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CNN NEWSROOM

Palestinian Militants & Israel Exchange Barrage of Rocket Fire; Dozens Reported Dead as Israeli-Palestinian Violence Spikes; Pipeline Cyberattack Now Sparking Gas Shortages; DHS Official: Colonial Pipeline Slow to Provide Info on Hack; Chipotle Hiking Wages to Boost Hiring; Chipotle Hikes Worker Pay Amid Nationwide Labor Shortage; Tom Cruise Returns Golden Globes, NBC Scraps Airing Award Show Amid Diversity Controversy. Aired 1:30-2p ET.

Aired May 11, 2021 - 13:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[13:30:00]

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There have been two causalities here in Ashkelon. Two people died, about 17 have been injured as a result of these rocket fires in Gaza. The Palestinian House (ph) Ministry there says 28 people have been killed including nine children. More than 120 they say have been injured. The Israeli military says they are investigating any civilian causalities which they say they take very seriously.

The IDF is engaged in military strikes in Gaza. All day long we have been hearing airplanes flying above us. We'll sometimes hear booms sort of in the distance, Gaza is about 10 kilometers away from us. And then sometimes a few minutes after that we'll hear the air raid sirens of rockets incoming.

I know Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying in a video that Hamas will be hit in a way it didn't anticipate. The Israeli military saying that they have struck more than 300 targets in Gaza including some tunnels.

They say they have also focused on these places where from which they fire some of these rockets off. And the militants are saying that this is in direct retaliation for what has been happening in Jerusalem, as we noted, those violent clashes at the Al Aqsa compound and the Al Aqsa mosque.

We've seen more than 500 Palestinians injured in just one day in clashes there as well as at (ph) clashed at the Damascus gate entrance to the old city as well as some clashes in that Shavjuran (ph) neighborhood where you mentioned those Palestinian families.

Some of who have been living there for generations facing possible evictions as part of a long running legal battle in Jerusalem. And it's just been some of the tenses moments that this regions has seen for quite some time. I spoke to some of the residents of this building and they say while

living in this part of the region they are use to sometimes some rockets, some activities. Just the sheer amount of rockets, the sheer amount of military strikes that we have been seeing here today, they say this is completely out of the ordinary and it doesn't seem to be really calming down anytime soon.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hadas Gold, excellent reporting. Keep up the good work and stay safe. Thank you.

More sophisticated, frequent and aggressive, we will bring you a top Biden administration official's warning about cyber attacks on the nation's infrastructure and the impacts of this latest attack here in the U.S. right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:35:00]

CABRERA: A major cyber attack on a vital U.S. pipeline now sparking fuel shortages throughout the Southeast. Empty pumps are now being reported at gas stations from Florida to Virginia; North Carolina declaring a state of emergency to suspend fuel regulations; and Georgia has already temporarily suspended sales today.

The EPA also stepping in issuing emergency waivers in states impacted by the pipeline attack. Today, top officials at Homeland Security testified that attackers are only getting better at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRANDON WALES, ACTING DIRECTOR, DHS CYBERSECURITY AND INFORMATION SERCURITY: Cyber attacks in our nation's infrastructure are growing more sophisticated, frequent and aggressive. Malicious cyber actors today are dedicating time and resources toward researching, stealing and exploiting vulnerabilities.

Using more complex attacks to avoid detection and developing new techniques to target information and communication technology supply chains.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Emily Harding is the Deputy Director and Senior Fellow of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She is also the former Deputy Staff Director on the Senate Intelligence Committee overseeing the investigation into Russian interference in 2016 elections.

Emily, demand for gas spiked yesterday following this attack. Gas prices are at the highest level in nearly six years already. So does this just show how much impact these types of cyber attacks can have on the average American?

EMILY HARDING, DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND SENIOR FELLOW OF THE INTERNATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAM: Absolutely. When 45 percent of the gas gets cut off to the East Coast there are going to be some far reaching ripple effects. We're very lucky that no one was killed or injured.

CABRERA: What kind of a wake up call was this for U.S. national security?

HARDING: I'm hoping it was a real wake up call. The people who follow these issues closely, whenever somebody says, well this attack is going to be the wake up call or this next attack is going to be the wake up call.

You start to get a little cynical about it and wonder if maybe this is going to be the right one. But hopefully, you know, there have been some very good conversations on the Hill today talking about possible legislation. Maybe this will be the one.

CABRERA: I do want to play another part of that hearing and what we heard today on the Hill. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): Did Colonial contact you?

WALES: They did not contact CISA directly.

PORTMAN: So you still don't have the technical information you need to be able to be responsive and to provide support to critical infrastructure? Is that what you're saying?

WALES: Yes, but that is not surprising -

PORTMAN: If the FBI had not brought you in would Colonial do think have (ph) contacted you to ask for your assistance?

WALES: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: No. Colonial Pipeline hasn't shared information with the federal government about exactly how DarkSide hacked their company. Does that surprise you and is that a problem?

HARDING: I think it is a problem. The incentive structure for companies right now is all wrong. They want to get back on their feet as quickly as possible. That's totally understandable. They want to minimize the economic impact. That's also totally understandable.

But we need to start thinking bigger picture. We need to start thinking about this as a collective problem and sharing information with the federal government about what happened is going to be a critical step forward in the public/private partnership.

Kevin Mandia of FireEye has talked about the possibility of a duty to report for first responders to cyber incidents.

[13:40:00]

That's definitely a concept worth exploring. There's got to be a way to do this where we can protect the economic interest of companies but at the same time also share the information that we need to share so that we don't all turn into victims.

CABRERA: I worry about what's next. Does the impact of this attack -- we see what they were able to do for such a large portion of the U.S., does it embolden groups like Dark Side and others like it to carry out further attacks? Would you expect another one coming soon?

HARDING: Absolutely. I think we should definitely expect more like this. The rules of cyber attacks have changed. It's no longer just governments versus governments. It's no longer spy versus spy. Everybody has to consider themselves a target and start thinking about cyber security very differently.

It's very important to think about not just the traditional targets but also these targets that are a potential gray zone. My colleagues at CSIS have done some really good work on the future of warfare and how the gray zone attacks like this one may be what we're in for in the future.

CABRERA: Emily Harding, unfortunately I don't think our conversation is going to end here today but I appreciate your expertise on what you were able to share with us. Thank you.

HARDING: Thank you.

CABRERA: A chance at a six figure salary in three and a half years? Chipotle trying to attract more employees with wage hikes and a pathway to management.

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[13:45:00]

The nationwide labor shortage is forcing some businesses to sweeten the pot in an effort to lure more Americans back to work. Chipotle announcing that it will start boosting wages to an average of $15 an hour.

The restaurant chain also offering a new $200 bonus for employers who renew workers. Chipotle says workers can be promoted to general manager within about 3 1/2 years, which has an average compensation of $100,000.

This is all on top of the company's other recent announcement that it will offer debt free college degrees for workers in related fields.

Joining us now is the man who play a key role in implementing all of this, Chipotle's chief operating officer Scott Boatwright. Thanks for being with us.

SCOTT BOATWRIGHT, CHIPOTLE CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: Hi, good morning, Ana. Thanks for having us on.

CABRERA: Scott, first, what kind of reaction have you received to this announcement? BOATWRIGHT: It has been overwhelmingly positive, Ana. I was just in restaurants yesterday in Columbus, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan. I was able to share the news firsthand, and our current team members are just elated, and this pandemic has been very challenging as you can imagine on all fronts.

And the team feels like the organization is really working in their best interests to create a great career opportunities necessary for advancement for themselves both personally and professionally.

CABRERA: But the goal, right, is to get more applicants, more workers in that door and raising wages is obviously good news for employees, but I do want to dig into the details. Because boosting wages to an average of $15 per hour, that's not the same as saying you're offering a $15 minimum wage. So what is the actual pay range for employees?

BOATWRIGHT: Great question, Ana. So our average pay raise, pay wage today is $13 an hour. We're moving that to 15 by June and we will have a range of somewhere between 11 and 18 per hour, based on where you are geographically.

But everyone in the organization will receive a pay increase. We'll also leverage the new pay wage to drive more applicant flow and invite new people to our great brand. As you know, Ana, we've stated publicly we want to get to 6,000 restaurants here in the U.S. and we'll build more than 200 this year domestically.

And we need folks, we need talent and people that are aligned with our values and our purpose to cultivate a better world to really help us grow this great brand.

CABRERA: So where's the extra money coming from, then, if you are opening more restaurants, if you're increasing wages, will the costs be passed on to the customer, will it cost me more to get a burrito?

BOATWRIGHT: We do have a modest price increase planned for June as well. And so you'll see a small uptick in the cost of a burrito. But I think it's a nominal fee compared to the benefit that our employees will have and really, again, helping us around this idea to cultivate a better world.

CABRERA: I personally don't mind paying a little bit more knowing people are earning a better wage. But do you worry that if you have to increase prices you'll be driving away customers?

BOATWRIGHT: I don't, Ana, honestly. We have a great value proposition today. And I think there's a little bit of room in our pricing model and so -- and I think our consumers want high quality, great tasting food and they can believe in and feel good about putting into their bodies and -- and that's what we deliver at Chipotle.

And I believe we deliver that in abundance. And so I think our value proposition today is really, really strong and we can afford a modest price increase and continue to support our team members all across America. CABRERA: We've been reporting on worker shortages all across a number of industries, why do you think it's so hard to hire right now?

BOATWRIGHT: I think there are a number of reasons. I think first and foremost people are concerned about child care today as well as their own personal health. And so I think that's keeping people out of the workforce.

Anecdotally, we're also hearing that folks just aren't ready to return to work yet as robust stimulus packages, as well as unemployment benefits have been very strong over the past few months and will continue to be so though the summer.

And so I think folks are taking the opportunity to protect themselves, protect their families, take care of their children. And for us to -- and we have a reemerging economy. And so as many businesses are reopening there's a need for more talent, and there are plenty of jobs across the U.S. today for folks who are ready to get back to work.

[13:50:00]

CABRERA: Let me follow up on something you just mentioned because we have heard from some Republican governors, in particular, and other business owners, what you also mentioned; the extra federal unemployment assistance for the worker shortage and they're blaming that for the worker shortage.

At least a half dozen states now have announced they're going to end those benefits before they expire. Is that the right move?

BOATWRIGHT: I certainly believe so. I think it encourages folks to get back to work. There are a number of jobs available across all industry today and for us to continue to grow the economy here in the U.S., we've got to have people ready and willing to engage, get back to work and continue to drive the economy.

CABRERA: You're asking workers, during a pandemic, to put themselves at increased risk. The CEO said in December you're not going to require vaccinations. Do you see that changing?

BOATWRIGHT: Well, we won't require vaccinations, Ana, but what we are doing is providing education to all of our 100,000 employees around why the vaccination is important, and we're also working on increased access to ensure that everyone who wants to get a vaccination is -- there is a vaccine available and we encourage them to do so.

CABRERA: Again, good for you for increasing wages but Chipotle has faced criticism, even lawsuits, over child labor violations from 2015 to 2019 in Massachusetts, specifically. I mean, here in New York, Chipotle is also currently facing a lawsuit a alleging work schedule violations. So what are you doing to improve work culture and conditions for employees at your restaurants?

BOATWRIGHT: Absolutely, Ana. I think we've done a remarkable job over the past year or two, specifically around improving the employee value proposition and all the way up from, you know, benefits to debt-free degrees, access to mental health benefits, continue to improve the wage -- the base wage for all employees in the organization today and so we're leaning in very heavily to ensure that we have a workforce that is engaged and also dedicated to this purpose of cultivating a better world.

CABRERA: So -- so what do you say to those who don't feel like you have their best interests in mind, that it's all about the bottom line?

BOATWRIGHT: Yes, I would encourage them to continue the dialogue and continue the conversation and fully understand what is available for them here at Chipotle. Beyond the benefits I just mentioned, the career opportunities here are really, really limitless. And as we continue to grow this great brand, we're creating opportunities for our people to earn six-figure salaries within this industry.

And I think -- I think that's a pretty incredible thing to offer and -- and we feel like we're on the right track. So, again, back to the total employee value proposition, I think it's better than most in the industry, if not leading in the industry, and I think it's a great opportunity for everyone within the organization.

CABRERA: What percentage of people, employees actually get to that six-figure salary?

BOATWRIGHT: Yes. So currently, today, we have 2,800 general managers across the -- our universe of restaurants here in the U.S. We'll build north of 200 restaurants this year.

So as you can think about the percentage of employees that are actually available for that opportunity, I think the growth number really sets a precedent for the number of opportunities that will be available in the future. So I think we're in a pretty good place today.

CABRERA: OK. I'm not sure I got a full answer there, but I got to run. Scott Boatwright, appreciate you taking the time and thank you for coming on with us.

BOATWRIGHT: Yes, thank you, Ana, have a great day.

CABRERA: And you too. The show won't go on. Controversy building around the golden globes, and it was enough to get Tom Cruise involved. We'll explain.

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[13:55:00]

CABRERA: Tom Cruise is returning three Golden Globes he's won over the years. He's just the latest celebrity to protest the Hollywood's Foreign Press Association which runs the Golden Globes. "NBC" says it won't air the awards show next year and it all has to do with a lack of diversity.

I want to bring in CNN Entertainment Reporter, Chloe Melas. So, Chloe, Cruise just the latest celebrity who else is speaking out?

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Hey, Ana, so good to see you. And this is quite the mess. But let me just tell you this has been a long time coming. There has been a call for the Golden Globes to diversify for quite some time.

But what really blew the lid off of all of this was a "L.A. Times" investigation in February and they found out that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, that consist of about 100 journalists all over the world, that, you know, nominates these people for awards, picks the winners, that there's not one black member, if you can believe that.

So you can imagine the outrage. Well the HFPA came forward during the Golden Globes and said, "We are going to make changes." But it fell flat and those changes really haven't happened. That's why "NBC", "Netflix", "Amazon", even our own parent company, "Warner Media", have pulled the plug on next year's award show.

Now the HFPA has released a statement to say - to "CNN" saying, "That regardless of next year's air date that they are implementing quote "transformational changes" as quickly and thoughtfully as possible." But, again, that's left to be seen.

In the meantime, like you said, Tom Cruise gave back all three of his Golden Globes on Monday. Scarlett Johansson also released a statement although she hasn't won a Golden Globe, she's been nominated multiple times.

She said that she actually experienced what is borderlines on harassment from the HFPA. Now the HFPA hasn't commented on that specifically. Ava DuVerney, Mark Ruffalo, so many people have come forward slamming the HFPA but also commending everyone for cutting ties.

I will say, let's face it, the award shows ratings have been plummeting.

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