GM To Observe Silence Globally To Recognize Juneteenth, Express Solidarity With Black Community

The General Motors Company GM will observe Juneteenth with a 8 minutes 46 seconds long silence on all its facilities globally, President Mark Reuss said in an internal memo, as reported by CNBC on Tuesday.

What Happened

In the memo obtained by CNBC, Reuss said that the timeframe of the silence matches with the amount of time Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, knelt at George Floyd's neck before the latter died.

"Tragically, it's not even the most recent videotaped death of an unarmed Black male at the hands of a white police officer we've seen," the GM president said on Floyd's death, which sparked widespread protests across the U.S. and other countries.

The GM plants in North America will pause at 8:46 a.m. and 8:46 p.m. for the morning and evening shifts to observe the silence, and the facilities will individually decide on the time to observe the silence for a third shift.

Why It Matters

The June 19 holiday, to be observed on the coming Friday, marks the occasion of last enslaved people in the United States freed under the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln.

Several companies have stepped up to observe Juneteenth as a paid holiday, including Twitter Inc. TWTR, Square Inc. SQ, Target Corporation TGT, and GM self-driving subsidiary Cruise.

In the wake of Floyd's death, a number of employees and high-level executives have also spoken up against the racism they have faced as part of the corporates.

GM Price Action

GM shares were unchanged at Tuesday's close at $27.78.

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