KFC is to trial meatless “chicken” nuggets made from plants as it tries to further take advantage of the growing popularity of meat substitutes.
It has teamed up with vegan food maker Beyond Meat to offer meatless nuggets and wings for the limited US trial run.
KFC is one of many fast-food chains experimenting with plant-based food.
Burger King announced a plant-based Whopper earlier this year, while Subway has also said it will test plant-based meatballs.
According to its press release, KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken will be offered at one restaurant in Atlanta on 27 August and will still be “finger lickin’ good”, as its slogan promises.
The firm said it was the first US fast-food restaurant to introduce a plant-based chicken. It tested a vegan alternative to its chicken burger earlier this year in the UK.
KFC said it would be looking at customer feedback to decide whether to roll the option out across the US.
Beyond Meat shares rose more than 5% on the news. The vegan food maker saw a stellar market debut when it listed its shares on US stock market earlier this year.
NEW YORK CITY’S 1.3 MILLION FREELANCERS EARN $31.4 BILLION
In New York City, 1.3 million people freelanced in the past 12 months, and they had earnings of $31.4 billion, according to a study, “Freelancing in New York: 2019” released last week by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Freelancers Union and Upwork Inc.
Looking at just the media and entertainment sector, 61% of workers said they have freelanced in the past 12 months.
“New York City may very well be the freelance capitol of the world, and this study shows the massive impact these creative workers have on our economy,” said New York City Council Member Robert Holden, chair of the Committee on Technology.
A majority of freelancers (62%) were freelancing by choice.
And 50% of freelancers did so part-time, 29% freelanced full-time and 20% did it to supplement traditional full-time work.
Other findings in the study included:
For New Yorkers engaged in freelance work, 45% of their income comes from freelancing on average on an individual level.
73% of New York City freelancers use friends, family, clients or professional contacts as a means of finding work. That figure rises to 80% for media and entertainment freelancers.
Freelancers’ primary concern is access to affordable health insurance. They also worry about managing their day-to-day finances and collecting payments for services as 74% have experienced nonpayment or late payment.
The study included 5,000 working adults in New York City. Of those 1,728 had engaged in freelance work.
New York Set To Join Michigan In Banning Some E-Cigarettes
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday he will push for a ban on some e-cigarettes amid a health scare linked to vaping — a move that would follow a similar ban enacted by Michigan and a call from President Trump for a federal prohibition on certain vaping products.
Speaking in Manhattan, Cuomo, a Democrat, said the state’s Public Health and Health Planning Council and state health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker would issue an emergency regulation banning flavored e-cigarette products.
“Vaping is dangerous,” the governor said. “At a minimum, it is addicting young people to nicotine at a very early age.”
“We would ban all flavors besides tobacco and menthol,” he said.
The push at the state and federal levels to ban certain vaping products comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that 380 confirmed or probable cases of lung disease associated with e-cigarettes had been identified in 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with six confirmed deaths.
Earlier this month, Michigan imposed a similar ban. Bills to halt the sale of flavored vaping products have been introduced in California and Massachusetts.
Last week, Trump, appearing beside Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, announced that his administration would move toward a federal ban of flavored vaping products.
“Vaping has become a very big business, as I understand it, but we can’t allow people to get sick and allow our youth to be so affected,” the president said.
“We intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities,” Azar said in a statement.
In July, Cuomo signed a law that raised the minimum age for purchase of tobacco and e-cigarettes in the state from 18 to 21.
UAW Goes On Strike Against General Motors
The United Auto Workers began a nationwide strike just before midnight on Sunday at General Motors after both sides failed to agree on a new contract over issues including wages, health care and profit-sharing.
Production across the U.S. is expected to be halted, affecting nearly 50,000 worker at 33 manufacturing plants in nine states as well as 22 parts distribution warehouses until a new contract is hammered out.
“At midnight tonight, the picket lines will go up,” the UAW’s Brian Rothenberg said at a news conference in Detroit on Sunday. “But basically, when the morning shift would have reported for work, they won’t be there. The picket lines are being set up.”
Night-shift workers at a plant in Bedford, Ind., that makes transmission castings and other parts, shut off their machines and went home, Dave Green, a worker, told The Associated Press.
Green, who transferred from the now-closed GM car factory in Lordstown, Ohio, said: “This is not about us. It’s about the future.”
The strike is the first against GM since a two-day walkout in 2007.
On Saturday, union officials allowed their contract to lapse around midnight. GM leadership has sought to contain the company’s health care costs, but union leadership said workers refuse to agree to a contract that makes health care more expensive for them.
“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,” UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement. “We don’t take this lightly.”
Officials at GM said in a statement to NPR that the company “presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways,” adding that: “It is disappointing that the UAW leadership has chosen to strike.”
Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Center for Automotive Research, an independent research organization, said both sides are looking at the prospect of a weakening economy.
“The company and the union look at the very same set of economic fundamentals and see the same writing on the wall and have different motivations,” Dziczek said.
“The company looks at that and says, ‘Well, if we hit a downturn, we want to be able to have contingent compensation, so we don’t get locked into paying higher costs if the market softens.’ That same set of economic facts drives the union to want more guaranteed and certain compensation: base wage increases,” she said.
Dziczek said the strike would have to last more than a month to affect inventory at car dealerships. But she said the impact will ripple fast across North America.
“There’s great reliance on cross-border trade in engines and transmissions and other parts to support production in Canada and Mexico, so it wouldn’t take long before Canada and Mexico were also shut down,” she said.
Some of the major sticking points include the cost of health insurance and pay raises demanded by workers. GM made $8.1 billion in profits last year.
GM has announced closing four factories and the union has been fighting those decisions. GM says the average hourly employee makes around $90,000 a year. The UAW’s Ted Krumm said the union will not make concessions.
“This strike is about us. It’s about standing up for fair wages, for affordable, quality health care, for our share of profits and for our job security,” Krumm said at a Sunday press conference.
The move to strike comes as legal troubles follow the union. A federal corruption scandal has led to guilty pleas by five people in the UAW. The FBI has raided the home of Gary Jones, the union’s current president. Some workers have called on Jones to step down amid the probe, which has accused some union officials of hiding bribes and embezzling money from the union.
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