stronger. We are going to cut about 15% of the company for several reasons: market, efficiency, productivity and productivity. If you are on this call, you are part of a group of losers that will get fired. His contract was terminated with immediate effect. ” In his short three-minute speech, Garg did not inform employees of the approximately $ 750 million (roughly € 667 million) financial investment that Better.com recently received from the Japanese company Softbank.

“I loved those with whom I worked, they were and remain close friends. I had a boss who questioned my work in front of another employee. I was tense for several weeks, but finally she realized that it was not my fault, that someone had deceived her, we talked, and in the end she apologized to me. This was the only time in 20 years of work that I felt any threat, ”begins with an explanation from Christian Chapman, one of the fired workers, in statements to i.

“We received an invitation 10 minutes early for what looked like a general meeting, similar to the ones we hold regularly. We were not informed of the schedule, and there was a lot of confusion before, during and after, “says a 41-year-old nursing trained man who has always worked in the mortgage sector – through Bank of America and other companies – but was on Better. .com since February last year.

“He immediately got down to business, and I felt that I was kicked in the stomach. Did this really happen? Why was there not enough sympathy? Vishal simply traded sympathy for dollars: is this the worst version of capitalism? “He asks. “I was very confused and wondered if I should participate in this call. And suddenly it was over, and I didn’t have the opportunity to ask any questions, ”says a resident of McKinney, a city in the US state of Texas.

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“I was shocked, overwhelmed and immediately thought of my children (as well as the children and families of my colleagues). Almost Christmas. And I wondered how this single act of insensibility would echo in every city in America, given that Vishal affects not only us individually, but also our family, friends, and acquaintances. Human choice is spreading throughout society, “said a former employee who still does not understand how Garg got the courage to close his and his colleagues’ sessions remotely, in addition to ending a video call without prior notice,” so no one could access anything. “.

“As a CEO, he was vulgar and swearing, but mobile and full of energy. Sometimes he acted admirably, ”he recalls. However, Christian continues to think that this sudden layoff of hundreds of people is “amazing,” not least because the only thing they get is the equivalent of their salary. Has Garg thought about the consequences of his actions? “No, it was all calculated, and he was cold and insensitive.”

“I know we are going through a pandemic, but he could work hard to talk to small groups of people, or even, for example, gradually call them into offices. I think he lacked empathy and foresight. The intervention could also start with him, and then we could talk to the HR representatives so that we can better understand everything and get information about the next steps, ”he explains, not believing in the sincerity of the CEO’s apology.

“It’s all about public relations,” he says, referring to a short note posted on Better.com by the founder of the company: “I want to apologize for how I handled the layoffs last week. I have not shown the proper respect and appreciation for the affected people and their contributions to Better. I made a mistake in performance. “

“Leaders eat last, so to speak, and should be offered opportunities for readaptation and additional training,” says Christian, making no secret of the fact that he and his colleagues are split between different divisions of the company – Charlotte, North Carolina; Costa Mesa and Oakland, California; New York and Houston, Texas for which new hires are being sought.

“Join the team that is changing the mindset of home ownership. We are looking for smart, talented people to help achieve this at every stage: from engineers and designers to real estate agents, ”says the Careers tab on the official Better.com website. In fact, there are enough offers, mainly for offices in New York – 25 and Texas – six, as well as for remote work – 22, at the date of the closure of this issue there is only one left for the office in Oakland.

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“I would like to get a new position and I am open to opportunities in new areas,” concludes Christian, who has intensively researched job offers on LinkedIn and also published work about colleagues with whom he was directly involved in trying to find a job. only for him, but also for those who have followed him over the past 10 months.

Is the panorama of labor relations changing? “These results are to be expected to relate to leadership, especially in the work world, where stable work relationships are less and less common. However, if we later relate this to the pressures of the economic and social crisis, it is possible that some managers are adopting unethical strategies for dealing with workers, as in this case, ”analyzes Rui Gomez, assistant professor at the School of Psychology at Minho University, who has graduated cycle of study in one educational institution.

“Unstable working relationships, economic and financial pressures and tensions that impede the very survival of organizations can lead to forms of leadership that are ill-adapted to the proper functioning of the workplace. At the end of the day, the result is almost the same: organizational functional chains tend to give way to the most fragile structures, as in the case of workers with unstable work relationships, “- sums up the professor, who is more academically dedicated to studying the human factor in adapting to stress. in leadership and teamwork; and in life skills and human development education.

Gabriela Gonsalves is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of the Algarve. Regarding the possible difference between a personal layoff and Better.com’s type of layoff, the professor clarifies that “feelings and emotions will be different.”

“The way the CEO did it, besides being very impersonal – he didn’t speak to anyone in person, not even through a video call, he doesn’t make eye contact and thus almost zero or zero empathy – puts every person on no – a personal level and yes, of the non-personal, it is one in the middle of 900, “notes a doctorate in psychological sciences from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, in 2004.” So it refutes the staff. On the other hand, this is not a personal conversation, each person gets acquainted with an audience of people – some they know, others do not even know – and, in addition to exposure, they are forced not to “ be able ” to express their thoughts. emotions, because they don’t even have a place for that, ”emphasizes the current director of courses in psychology, master of human resources management and deputy director of the master in occupational safety and health.

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“In this context, it is possible that strangeness and surprise will leave people unresponsive, ultimately due to social exchange, with a greater ability to manage the situation – that is, they are not alone. That way, they can more easily explain the firing by external factors, including with a very accessible scapegoat: the CEO, “he adds, noting that this impersonal way of firing” may bring some benefits to the firinger “because” he does not interferes, and therefore does not feel discomfort. “

“You may feel that you are making a speech, you do not need to deal with anyone’s eyes. Of course, here he is more notorious, because there are 900 people, it is obvious that if there were one, the discomfort would be almost the same as in face-to-face mode. But it’s even easier not to look at a person, ”he emphasizes.

“As for the future, at first glance, I would say that yes, new technologies allow this, and it is convenient for those who want to quit,” she answers the question about the possibility of mass layoffs, carried out virtually, becoming a trend. … “However, given the type of leadership that is increasingly being pursued, I believe that companies and leaders – in order to create a credible, attractive and informal public image – will be forced not to.”

As a reminder, Bird, the electric scooter rental company, fired more than 400 people through Zoom last March, and the situation with Better.com is unfortunately not unprecedented. At the time, Travis Vandersanden, a former Uber administrator and founder of Bird, arranged to meet with hundreds of employees, but no one knew who was on the list and, as in the case described by Christian Chapman, there was no way to ask questions. …

On that day, March 27, at about 10:30 am, employees joined the call, but the background image only had the word “Covid-19” written in capital letters and in dark gray. The robotic voice began by saying that “this is not the optimal voice for delivering this message.” The meeting, scheduled for half an hour, lasted only two minutes and consisted only of a monologue. Later, the Bird leader, like Better.com, admitted that he considered disabling the video “the most humane act”, but he should “call each of the victims separately.”

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Economy

OBSERVATION | Mercadona opens store in Alverca and recruits staff

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OBSERVATION |  Mercadona opens store in Alverca and recruits staff

Supermarket company Mercadona is set to open a new store in Alverca do Ribatejo next year and is recruiting 65 full-time and part-time employees.

The company said in a statement that the job offer already reflects the salary update that the company will apply from January 2023, which will see the starting salary of its employees in Portugal at €12,410 per year. Mercadona promises employees a salary increase with an annual increase of 11 percent, which allows them to achieve a monthly salary of 1414 euros gross (including twelfths) for a maximum of 4 years of service. In addition, employees also receive an annual goal-based bonus, which corresponds to an additional salary in the first 4 years and two additional earnings in subsequent years.

“Mercadona continues to focus on job creation and for this reason the new offerings support the drive to build a team focused on excellence and service, highly motivated and aligned with the company’s vision. To this end, in addition to an attractive salary and a permanent contract from day one, Mercadona offers its employees the opportunity to develop within the company.

Mercadona has a differentiated HR policy that focuses on career building, salary growth, equity and internal promotion, “which is one of the main ways to evaluate and create development opportunities.”

Those interested in applying can do so on the Mercadona website under the Jobs section. The company opened its first supermarket on July 2, 2019 in Canidelo, Vila Nova de Gaia and currently has 38 stores in the areas of Porto, Braga, Aveiro, Viana do Castelo, Setubal, Santarem, Viseu and Leiria. In 2021, it achieved sales of 415 million euros and paid 62 million euros in taxes through the Portuguese company Irmãdona Supermercados, based in Vila Nova de Gaia. The year ended with a team of 2,500 employees and an investment in Portugal of 110 million euros. In order to share with the community a part of what it receives, in total Mercadona has already donated 670 tons of basic food in the first half of 2022 through its stores in Portugal.

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“These donations, which are equivalent to more than 11,000 carts, were for more than 30 social canteens, five food banks and other social institutions,” the company explains.

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Another crypto giant falls: BlockFi asks for protection from creditors

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Another crypto giant falls: BlockFi asks for protection from creditors

After FTX, it was the turn of crypto lending platform BlockFi to seek creditor protection under Chapter 11 insolvency law in the United States. The lawsuit was filed in a New Jersey court about a month after FTX collapsed.

The company lists more than 100,000 creditors in the documents that started the lawsuit and are cited by various international press outlets. The table features FTX’s second-largest creditor, with $275 million in debt to the platform, which until recently was led by Sam Bankman-Fried.

The list is topped by Ankura Trust, a creditor representation company, with a $729 million loan. BlockFi has already issued a red alert to the market, freezing the withdrawal of assets from the platform.

In July, FTX signed a $400 million credit line agreement with BlockFi with the option to acquire the FTX platform for up to $240 million in the event of default. This came after the collapse of the crypto market in the first half of the year was exacerbated by the collapse of the Terra USD ecosystem and brought the platform to the ground.

The risk of infection remains

The collapse of FTX is starting to infect other “players” in the market. The crisis of confidence experienced during the “collapse” of the Terra USD ecosystem has returned, and several platforms have already frozen the withdrawal of assets. In addition to BlockFi, Genesis, a platform primarily dedicated to crypto lending, has suspended asset buyback operations, citing an “abnormal number of withdrawal requests” for its decision.

Redemption requests made on the platform’s crypto-deposit arm, Genesis Global Capital, have exceeded the company’s liquidity, so the company, along with a team of advisors, is exploring a range of options to try to get back to normal, according to Acting CEO Dear Islim, Bloomberg was quoted as saying. The Gemini Trust, led by the Winklevoss twins, has also decided to freeze the withdrawal of assets from the Gemini Earn program, designed for deposits that earn interest on the “tokens” held. The company guaranteed that this decision would not affect other products or services.

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In turn, the Hong Kong-based platform AXX suspended the withdrawal of assets for ten days this Monday, reporting a lack of liquidity. “If AAX is unable to obtain funding that will allow us to resume operations, we are committed to initiating legal procedures to ensure asset allocation,” the company said in a statement quoted by Bloomberg.

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The protests in China sent Wall Street into the red. Europe falls after Lagarde speech – Markets in a minute

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European markets are in the red.  Interest on Portugal's debt hits 2.5% - Markets in a minute

Euribor climbs three, six and 12 months to new highs in nearly 14 years.

Euribor rates rose today to new highs since early 2009 in three, six and 12 months.

The six-month Euribor rate, most used in Portugal for home loans and entering positive territory on June 6, rose today to 2.436% plus 0.062 points, a new high since January 2009.

The six-month average Euribor rose from 1.596% in September to 1.997% in October.

The six-month Euribor has been negative for six years and seven months (from November 6, 2015 to June 3, 2022).

The three-month Euribor, which entered positive territory for the first time since April 2015 on July 14, also rose today, setting a new high since February 2009 at 1.954% plus 0.032 points.

The three-month Euribor was negative between 21 April 2015 and 13 July last year (seven years and two months).

The three-month average Euribor rose from 1.011% in September to 1.428% in October.

In the same sense over a 12-month period, Euribor rose today, settling at 2.892%, up 0.032 points from Friday and a new high since January 2009.

After rising to 0.005% on April 12, positive for the first time since February 5, 2016, the 12-month Euribor has been in positive territory since April 21.

The average Euribor rate for 12 months increased from 2.233% in September to 2.629% in October.

Euribor began to rise more significantly from February 4, after the European Central Bank (ECB) acknowledged that it could raise key interest rates this year due to rising inflation in the eurozone, and the trend accelerated with the onset of the Russian crisis. Invasion of Ukraine on February 24th.

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On October 27, to curb inflation, the ECB raised three key interest rates by 75 basis points, the third consecutive increase this year, after raising three interest rates by 50 basis points on July 21. growth after 11 years, and on September 8 by 75 basis points.

Changes in Euribor interest rates are closely linked to increases or decreases in ECB key interest rates.

Three-, six- and 12-month Euribor rates hit record lows respectively: -0.605% on December 14, 2021, -0.554% and -0.518% on December 20, 2021.

Euribor rates are set at the average rate at which a group of 57 eurozone banks are willing to lend money to each other in the interbank market.

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