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Home   »  Learn More  »  The World Reacts  »  Caterpillar can run but they can’t ...

Caterpillar can run but they can’t hide

CAT moves April 13 annual meeting out of Chicago to avoid controversy over profiting from Israeli human rights violations.
Investors, religious and human rights groups to challenge Caterpillar with
popular corporate accountability shareholder resolution.


June 8th, 2007

Wednesday, June 13
CAT Shareholder Meeting: 1:30 PM
Q Center, 1450 N. 5th Avenue
St. Charles, IL
  


Media Contact:
Sydney Levy:


CHICAGO – On Wednesday, June13th, 40 years after the start of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, Caterpillar Corporation shareholders will vote on a resolution calling for the separation of the role of CEO and board Chairman. The proposal, which received over 30% of the vote last year, is considered an essential aspect of governance best practices. Shareholder proponents Jewish Voice for Peace, the Sisters of Loretto and the Mercy Investment Group believe it will help the company more effectively respond to negative global publicity over the use of Caterpillar vehicles to demolish Palestinian homes and orchards.

This will mark the fourth year in a row that the human rights group Jewish Voice for Peace has joined the Sisters of Loretto and the Mercy Investment Group in introducing a shareholder resolution. In 2004 and 2005, the groups introduced a resolution that asked CAT to investigate whether its sale of bulldozers to Israel violates its own Worldwide Code of Business Conduct. Because the topic has fully dominated each of the last 3 shareholder meetings, Caterpillar has decided to move the meeting to a new location far from Chicago this year in an effort to minimize further negative publicity. Last year. Caterpillar introduced a multi-million dollar global PR campaign to counter negative stories and attitudes about the company.

Hundreds of religious and human right groups around the world have provided support to the Caterpillar campaign include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, United for Peace & Justice and the Presbyterian Church/USA.

Both proponents and opponents of the resolution will speak at the meeting, scheduled for 1:30 PM at the Q Center, 1450 N. 5th Avenue in St. Charles, IL.  

Caterpillar is currently facing a lawsuit filed by the parents of Rachel Corrie, a young human rights volunteer who was killed by a Caterpillar bulldozer while trying to protect a Palestinian home. The suit charges that CAT knowingly sold machines used to violate human rights, including the razing of Palestinian homes. The vast majority of demolitions continue under a policy of administrative home demolitions, meaning homes are typically destroyed because of minor permit violations. It is virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain legal permits from the Israeli government to build or improve housing in the Occupied Territories.

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