- GM Employees are striking for the second day after contract negotiations between their union and company did not meet their demands.
- GM did give an offer after negotiations, but it was not satisfactory to the nearly 50,000 employees, who are asking for higher wages, better healthcare, a share of profits, job security, and more.
- Many of the employees say they will commit to the strike until the company meets their requirements, however, others are concerned about living off the estimated $250 of weekly assistance pay while the strike carries on.
As General Motors and the United Automobile Workers union resume negotiations, GM employees are entering their second day of nationwide strikes.
Fair wages, affordable healthcare, fairer profit shares, job security, and a path to permanent employment for temps are all on the list of demands for the close to 50,000 GM workers striking throughout nine states today. This is the first strike in the U.S. auto industry since 2007, which was also led by GM workers. Striking began Sunday at midnight after a weekend of failed negotiations between GM and UAW.
Their 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement expired Saturday night, but the UAW declined to extend it. After negotiations ended, the UAW’s Vice President, Terry Dittes released a statement standing by his commitment to worker’s needs.
“While we are fighting for better wages, affordable quality health care, and job security, GM refuses to put hard-working Americans ahead of their record profits of $35 billion in North America over the last three years,” he said. “We are united in our efforts to get an agreement our members and their families deserve.”
GM extended an offer to its employees that included over $7 billion in investments and 5,400 jobs. The deal also included wage or lump sum increases for every year of the four-year contract, an improved profit-sharing formula, and additional forms of health benefits.
Employees rejected that offer and went forward with their strike after this proposal, forcing GM to resume negotiations with UAW on Monday.
“Our goal remains to reach an agreement that builds a stronger future for our employees and our business,” GM said in a statement announcing the continued talks.
Potential Consequences of Strike
The strike does not come without potential consequences, not just for GM, but for the employees as well. Reports say GM could lose up to $90 million a day during the strike, but employees also stand to lose a lot.
According to a Fox Business report, GM employees will have to wait 15 days to receive their assistance pay, which comes out to $250 a week. This barely covers rent in Detroit, a city that hosts many employees of the company.
One Detroit-area employee, Patricia Brown, told the outlet that one of her main fears is “that we might be here for a while… and we can’t make it on $250 a week. You know, GM might not want to budge. So I’m just here trying to prove a point, that’s it.”
Still, some see the risk to be worth the reward. Ray Carter-Wilson, a single father also striking in the Detroit area told CNN he is comfortable striking for a long time as long as it all works out.
“I understand the difficulty of the negotiations and the importance of them,” he said. “This being a lengthy strike, I’m fine with it as long as everything gets ironed out and is fair for everyone.”
Politicians Support Strike
Strikers also have support from prominent public officials. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) said she was “inspired” by the workers.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also pointed out the wage inequality at the company while adding that he stood with the strike.
See what others are saying: (Fox Business) (CNN) (The Hill)
Pinkwashing: The Dark Side of the Breast Cancer Awareness Industry Explained…
Chances are you’ve seen a handful of breast cancer awareness campaigns throughout the years from the pink ribbon slapped on NFL footballs to your favorite yogurt brand changing their packing to pink every October, which is breast cancer awareness month. But did you know that there are many pink ribbon products that contain chemicals linked to cancer?
Breast cancer activists call this phenomenon pinkwashing and it’s been happening for years. Whether it be a carcinogenic chemical found in pink ribbon perfume to pink ribbons found on alcohol, a known risk factor for breast cancer, pinkwashing touches many industries. In this deep dive, we’re going to look at why companies want to pinkwash and why it has changed how people around the world participate in breast cancer awareness campaigns.
Pinterest, The Knot, and Brides Will No Longer Promote Plantation Weddings
- Pinterest and The Knot, popular sites used for wedding planning, agreed to stop promoting content and venues that romanticize slave plantations.
- The decision was made after the civil rights advocacy group Color of Change penned a letter to the companies explaining the pain and insensitivity behind glamorizing properties once used to brutalize people.
- Brides magazine has since also agreed to enact a similar policy, though sites like Zola said promoting such content does not violate their discrimination policy.
Criticism of Plantation Weddings
Two of the biggest internet platforms used for wedding content and planning, Pinterest and The Knot, are changing their policies to stop promoting any wedding content that romanticizes slave plantations.
Plantation weddings have become very common in the wedding industry, however, they are often criticized for glorifying sites that were once used to enslave and brutalize millions of black people.
Celebrities like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds still face criticism for hosting their 2012 wedding at Boone Hall Plantation in South Carolina. In addition to being a popular wedding venue, the property also offers history tours of its original slave cabins.
Other venues have been blasted for using decorative language that critics say minimizes the painful history of the locations. For instance, some properties have been described as “breathtaking” scenes with an “elaborate past,” or were said to have “a touch of southern charm.”
The decision to implement policy changes comes at the urging of the civil rights advocacy group Color of Change. The group sent letters to Pinterest and the Knot Worldwide, which owns The Knot and Wedding Wire, asking the companies to stop promoting plantations altogether.
“The decision to glorify plantations as nostalgic sites of celebration is not an empowering one for the Black women and justice-minded people who use your site,” the letter, reviewed by Buzzfeed News, read.
“Plantations are physical reminders of one of the most horrific human rights abuses the world has ever seen,” the letter continued. “The wedding industry routinely denies the violent conditions Black people faced under chattel slavery by promoting plantations as romantic places to marry.”
Pinterest responded to the letter with their own announcement, saying, “Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things. We are grateful to Color of Change for bringing attention to this disrespectful practice. We are working to limit the distribution of this content and accounts across our platform, and continue to not accept advertisements for them.”
Pinterest has already started moderating and limiting plantation wedding content on its platform that appeared in search recommendations and notifications. It is also working to de-index Google searches for plantation weddings that direct to their site.
Users call still search “plantation weddings” and similar terms on the site but they will be warned that some of the results may violate the site’s policies.
Meanwhile, the Knot said it was working with Color of Change to prohibit vendors on its sites “from using language that romanticizes or glorifies a history that includes slavery.” Vendors who do not follow that rule will be removed, the company said.
“Color of Change brought an issue to light about the way venues with a history of slavery describe their properties to couples,” the Knot said in a statement. “We’re grateful to Color of Change for bringing this issue to us and for partnering with us to help educate our vendors on how to respectfully market their businesses to all couples.”
The Knot clarified that plantations will still be able to list themselves as venues. Their new guidelines are simply designed to ensure that vendors aren’t using language such as “elegant” or “charming” when referencing history that includes slavery.
The language policy will apply to all venues listed on the Knot, not just ones that market themselves as plantations. A representative from the Knot told Buzzfeed New, “You can imagine there could be former plantations that maybe have changed their names to manors or farms.”
The Knot’s new guidelines are expected to be officially released in the next few weeks as they continue to comb through the current vendors listed on their site.
Color of Change Reached Out to Other Wedding Content Giants
Along with the Knot and Pinterest, Color of Change also sent letters to Zola, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Brides. The group said they specifically called on these platforms to make a change because millions of couples turn to them for not only wedding inspiration but also information about potential vendors.
Color of Change also argued that because these wedding planning platforms don’t profit directly from weddings themselves, they might be more motivated to hear their concerns.
A spokesperson for Color of Change called Pinterest and the Knot’s efforts an “extremely massive step.” Following the news of two platform’s changes, the spokesperson added that Brides also reached out and requested a meeting.
Brides later issued a statement to Bustle saying, “Brides is an inclusive place where everyone can feel celebrated. Content glorifying plantations is not in line with our core values. We have removed these references and are actively working with Color of Change to evolve our guidelines to help ensure all our couples are supported, respected and inspired.”
As for the other platforms, in a statement to BuzzFeed News, Emily Forrest, a communications manager for Zola responded with: “After reviewing this complaint we determined it did not violate our non-discrimination policy. While we may not always agree with couples on all of their wedding details, we also respect their right to choose where and how they want to get married.”
As of now, Martha Stewart Weddings has not responded to the letter.
See what others are saying: (Buzzfeed News) (The Washington Post) (Bustle)
Chick-fil-A Stops Donations Long-Criticized by LGBTQ Activists
- Chick-fil-A announced a new donation policy, listing a smaller number of groups it plans on giving to in 2020, which notably does not include Christian groups with anti-LGBTQ ties like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Salvation Army.
- Some applauded the move, while others were upset and saw it as Chick-fil-A abandoning their Christian morals.
- Their new donation plan, however, only accounts for 2020. They will reassess charities annually and said they could still donate to religiously affiliated groups in the future.
Chick-Fil-A Announces New Donations Policy
Chick-fil-A announced its 2020 charity donations on Monday, prompting widespread reactions and backlash online.
The fast-food giant said that going into the new year, it will start giving to a “smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger.” In order to do so, it will partner with Junior Achievement USA, Covenant House International, and local food banks in 120 communities.
Notably missing from the list, however, were Christian organizations like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army. Chick-fil-A has come under fire for donating to these groups in the past due to their anti-LGBTQ views.
On their website, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes states that “sexual intimacy is to be expressed only within the context of marriage” and then defines marriage as “between one man and one woman.” On their student leader application form, they require applicants to sign a sexual purity statement, which states that “homosexual acts” are a sin.
In 2012, the Salvation Army came under fire when a spokesperson implied that gay people deserved to die in a radio interview with Australian reporters. Today, the Salvation Army has a page on its website devoted to helping the LGBTQ homeless population.
“The Salvation Army is committed to serving the LGBTQ community through,” their site says.
The company used to donate to more groups with similar ideologies but stopped giving to several throughout the years. Still, since Chick-fil-A continued to give regularly and generously to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army, many boycotted them for supporting charities with anti-LGBTQ stances.
In the last year alone, the company has canceled the opening of a location in Buffalo, New York after backlash, announced the closure of its first UK location just days after it opened, and saw massive protests when it opened a Toronto location.
Reactions to Announcement
Some applauded Chick-fil-A for making this decision, seeing it as them stepping back from anti-LGBTQ groups. Many who had previously boycotted the location said they were excited to finally eat there.
Baby steps but this is a good thing. Everyone has the ability to change their opinions even when it’s a big restaurant chain Chick-fil-A. I’m happy to see they are taking steps to change their image when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community.— James Morgenroth (@AtheistsRise) November 18, 2019
Some, however, were a bit more cautious. One person said that just because they have made this one move “doesn’t mean they have suddenly changed.”
The Salvation Army released a statement that did not mention Chick-Fil-A by name, but expressed disappointment with the choice.
“We’re saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education and homelessness organizations — areas in which The Salvation Army, as the largest social services provider in the world, is already fully committed,” the statement said. “We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ+ community.”
“In fact, we believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ+ population,” the Salvation Army continued. “When misinformation is perpetuated without fact, our ability to serve those in need, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other factor, is at risk.”
They were not the only ones upset with Chick-Fil-A about this. Some customers, including Mike Huckabee, saw it as the company abandoning their Christian values and betraying its core clientele.
Some found this backlash to not add up, noting that the causes Chick-fil-A still plans to donate to do connect to Christian morals.
Many online also tied this to the other major reason Chick-fil-A has made headlines recently: its ongoing sandwich war with Popeyes. They noted that the timing of this announcement comes right as Popeyes brought their popular chicken sandwich back into stores.
A report from Business Insider, however, says that this is not the case. A representative from Chick-fil-A told them their donations have nothing to do with Popeyes and have been in the works prior to the sandwich wars.
Potential Future Donations
As far as Chick-fil-A’s donation policy, it still does open the door for the company to donate to groups like the Salvation Army or Fellowship of Christian Athletes in the future. Their latest announcement only applies to 2020 donations.
Their statement said that going forward, Chick-fil-A will “reassess its philanthropic partnerships annually to allow maximum impact. These partners could include faith-based and non-faith-based charities.