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Holy Land Principles Faces McDonald’s With the Question That Won’t Go Away

Fair employment in the Holy Land is the existential question

Submitted by: Holy Land Principles, Inc

Categories: Corporate Social Responsibility, Socially Responsible Investing

Posted: Jun 02, 2016 – 10:03 AM EST


CAPITOL HILL, WASHINGTON, Jun. 02 /CSRwire/ - For the first time in its history the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants has been confronted at its Annual Shareholders’ Meeting about its fair employment practices in Israel/Palestine. 

On May 26, in Old Brook, Illinois, a Resolution was moved calling on McDonald’s to sign the Holy Land Principles— a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Palestine/Israel, based on the very effective Mac Bride Principles for Northern Ireland.

The Holy Land Principles are pro-Jewish, pro-Palestinian and pro-company. (Fair employment by the company is not only morally right but makes good economic sense—good for the company, enhancing its reputation and making it more profitable for its investors.)

 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. Nothing more, nothing less.

The Holy Land Principles resolution received over 19 Million votes, 19,367,661 (3%), with 110,456.309 abstentions.
At the close of business on May 26, 2016, the share value of McDonald’s was $123.79. So the value of the share votes for HLP represented $2,397,522,755.19. The value of abstentions was $13,673,386,491.10.
Therefore, the combined total money not supporting McDonald’s was over $16 billion ($16,070,909,246.29) and, therefore, a total of 129,823,970 votes not supporting McDonald’s.

Initially, American companies resisted the Mac Bride Principles, but now 116 companies have signed the Mac Bride Principles. For a long time, McDonald's resisted taking a position on the Mac Bride Principles, claiming it had no control over the franchisees in Northern Ireland (Even though McDonald's clearly has control over certain things: the brand name, the McDonald's sign, uniform, etc., etc.) However, in December 1994, McDonald's finally signed an agreement with the Comptroller of New York City to "urge their franchisees in Northern Ireland to implement the standards embodied in the MacBride Principles." In turn, the Comptroller withdrew the MacBride Principles resolution his office had filed with the company.

Fr. Sean Mc Manus —President of the Washington-based Holy Land Principles, Inc. and the Irish National Caucus — explained: “We offered the same compromise to McDonald’s as did the Comptroller of New York City. But McDonald’s inexplicably turned it down, so we had to press ahead with the Resolution.”

The Three-Percent Rule

Fr. Mc Manus continued: “ We are pleased that with our first Resolution before McDonald’s we received the required 3% in order to re-submit the Resolution next year. But let me make this point which all should understand: I accept and respect the SEC’s “3% rule” and, of course, we are always keen to meet it. However, it is still only an “mathematical construct,” which the SEC could increase maybe even decrease). It’s a bit like a theological construct— useful, but not Gospel.

The point to remember is this: even if one does not meet the 3% threshold, the inherent power of the shareholder dynamic is still maintained. The Resolution (1) has been filed, which is the essential step; (2) the Company has had to include it in its proxy material, which the Company is not too fond of; (3) the Company has had to send the Resolution to every investor on the planet, reaching the very people we want to reach directly, but cannot; and (4) , therefore, the Company has had to, in effect, advertise and promote the Holy Land Principles, a value that money could not buy.

Finally, the fear of failing to meet the 3% requirement is greatly mitigated by the fact that we can immediately announce that next year we will file a Resolution calling for the Company to to disclose the breakdown of its workforce in using the nine job categories which are utilized in the U.S. Department of Labor’s EEO -1 Report (Equal Employment Opportunity).

In other words, the Companies cannot make us go away. Hence the inherent and invincible power of the Holy Land Principles… For nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.”

Fr. Sean Mc Manus
Holy Land Principles,Inc.
P.O. BOX 15128
Capitol Hill
Washington, DC 20003-0849
Tel. 202-488-0107
Fax. 202-488-7537

For more information, please contact:

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


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