Merck, Intel, Under Armour, Alliance for American Manufacturing & AFL-CIO resign from manufacturing council following President Trump's response to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville

Five members of the American Manufacturing Council resigned following President Trump's failure to quickly condemn racism and violence by white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville. The rally was organised to protest the planned removal of a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee and demonstrations became violent as white nationalists intimidated and attacked counterprotesters. One woman was killed and 19 injured after a reported Nazi sympathiser drove into a crowd and two pilots were killed when a state police helicopter responding to the protests crashed. President Trump responded to the violence by condemning "in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides." President Trump's response was criticized for not specifically denouncing racism and white supremacy and for presenting a false equivalency between white nationalists and counterprotesters who were demonstrating against hate and bigotry. [refers to AFL-CIO, Alliance for American Manufacturing, Campbell Soup, Dell, Dow, General Electric, Intel, International Paper, Merck, Nucor, Under Armour & Whirlpool]

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Article
18 August 2017

Commentary: Where do human rights begin for business?

Author: Lise Kingo, Huffington Post (US)

There was widespread rebuke of the tactics and ideology of the white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville from CEOs and business leaders in the United States. The lack of condemnation from the US Government also drew strong criticism, including from CEOs on the now-disbanded US economic council, several of whom lead companies that participate in the United Nations Global Compact. Before the disbanding, several CEOs of UN Global Compact companies made the decision to step down from the council, citing anti-discrimination concerns, including Kenneth Frazier (Merck), Brian Krzanich (Intel), Denise Morrison (Campbell Soup) and Inge Thulin (3M)... While Governments bear the responsibility of protecting individuals against human rights abuses, we are living in times where the business community is being called upon to do more. In our role as the United Nation’s centrepiece for responsible business action, the UN Global Compact is increasing our capacity to support companies everywhere in standing up for human rights.

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Article
18 August 2017

Commentary: Why some CEOs are leading the charge on diversity and inclusion

Author: Irit Tamir, Oxfam

"Business for Social Justice," 18 August 2017

Since [President Trump's] inauguration, we have seen a new group step up to denounce hatred and promote diversity and inclusion: business leaders. This is a hopeful sign, and aligns with trends we’ve seen at Oxfam... We looked at the top 70 companies in seven sectors – apparel, banks and finance, food and beverage, extractives, pharmaceuticals, retailers and technology – found that 95 percent of the companies had publicly available value statements on diversity... The technology sector has been particularly vocal in opposing the president’s travel ban and in some cases supported litigation opposing the ban... Many [business] leaders denounc[ed] the ban on transgender people from serving in the military. A diverse group of companies also urged the President to stay in the Paris climate agreement, with two companies stepping down from his advisory council after his decision to pull out of the agreement...These recent actions show that values do matter to businesses [and]... highlights a trend toward broader social responsibility that goes beyond simply doing things that meet the “business case” or taking responsibility for impacts from companies’ own actions. [refers to Campbell's Soup, Intel, Merck, Under Armour]

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Article
18 August 2017

Op-Ed: Courageous Leader Triggers a Moral Revolt of CEOs Against Trump

Author: Bill George, Harvard Business School (USA)

"Op-Ed: Courageous Leader Triggers a Moral Revolt of CEOs Against Trump" 18 August 2017

Forty-three CEOs of major American corporations revolted against President Trump this week, which led to the shutdown of two presidential advisory councils...[T]hese leaders may have created an unprecedented gulf between the White House and the business community...When the president refused to take the lead in speaking out against the demonstration in Charlottesville by neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, and white supremacist groups, America’s CEOs decided this was morally unacceptable. The revolt was led by one of America’s leading CEOs, Merck’s Ken Frazier...Frazier had decided to resign from President Trump’s American Manufacturing Council, and to make a clear statement opposing “hatred, bigotry and group supremacy"...by late Monday there were further resignations...By Tuesday evening...the chair of the President’s Strategy and Policy Forum, recognized the deep unrest among his members...the entire group agreed to shut down the forum, effectively resigning en masse...This triggered Trump’s Twitter post that he was ending both councils, “rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople"...Today’s CEOs...[have the] responsibility to uphold their company’s mission and values. When these values are violated...they are obliged to take a clear stand.

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Article
17 August 2017

Inside the C.E.O. Rebellion Against Trump’s Advisory Councils

Author: David Gelles, Landon Thomas Jr., Andrew Ross Sorkin & Kate Kellyaug, NY Times (USA)

On Tuesday, Indra Nooyi, the chief executive of PepsiCo, joined a call with other prominent corporate chieftains who...had agreed to advise...Trump. A rebellion was brewing. Along with other business leaders, [she]...watched with bafflement over the weekend as...Trump blamed “many sides” for an outburst of white supremacist violence in Charlottesville...Ms. Nooyi spoke with...the head of General Motors,...the chief of IBM, and... the chief executive of Boston Consulting Group, who were similarly outraged..., [wondering] whether...to step down from the Strategic and Policy Forum... As these calls were occurring, the president’s other main business advisory group,... Manufacturing Jobs Initiative,...begun to disintegrate. [T]he chief executive of Merck stepped down..., followed by the chiefs of Intel and Under Armour...On Wednesday morning, a dozen of the country’s most influential C.E.O.s joined a conference call, and, after some debate, a consensus emerged: The policy forum would be disbanded...With the collapse of the councils, the president has all but lost his most natural constituency... Before they could make a statement..., Trump spoke. He...wanted to have the last word. [On] Twitter, he wrote: “Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!” This account is based on interviews with more than a dozen people at the companies...

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Article
17 August 2017

USA: President Trump disbands business councils as top executives of 3M, Campbell Soup, Johnson & Johnson & United Technologies resign

Author: bbc.com

"Business councils disband over Trump remarks." 

President Trump has said he is scrapping two business councils after more bosses quit over his handling of violent clashes in Virginia...His announcement on Twitter came as the heads of 3M, Campbell Soup, Johnson & Johnson, and United Technologies announced their resignations on Wednesday... Mr Trump said: "Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both."...JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon... [said] he strongly disagreed with Mr Trump's recent statements [and that]..."constructive economic and regulatory policies are not enough and will not matter if we do not address the divisions in our country. It is a leader's role, in business or government, to bring people together, not tear them apart."

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Author: L'Obs (France)

« Après Charlottesville, le puissant PDG de Merck renonce à conseiller Donald Trump », 15 août 2017

Kenneth Frazier, le PDG du géant américain de la pharmacie Merck, a annoncé lundi 14 août qu'il démissionnait de ses fonctions de conseiller économique de Donald Trump, pour protester contre les déclarations du président américain après les violences de Charlottesville. Cette annonce a provoqué en retour un vif mécontentement du président américain qui, à deux reprises par Twitter interposé, s'en est pris au groupe pharmaceutique et aux prix de ses médicaments…

Un sympathisant néo-nazi a foncé samedi en voiture sur des contre-manifestants antiracistes à Charlottesville en Virginie, tuant une femme...

Il a reçu lundi le soutien d'un de ses homologues, le PDG du géant néerlandais de l'alimentaire et des cosmétiques Unilever…

Le directeur général de l'équipementier sportif Under Armour a démissionné à son tour lundi du conseil des entrepreneurs américains…

Brian Krzanich, PDG du géant des puces informatiques Intel, a également annoncé quitter ce groupe…

[Fait aussi référence à Goldman Sachs, Tesla Motors, Walt Disney]

 

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Article
15 August 2017

Four business leaders left Trump's manufacturing council following Charlottesville — here's how the rest of the council responded

Author: Bob Bryan & Lydia Ramsey, Business Insider

President Donald Trump's manufacturing council of business leaders lost three of its members Monday, and a fourth on Tuesday, amid fallout from his handling of the white-supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia... Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier... was first to resign after Trump initially failed to explicitly denounce white nationalists... Armour CEO Kevin Plank joined Frazier in leaving the council... [as did] Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, who released a statement saying... "Earlier today, I tendered my resignation from the American Manufacturing Council. I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing. Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America's manufacturing base."... Trump responded Tuesday to the three departures with a tweet, saying that he has other leaders to take their spots on the council... Business Insider contacted the representatives of the original council members to ask for a statement on Frazier's departure and whether they still planned to participate [see article for responses].

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Article
15 August 2017

President of the AFL-CIO, America's largest labour union, leaves Trump council

Author: Bob Bryan, Business Insider

"The head of America's largest labour union left Trump's council citing a 'President who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism."

Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, said in a statement he is leaving President Donald Trump's manufacturing council due to the president's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The AFL-CIO is the largest collection of labor unions in the US with more than 12 million members. "We cannot sit on a council for a President who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism. President Trump’s remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America’s working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups. It’s clear that President Trump’s Manufacturing Council was never an effective means for delivering real policy that lifts working families and his remarks today were the last straw. We joined this council with the intent to be a voice for working people and real hope that it would result in positive economic policy, but it has become yet another broken promise on the President’s record. From hollow councils to bad policy and embracing bigotry, the actions of this administration have consistently failed working people."

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Article
14 August 2017

CEOs of Campbell Soup, Dell, Dow, GE, International Paper, Nucor & Whirlpool choose to remain in American Manufacturing Council

Author: David Gernon, CNBC

"We asked the CEOs on Trump's manufacturing council about Merck's CEO quitting. Here's what happened." 14 August 2017

The chief executives of Merck, Under Armour and Intel all resigned in quick order from President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council on Monday, with Merck's Kenneth Frazier citing his "responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism." The move by the Merck CEO was met by silence from many other executives on the council... CNBC.com reached out to every executive listed [as members of the council]... and only seven had issued comments by Monday afternoon... "GE has no tolerance for hate, bigotry or racism, and we strongly condemn the violent extremism in Charlottesville over the weekend," the company said in a statement. "With more than 100,000 employees in the United States, it is important for GE to participate in the discussion on how to drive growth and productivity in the U.S., therefore, Jeff Immelt will remain on the Presidential Committee on American Manufacturing while he is the Chairman of GE." ... "In Dow there is no room for hatred, racism, or bigotry. Dow will continue to work to strengthen the social and economic fabric of the communities where it operates — including supporting policies that help create employment opportunities in manufacturing and rebuild the American workforce."... Whirlpool said it wants to continue to work on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative, and "to provide input and advice on ways to create jobs and strengthen U.S. manufacturing competitiveness." But added that it supports an "open and inclusive culture that respects people of all races and backgrounds."...

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Article
14 August 2017

Statement from Merck CEO resigning from President Trump's American Manufacturing Council

Author: Kenneth C. Frazier, Merck

"I am resigning from the President’s American Manufacturing Council. Our country’s strength comes from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations and political beliefs. America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal. As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism." Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Merck

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