NYC Comptroller: ExxonMobil to Implement N. Ireland Measure

January 28, 2004 ( - Energy giant ExxonMobil has agreed to adopt the so-called MacBride Principles on equal employment opportunities for companies doing business in Northern Ireland after pension fund pressure, a New York City official announced.

New York City Comptroller William Thompson, Jr., said the company notified him of the decision after Thompson filed three shareholder ExxonMobil proposals including one filed for the New York City Police Pension Fund to implement Northern Ireland non-discrimination policies.

The principles include increasing the number of individuals from underrepresented religious groups in the workforce, including managerial, supervisory, administrative, clerical, and technical jobs, and providing adequate security for the protection of minority employees in the workplace and while traveling to and from work.ExxonMobil currently licenses 14 Northern Ireland service stations.  

In a news release, Thompson said the Northern Ireland shareholder resolution will stand despite the company’s latest move.   The Police Pension Fund currently holds more than 3.6 million shares in ExxonMobil worth $151,653,014.

The other pension fund proposals submitted for consideration at ExxonMobil’s 2004 annual shareholder meeting urged the company to promote use of renewable energy and adopt a companywide workplace human rights policy.

“The trustees of the New York City pension funds believe that, as a Fortune 500 company and as a company in which the funds have invested millions of dollars of the earnings of current and retired employees for their retirement benefits, ExxonMobil should set a good example of how a corporation should operate,” Thompson said in the announcement. “Adopting measures to end employment discrimination against Catholics in Northern Ireland, researching ways to produce renewable energy, and adopting and fully implementing international standards of human rights would go a long way toward setting this example.”

The renewable energy proposal, filed for the New York City Fire Pension Fund, calls for the company diversify its energy products through the development of more non-polluting sources. The proposal cited various sources to refute ExxonMobil’s contention that “while renewable energy supplies are expanding, it is important to recognize that they are doing so from a very small base.”

Last year, the proposal received a “yes” vote from 21.3% of the shareholders, a percentage that allowed Thompson to resubmit the measure this year. The Fund holds more than 168,000 ExxonMobil shares worth close to $7 million.

 “The research and development of renewable energy sources is a wise idea from an environmental and financial perspective,” Thompson said. “It is quite clear that renewable energy will be important in the future. Not investing money in that future will put at a competitive disadvantage with negative consequences for the company and its shareholders.”

The third shareholder resolution was filed on behalf of the New York City Teachers Retirement System (TRS). The measure urges the Board of Directors to implement a companywide workplace human rights policy based on the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and asks the company to make available to shareholders a report concerning implementation of this policy.

Copies of the resolutions are available on the Comptroller’s web site at .