08 May 2023 Conservative Shareholder Activists Present Proposals Addressing Child Labor, Chinese Human Rights Violations and Corporate Collusion with Government
Washington, D.C. – Shareholder activists with the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) will present proposals at three shareholder meetings this week – Ford Motor Company, Intel and Marriott.
FEP’s shareholder proposals will cover Ford’s likely dependency on foreign child labor to manufacture electric vehicles, the ways in which Intel’s Chinese investments ignore and undermine their American ESG commitments, and how Marriott’s partnerships with organizations with partisan social and political motivations violate its fiduciary responsibilities.
In its proposal to Ford Motor Company (Proposal #7), FEP has asked that the company report on the ways its electric vehicles and charging station production involves foreign child labor.
“While Ford is happily promoting a rapid transition to electric vehicles and woke green energy policies, the company outright ignores the environmental and cultural devastation this move is creating,” said FEP director Scott Shepard. “The expensive and often dangerous lithium batteries that power these vehicles use cobalt, largely mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where upward of 40,000 children work in brutal and unsafe conditions.”
“Many of these children are injured and killed in these conditions. Such child labor is a gross violation of human rights. Shareholders have a right to know the extent to which Ford’s business plans involve the exploitation of child labor,” added Shepard.
FEP’s proposal to Intel (also Proposal #7) requests that the Company commission and publish a review on the gap between its American ESG commitments and the realities in its Chinese operations.
“Intel touts the virtues of its ESG initiatives, such as its commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its global operations and its pledge to ensure human rights are protected throughout its supply chain,” said FEP Deputy Director Sarah Rehberg, “But Intel’s environmental promises and human rights commitments are belied by its cozy relationship with China, a country that is controlled by the dictatorial and inhumane Chinese Communist Party.”
“Doing business with China, which is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world and which commits genocide against ethnic minorities, runs counter to everything that Intel claims to stand for,” added Rehberg. “It is therefore critical that the board commission and publish a third-party review that includes experts who are fully aware of the dangers that China poses to ensure that Intel’s actions as a company live up to its words.”
Marriott will be presented with an FEP proposal (Item #6) calling for a report analyzing whether its participation in highly partisan organizations can be squared with its fiduciary duty to all shareholders.
“Marriott does not list the World Economic Forum (WEF), Business Roundtable (BR), Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Rockefeller Foundation or Bilderberg Group among its partners or as recipients of contributions,” said FEP Associate Ethan Peck. “However, WEF does list Marriott as a partner, BR lists CEO Anthony G. Capuano among its members, Rockefeller Foundation lists VP of Sustainability Denise Naguib as a member, former Marriott president Fred Malek was a CFR member, and past Bilderberg meetings have been held inside Marriott hotels.”
“The agendas of those organizations are wildly incongruent with the interests of Marriott shareholders and the traditional – and legally binding – definition of a corporation,” added Shepard. “The more the board pays favor to hand-picked ‘stakeholders,’ the less it’s accountable to capital-providing shareholders. In partnering and conspiring with WEF and others, Marriott’s shareholders are funding the efforts designed to debase their own influence as shareholders within the Company. But most importantly, it’s the radical agendas of these organizations that makes Marriott’s partnerships with them so troubling, not to mention inconsistent with the values of most shareholders.”
More information about these proposals, as well as other key shareholder meetings and proxy votes for this week, can be found in FEP’s weekly proxy votes newsletter.
The Free Enterprise Project’s new Proxy Navigator Annual Voter Guide can be downloaded here.
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