Adoption and development of a human rights policy
- Chevron Corporation: Since 2008, the Shareholder Advocacy Committee , in collaboration with the NJCIR, has supported the Wisconsin Jesuit Province’s work with Chevron Corporation, a transnational corporation operating in countries with repressive governments, ethnic conflicts, and poor labor and environmental standards. In 2008, the Shareholder Advocacy Committee was among 42 other shareholders to serve as co-filer on a resolution for the company to develop and adopt a more transparent, comprehensive, and verifiable human rights policy: the resolution received 29.1% support, raising expectations for a higher vote in 2009. In December 2009, the Committee again served as co-filer, as well as participated in dialogues with the company led by the NJCIR. After several discussions and meetings throughout January and February 2010, the company informed the NJCIR that it planned to adopt a comprehensive human rights policy over the next couple of years. NJCIR withdrew the resolution and will continue in its dialogues.
- Halliburton: Pursuant to research, the Shareholder Advocacy Committee learned that Halliburton’s activities, since the Vietnam War, have been questionable. Since procuring a U.S. government military contract in Iraq in 2003, Halliburton has drawn acute criticism for its conduct as contractor, including in its labor practices. In addition to importing third world workers for cheap labor (igniting resentment and strikes by local workers), Halliburton refused to allow workers to form unions. Further, Halliburton blocked worker access to courts and dispute resolution mechanisms in the United States, forcing its employees to sign employment contracts that contain mandatory, confidential and binding arbitration provisions. This has enabled the Company to keep disputes, no matter how egregious, from the public eye. Beginning in 2005-2006, there have been regular shareholder resolution filings for Halliburton to develop and adopt human rights policies. In 2010, the Shareholder Advocacy Committee served as co-filer for a similar resolution led by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to the lead filer, they recently had the opportunity to speak with company executives, who agreed to speak further with them in the near future. The Sisters have invited the Committee to participate in the dialogue
- OM Group: In 2008, the Shareholder Advocacy Committee was informed by the NJCIR that the Detroit Jesuit Province was leading outreach to the company. As stated in the NJCIR’s 2009 report, the NJCIR’s objective was “to work with the Company to develop a human rights policy that would include mitigating the safety risks of small scale miners around its cobalt smelter in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” The Committee asked the University to purchase the minimum amount of stock necessary to support this initiative as a shareholder. In May 2009, Fr. Toussaint Kafahire Murhula, SJ, spoke together with and on behalf of the NJCIR at a meeting with the OM Group. In February 2010, the Shareholder Advocacy Committee sponsored Fr. Kaf’s travel to meet again with the OM Group and to attend the annual shareholder meeting in May 2010. Fr. Kaf provided reports to the Committee. In 2010-2011, the Shareholder Advocacy Committee continued to participate in the dialogue.
- Patricia Graham
- Elaine Lehman
- Kaf Murhula