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Holy Land Principles Gave GE Second Chance

Company failed to grasp it

Submitted by: Holy Land Principles, Inc

Categories: Corporate Social Responsibility, Socially Responsible Investing

Posted: May 03, 2016 – 10:03 AM EST

 

WASHINGTON, May 03 /CSRwire/ - GE, the global digital industrial company, held its Annual Shareholder Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, on April 27. 

GE, once again, failed to avail of the chance to sign a set of fair employment principles designed for its operation in Israel-Palestine. 

The Holy Land Principles is a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Palestine-Israel— based on the Mac Bride Principles for Northern Ireland.

The Israeli government’s 2015 Report on discrimination documented a 17 percent increase in religious discrimination complaints over the previous year.  A poll by that agency in 2013 of Hebrew-speaking employers across the region found that 42 percent preferred not to hire Arab men and 37 percent preferred not to hire Orthodox Jewish Haredi men.

Fr. Sean Mc Manus—the Irish-born President of the Capitol Hill-based Holy Land Principles, Inc. and Irish National Caucus explained: “The Holy Land Principles are pro-Jewish, pro-Palestinian and pro-company. The Principles do not call for quotas, reverse discrimination, divestment, disinvestment or boycotts. The Principles do not take any position on solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The Principles do not try to tell the Palestinians or the Israelis what to do. The Holy Land Principles only call for fair employment by American companies in Palestine-Israel.”

Barbara Flaherty, Executive Vice President, Holy Land Principles, Inc. presented the Resolution at the Annual Meeting, saying: “Our Resolution calls on GE to set the standard by signing and implementing the Holy Land Principles, which are based on the very effective Mac Bride Principles for Northern Ireland.

Initially, American companies resisted the Mac Bride Principles, but now 116 companies—including GE, to its credit— have signed the Mac Bride Principles. So why would GE or any American company refuse to sign the Holy Land Principles?

Last year GE, Corning, and Intel tried to get the SEC to exclude the Holy Land Principles resolutions from their 2015 Proxy Materials. However, the SEC—standing for truth, justice, and the American way— ruled in favor of the Holy Land Principles. Therefore, you know the Holy Land Principles are intrinsically valid, inherently fair and reasonable, and in the best American tradition.”

The Holy Land Principles garnished in support of its Resolution over 186 million votes (186,342,696) — 3.6%. This represents in dollars over $5.73 Billion (based on the weekend’s

closing of $30.77 per share). If one adds the Abstentions as also withholding approval from GE’s opposition to the Holy Land Principles, one gets over $16.4 Billion voting for the Holy Land

Principles or Abstaining from opposing the Principles. And that’s nothing to sneeze at. 

Fr. Mc Manus explained: “Next year we will file a new Resolution calling on GE —at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information—to disclose the breakdown of its workforce in Palestine-Israel using the nine job categories which are utilized in the U.S. Department of Labor’s EEO -1 Report (Equal Employment Opportunity): 1.Officials and managers; 2. Professionals; 3. Technicians; 4. Sales; 5. Office and clerical; 6. Craft Workers (skilled); 7. Operatives (semiskilled); 8. Laborers (unskilled); 9. Service workers.”

Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “Asking for such a breakdown is eminently reasonable, makes total sense and is easily done. It’s consistent with the Ruggie Principles and ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) issues. What company could possibly object to this? And who in the SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) or faith-based community could oppose it? The Holy Land Principles is an idea whose time (after inexcusable neglect) has come… And nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

For more information, please contact:

Sean Mc Manus President
Phone: 202-488-0107
Barbara Flaherty Executive Vice President
Phone: 202-488- 0107

For more from this organization:

Holy Land Principles, Inc

 

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