June 2, 2020 / 3:38 PM / a month ago

GM, Ford join U.S. companies condemning George Floyd death, racism

The GM logo is seen in Warren, Michigan, U.S. on October 26, 2015. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

(Reuters) - General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co condemned racial inequality in the United States following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of police in Minneapolis last week.

In a letter to employees, GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra wrote she was “impatient and disgusted” following the death of Floyd and emphasized the need to “individually and collectively” drive change.

The No.1 U.S. automaker shared Barra’s letter, sent to its staff on Saturday, with thousands of dealers and suppliers.

Barra also said she was commissioning an inclusion advisory board at the company.

A host of U.S. companies including Intel Corp, Netflix Inc, Nike Inc and Facebook Inc, have taken a stand against Floyd’s death - voicing concerns about discrimination against African-Americans.

Ford’s executive chairman, Bill Ford, and CEO Jim Hackett also wrote a joint letter to employees addressing the “tragic killing of George Floyd” and America’s “systemic racism.”

“And while we would like to say that racism has no place in our society, we know that systemic racism still exists despite the progress that has been made. We cannot turn a blind eye to it or accept some sense of order that’s based on oppression,” the letter said.

Floyd’s death has renewed outrage across the United States on the treatment of African-Americans by authorities, polarizing the country politically and racially.

Both GM and Ford employ thousands of employees and claim to have a diverse and an inclusive workforce.

Reporting by Rachit Vats in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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