Having gained the magic 3% of the vote for its Resolution at GE and Intel, Holy Land Principles Inc. is giving concentrated attention to Cisco.
The giant high tech company will have its annual meeting in the Fall, when Holy Land Principles, Inc. will present its Resolution, urging Cisco to sign the Holy Land Principles.
Cisco, from the import of its own words, is under considerable pressure. Cisco’s 2012 Corporate Sustainability Report admits the disturbing fact that while Arabs make up 20 percent of the population in Israel they are less than 0.4 percent of the high tech industry workforce.
Fr. Sean Mc Manus— President of the Capitol Hill-based Holy Land Principles, Inc. and Irish National Caucus said: ” How many Palestinians work in top jobs in Cisco? If Cisco is proud of its hiring in this regard, then I call on it to publicly release a statistical breakdown of its workforce according to national, racial, ethnic or religious identity— while, of course, safeguarding personal privacy and security. Doesn’t that seem a perfectly reasonable and responsible request?”
The Jerusalem Post reports: “A large proportion of Israeli Arabs educated in hi-tech end up working in other fields or often teaching. Lack of public transportation from Arab towns and cities also makes it more difficult to get to work in hi-tech centers. There also remains a level of discrimination in hiring Arabs among some Jewish Israelis.”
Fr. Mc Manus explained: ” In the face of such facts, there is pressing need for the powerful Cisco to set an example, and to lead the way. And the perfect way for Cisco to do that, is to sign the Holy Land Principles, which is also a perfect way to particularize and to implement the Ruggie Principles. It was only when the American companies doing business in Northern Ireland signed the Mac Bride Principles—upon which the Holy Land Principles are based— that real progress began to be made. The same holds true for the American companies doing business in Israel/Palestine-Palestine/Israel. It took five years tor the first American company to sign the Mac Bride Principles but eventually 116 companies did sign the Principles— having initially strongly resisted.”
Shareholder advocacy is often described as the third leg of the 3-legged stool of Socially Responsible Investment (the first leg being screening investments, and the second leg being community investment).
The Holy Land Principles are pro-Jewish, pro-Palestinian and pro-company. The Principles do not call for quotas, reverse discrimination, divestment/disinvestment or boycott— only fair employment so that American principles will follow American investment.
Fr. Mc Manus concluded:” For the first time in history, American companies are now being challenged on their fair employment record in the Palestine/Israel-Israel/Palestine. That, incredibly, had never happened until we launched the Holy Land Principles. We are filling a vacuum that was crying out to be filled— that is our only claim. We are determined to bring this most obvious issue, and most American issue into the boardrooms of all the 545 American companies doing business in the Holy Land. Who could possibly argue with that? How could it not be a good thing to raise such a valid and vital issue in American boardrooms?”
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