This week in Homebase news, Amazon workers plan to strike on Prime Day, a seafood restaurant uses $20,000 robots to complete duties formerly performed by humans, and Walmart uses virtual reality to delegate promotions. Read below to find out more on these stories and other happenings involving local businesses and hourly workers. 

Walmart Uses VR to Delegate Promotions

Walmart has incorporated VR headsets into their assessment program to find candidates for management positions in all of their 4,600 locations. 

Ten thousand employees have participated in the VR test so far, which puts employees in scenarios to determine how they might respond to different challenges and tasks. The move is part of a larger plan to give employees more power in their roles by changing how many managers oversee teams. 

Presidential Candidate Announces Small Business Investment Plan for Minorities

South Bend, Indiana Mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigeg announced a policy proposal Sunday that would allow those who qualified for Pell Grants to defer student loan payments if they start a business. 

The Walker-Lewis Plan, named after African-American entrepreneurs Madam CJ Walker and Reginald Lewis, would close the economic wealth gap, according to Buttigeg. 

Buttigeg also proposed creating a $10 billion fund to invest in minority-owned businesses. 

Amazon Workers Plan Strike on Prime Day

Amazon workers at a fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota are planning to strike for six hours on July 15, the first day of a 48-hour online sale known as the Prime Day sales event. 

The workers are demanding more permanent jobs for temporary workers and reduced productivity quotas. An employee who is involved in the strike told Bloomberg that the employees want to “put pressure on Amazon to protect us and provide safe and reliable jobs.” 

Seafood Restaurant Uses Chinese Robots

Robot Captain Crabs Cajun Seafood & Bar is now utilizing $20,000 robots to greet customers and serve food. 

Patrons of the restaurant are greeted by Callie and Shirley, small Chinese robots who mosey around the restaurant along with three other robots who serve food to tables. 

General Manager John Soysal first saw the concept in China and decided to bring it back to the states, and he said he’s already seeing success. He added that the robots don’t replace human employees, but rather benefit the staff by making their jobs easier.