The 8% yes vote in support of the proposal is being heralded as a victory by the Interfaith Center of Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), according to a news release issued by the ICCR. The ICCR says the first-year support level of 3% is required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for this proxy resolution to be reintroduced at Abbott Labs in 2005.
Filed by ICCR member the Society of Jesus – Maryland Province and the Amalgamated Bank, the resolution called on Abbott Labs to “review the economic effects of the HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria pandemics on the company’s business strategy, and its initiatives to date, and report to shareholders within six months following the 2004 annual meeting.”
The vote at Abbott Labs is one in a series of four such shareholder resolution votes at major pharmaceutical companies, a group that also includes Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer. In addition to pharmaceutical company resolutions, ICCR has filed similar request for impact studies at other companies as well. Earlier this year, Coca-Cola urged shareholders to vote yes to a resolution on this year’s proxy to study the economic effect of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on the company’s operations in Africa (See Coke Urges Support For HIV Study ) and lastApril shareholders of Coca-Cola rival Pepsi urged the passage of a similar study (See Pepsi Challenge: Shareholders Call for Report on AIDS Impact ).