Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin: Essay claims ‘poisonous’ office

Jeff Bezos

Elif Öztürk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

According to an article published Thursday, 21 current and former employees of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin claim the space company is a “toxic” place to work.

Led by former Blue Origin Head of Employee Communications, Alexandra Abrams, the paper claims that the The company urges workers to sign strict nondisclosure agreements, suppresses internal feedback, ignores safety concerns, and creates a sexist environment for women. There were also examples of alleged sexual harassment.

“I’m far enough from that that I’m not afraid to silence myself about them,” Abrams said in a CBS interview that aired Thursday.

The essay was posted on the Lioness website on Thursday. It was signed by Abrams and said it was endorsed by 20 other current and former employees whose names were not listed.

In response to CNBC’s request for comment, Linda Mills, Blue Origin’s vice president of communications, said Abrams was “dismissed for cause” in 2019 “after repeated warnings about issues related to federal export control regulations.”

In response to Blue Origin, Abrams said in a statement to CNBC that it has “never received any verbal or written warnings from management regarding issues related to federal export control regulations.”

Abrams admitted in the CBS interview that she was fired from Blue Origin. She told CBS Mornings that she was “shocked” when she was fired, but her manager said, “Bob and I can no longer trust you,” referring to CEO Bob Smith. According to her LinkedIn account, she now works in employee communications for a large software company.

Alleged sexism and harassment

The essay stated that “gender gaps are common among the aerospace workforce,” but claimed that “they are also manifested in a certain type of sexism at Blue Origin”.

There were two examples from the management level. It was alleged that a “senior executive in the loyal inner circle of CEO Bob Smith” has been repeatedly reported to the company’s human resources department on allegations of sexual harassment. Despite the allegations, the essay states that Smith made the executive a member of Blue Origin’s recruitment committee when the company was in a senior human resources role.

In the second example, a former executive is said to have humiliated women, “called them ‘Baby Girl’, ‘Baby Doll’ or ‘Sweetheart’ and asked about their dating life.” The essay claims that Blue Origin would warn new female employees not to stay away from the executive who allegedly had a “close personal relationship with Bezos.”

“He physically groped a female subordinate so that he could finally be released,” claims the essay.

Mills said in her statement that “Blue Origin has no tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind”.

“We are offering a variety of options to our employees, including a 24/7 anonymous hotline, and will promptly investigate any new allegations of misconduct,” added Mills.

Blue Origin is headquartered in Kent, Washington.

Blue origin

Blue Origin has also stepped up its use of strict nondisclosure agreements, the article said, and in 2019 urged all employees to sign new contracts with a non-degradation clause, both current and former employees asserted. The letter quoted a senior program director with decades in the aerospace and defense industries who claimed that “working at Blue Origin was the worst experience of my life.”

FAA is investigating security allegations

Safety concerns are another important part of the essay, which claims that “some of the engineers who keep the missiles safe” have either been ousted or paid off after internal criticism.

The paper said that last year Blue Origin’s leadership showed “increasing impatience” with the low airspeed of its suborbital New Shepard rocket, and said the company’s team had to go from “a few flights a year … to more.” than 40 “jump.

“When Jeff Bezos went into space this July, we didn’t share his enthusiasm. Instead, many of us watched with overwhelming discomfort. Some of us couldn’t stand it at all, ”the essay says. “Competing with fellow billionaires – and ‘making progress for Jeff’ – seemed to take precedence over security concerns that would have slowed the schedule.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement to CNBC Thursday that it is reviewing the safety concerns expressed in the essay.

“The FAA takes every security allegation seriously,” the regulator said in a statement.

The paper claims that environmental concerns were a minor concern at the company, with implications for local ecology and required permits after “the machines showed up” at Blue Origin’s Kent, Washington, facility.

Additionally, Blue Origin’s Kent headquarters – which opened last year – is not a LEED certified building, according to the essay, and claims that it was “built on wetlands drained for construction”.

Blue Origin’s Mills’ statement to CNBC did not address these other issues.

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Riz Ahmed Fights Muslim “Poisonous Depictions” | Leisure Information

Riz Ahmed has set up a fund to counteract the “poisonous depictions” of Muslims in films.

The 38-year-old actor became the first Muslim to be nominated for an Oscar for best actor for his role in “Sound of Metal” earlier this year, and Liz announced his determination to fight “Muslim misrepresentation”. ..

Liz explains in an online video that she was nominated for an Oscar:

“Why has none of the 1.6 billion people, a quarter of the world’s population, been in this position?

“If I am an exception to the rules, what should the rules be for people like me? Muslims who make up a quarter of the world’s population and our stories, their stories in our culture How should the dissent be about the position, and if so, what position do they have in our society? “

Despite his personal perceptions, the London-born actors believe that Muslims continue to be misrepresented in the film industry.

He says, “I’ll explain briefly that exceptions don’t change the rules. If there are exceptions, feel free to emphasize the rule and leave it as it were.

“The progress some of us have made gives the big picture of progress when most of the Muslim representations on the screen do not yet exist or are housed in the toxic two-dimensional representations of these stereotypes. I do not draw. “

The new blueprint for the Muslim inclusion program includes funding and guidance for Muslim storytellers.

The project found that less than 10% of top-selling films in the UK, US and Australia featured Muslim characters between 2017 and 2019, as a result of a study by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative titled Missing and Maligned. Started after the discovery.

“The data doesn’t lie. This study shows the extent of the problem in popular films, the cost of which is measured by the possibility of loss and loss of life, ”added Liz. Added.

Riz Ahmed fights Muslim “poisonous representations” | Entertainment news

Source link Riz Ahmed fights Muslim “poisonous representations” | Entertainment news

Democrats push FDA to manage poisonous metals in child meals

Democrats urge FDA to regulate toxic metals in baby food after research finds high levels.

Chris Tobin | DigitalVision | Getty Images

Top Democrats are urging the FDA to regulate toxic metals in baby formula after a Congressional investigation found metals like arsenic, lead, and cadmium to be found in far higher amounts than permitted in bottled water and other products.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. And Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. As well as the representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill. And Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., Told CNBC that they are asking regulators to limit the levels of toxic heavy metals in baby food.

The Food and Drug Administration does not currently set limits for heavy metals in baby food, particularly for arsenic in rice grain. The agency regulates other toxins in consumer products such as lead, arsenic, and cadmium in bottled water.

The four Democrats said Thursday they had drafted laws that would tighten regulations on baby food safety and sent them to FDA staff for technical review. However, lawmakers want the FDA to use their existing regulator to take immediate action.

“Through our legislation and FDA regulations, we will ensure that the baby foods we put on the market are safe and that our children are safe,” Krishnamoorthi said in a statement. “I am proud to work with my colleagues, along with the FDA, stakeholders and health professionals across the country, to develop major reforms.”

An FDA spokeswoman said the agency takes exposure to toxic metals in food “extremely seriously” and that the agency is reviewing the results of the Congressional investigation. She added that “The FDA has not commented on whether it has received requests for technical assistance regarding the legislation, but we would look forward to working with Congress on the matter.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., During the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing titled Protecting the Timely Delivery of Mail, Medicines and Postal Ballots on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in the Rayburn House office building.

Tom Williams | CQ Appeal, Inc. | Getty Images

A subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform chaired by Krishnamoorthi published the results of its 15-month investigation in February. It used data from four companies – Nurture, Hain Celestial Group, Beech-Nut Nutrition and Gerber, a unit of Nestle, which responded to requests from the subcommittee for information on testing guidelines and test results related to their products.

The research found that “baby food companies weren’t looking for parents and young children the way we all expected – instead they knowingly sold us tainted products,” said Krishnamoorthi.

grove said At the time the investigation “did not reflect our current practices,” the company’s internal standards “added or exceeded current federal guidelines.”

Gemma Hart, a spokeswoman for Nurture, told the New York Times at the time that their products were safe and that the metals were only present in “trace amounts”. Beech-Nut said Thursday that the company is “committed to continuously improving its internal standards and testing processes as technology and knowledge evolve.” Dana Stambaugh, a spokeswoman for Gerber, said the company is taking steps to minimize metals in its products.

Three other companies that sell baby food – Walmart, Sprout Organic Foods, and Campbell soup – Not all requested information is provided. At the time of the investigation release, Campbell was said The products were safe and cited the lack of FDA standards for heavy metals in baby food.

A Walmart representative told Reuters at the time that private label product suppliers must meet their own specifications, “which for baby and toddler foods means the levels must meet or fall below the limits set by the FDA.”

Sprout did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

“Like parents across America, I was horrified to learn that trusted baby food brands knowingly sell products that are high in toxic lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium,” Rep. Cardenas said Thursday. “I urge the FDA to use their existing agencies to take immediate regulatory action.

The investigation found that heavy metals are naturally found in some grains and vegetables, but added that levels can be increased if manufacturers add other tainted ingredients to baby food. According to the report, companies rarely test their products for contamination before sending them to stores.

“It is unacceptable that, despite parents’ efforts to protect their children, some leading baby formula manufacturers have launched products that expose children to dangerous toxins,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “This legislation will protect children and ensure a healthy start by holding manufacturers accountable for removing toxins from infant and toddler foods.”