Holy Land Principles Again Speaks Truth to Cisco-Power
The existential question that can no longer be ignored
The Silicon Valley giant networking company Cisco was again challenged to demonstrate its commitment to transparency and fair employment in Cisco’s operations in Israel/Palestine at the Annual Shareholder Meeting on Monday, December 12, 2016.
The Holy Land Principles, Inc. moved its Resolution/Proposal at the meeting in San Jose.
The Holy Land Principles — an 8-point corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Palestine/Israel— are pro-Jewish, pro-Palestinian and pro-company. The Principles do not call for quotas, reverse discrimination, disinvestment/divestment or boycotts—only for fair employment by American companies. The Principles do not try to tell the Israelis or Palestinians what to do—they only call on Cisco and the other 543 American companies doing business there to sign the Holy Land Principles.
The Principles are based on the Mac Bride Principles—a corporate code of conduct for U.S. companies doing business in Northern Ireland. Those Principles were launched by the Irish National Caucus on November 5, 1984.
Fr. Sean McManus — President of the Holy Land Principles. Inc. and the Irish National Caucus—explained: ” This time our Cisco Proposal/Resolution called on Cisco —at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information—to disclose the breakdown of its workforce in the Holy Land 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.” (See text of Proposal/Resolution.)
The Holy Land Principles resolution garnished 4.1% of the vote, topping the necessary 3% threshold required in order to re-introduce the same Resolution again next year, which, of course, will be done. Had the Resolution gained less than 3%, it could not —according to SEC rules— be brought forward again for another three years.
The Resolution received over 137 Million votes—137,461,488 (4.1%) with 298,160,430 abstentions.
At the close of business on December 12th, the value of Cisco shares was $30.17 so the value of the share votes for Holy Land Principles, Inc. represented $4,147,213,092.96. The value of abstentions was $8,995,500,173.10. Therefore, the combined total of money not supporting Cisco was over $13 Billion ($13,142,713,266.06), and a total of 435,621,918 votes not supporting Cisco’s opposition to the Resolution
Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “Surely no company proud of its fair employment should have a problem in publicizing a breakdown of its workforce as our Resolution urges. Surely it is a reasonable and moderate request— in keeping with transparency and American best practice?
For too long this issue —fair employment by American companies in the Holy Land —was never raised until the Holy Land Principles were launched on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2012. It was the elephant in the (board) room. Even faith- based SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) organizations were scared to touch it… a betrayal of both Faith and Socially Responsible Investing.”