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Scoop: Uber CEO asks Trump to include drivers in economic stimulus

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Uber is asking the U.S. government to include independent contractors in its economic stimulus plans, according to a letter being sent Monday morning by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to President Trump. The company is not asking for a bailout or loans.

Why it matters: Many of the proposals floated for a relief bill that Congress is assembling have included new protections and benefits for employees, but that category excludes millions of "gig economy" drivers and delivery people.

Emirates to suspend most passenger flights due to coronavirus pandemic

Photo: Krafft Angerer/Getty Images

Emirates, one of the largest long-haul airlines in the world, retracted its announcement Sunday temporarily suspending all passenger flights, now saying it will defer "most" routes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Airlines have been reducing flights at unprecedented rates in order to stop the spread of the virus and as a result of low demand.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 22, 2020 - Health

"Unicorn" Flexport finds the face masks that SF hospitals need

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Flexport, a freight logistics "unicorn," has successfully sourced and is buying around $1.4 million of face masks and other medical protective equipment that was requested by San Francisco's Department of Public Health.

Why it matters: Many U.S. hospitals and other health care facilities still do not have what they need to keep their employees safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Go deeperArrowMar 21, 2020 - Health

The gig economy's coronavirus test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Gig economy companies have largely dodged the costs of worker benefits and protections — but now, amid the coronavirus crisis, find themselves struggling to keep both customers and workers on board.

What’s happening: They're juggling mismatched supply and demand, and asked to alleviate everyone's financial strains.

Wartime manufacturing muscle might not solve ventilator shortage

Intensive care room with ventilator (right). Photo: Ronald Bonss/picture alliance via Getty Images

Automakers and their parts suppliers are offering to produce desperately needed ventilators to keep coronavirus patients alive, but quickly retooling industrial factories to make precision medical equipment might not be feasible, despite the good intentions.

Why it matters: The U.S. faces a critical shortage of medical equipment to fight the disease, including ventilators that help patients breathe as well as protective gear, such as masks, gloves and gowns, for health care workers.

Go deeperArrowMar 20, 2020 - Health

Automakers to close all plants over coronavirus fears

GM plant in Lansing, Michigan. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler have agreed to close all of their North American factories through at least March 30 to allow the companies to thoroughly clean and sanitize their plants, after which plans to reopen will be evaluated "week-to-week."

The big picture: The decision will affect 150,000 hourly Big Three workers — with repercussions throughout their extensive supply chains. Honda earlier Wednesday announced similar action at its U.S. plants, which will affect 27,600 workers.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 18, 2020 - Economy & Business

Control tower at Chicago's Midway Airport closes after employees contract coronavirus

A plane takes off from Chicago's Midway International Airport in 2018. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The control tower at Chicago's Midway International Airport closed Tuesday after "several" employees tested positive for coronavirus, the Federal Aviation Administration said, per CNBC.

The state of play: Midway, Illinois' second-largest airport and the nation's 27th-busiest, remained open thanks to backup facilities but still faced dozens of cancellations.

Go deeper ... United CEO: Coronavirus impact for airlines "much worse" than 9/11 aftermath

Uber Pool service halted amid coronavirus outbreak

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Uber suspended its Uber Pool service in the United States and Canada in an attempt to help protect riders and drivers from the novel coronavirus pandemic, the company announced Tuesday, per TechCrunch.

What they're saying: “Our goal is to help flatten the curve of community spread in the cities we serve," Andrew Macdonald, senior vice president of Uber Rides and Platform, told BuzzFeed in a statement. “We remain in close contact with local leaders and will continue to work with them to discourage non-essential travel.”

United CEO: Coronavirus impact for airlines "much worse" than 9/11 aftermath

United CEO Oscar Munoz. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said in a letter sent Monday to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and congressional leaders that the coronavirus outbreak's financial impact on airlines is "much worse than the stark downturn that we saw in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks," as first reported by Politico.

Why it matters: Munoz asked government leaders "to please act quickly — this week — to protect our livelihoods" and projected that the company's revenue this month will be $1.5 billion lower than March 2019.

Forgotten factory workers urge plant shutdowns as coronavirus spreads

Ford factory employees work in close proximity, touching many of the same surfaces. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Pressure is building on automakers to halt U.S. production as hourly employees grow more anxious about their risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Factory workers can't work from home, and on a vehicle assembly line, they work in close proximity, touching the same surfaces and sharing tools many times a day. Manufacturing workers in other industries face similar issues.