Monday, April 24, 2017

Holy Land Principles. Gateway Drug to Full BDS ?

Yet one more reason you shouldn't ignore the proxy statements that show up in your mail.

 Marriott International  has more than 6000 properties in over 122 countries and territories around the world. Next month at their annual shareholder meeting, they are slated to vote on a shareholder proposal urging the adoption of the  "Holy land Principles". The principles add  burdensome layers of restrictions, oversight and bureaucracy to the 2 Marriott properties in Israel.  The Marriott Board opposes this proposal and recommends a vote AGAINST it.

What are the Holy land Principles? Their website bills them as a "corporate code of conduct" that are applicable only to businesses within Israel.

From their Website: The 8 Holy Land Principles

The Holy Land Principles call on American companies conducting business in The Holy Land to:

Principle #1
Adhere to equal and fair employment practices in hiring, compensation, training, professional education, advancement and governance without discrimination based on national, racial, ethnic or religious identity.

Principle #2

Identify underrepresented employee groups and initiate active recruitment efforts to increase the number of underrepresented employees.

Principle #3

Develop training programs that will prepare substantial numbers of current minority employees for skilled jobs, including the expansion of existing programs and the creation of new programs to train, upgrade, and improve the skills of minority employees.

Principle #4

Maintain a work environment that is respectful of all national, racial, ethnic and religious groups.

Principle #5

Ensure that layoff, recall and termination procedures do not favor a particular national, racial, ethnic or religious group.

Principle #6

Not make military service a precondition or qualification for employment for any position, other than those positions that specifically require such experience, for the fulfillment of an employee’s particular responsibilities.

Principle #7
Not accept subsidies, tax incentives or other benefits that lead to the direct advantage of one national, racial, ethnic or religious group over another.

Principle #8

Appoint staff to monitor, oversee, set timetables, and publicly report on their progress in implementing the Holy Land Principles.

Marriott  has a labor relations code of principles and practices in place and already aligns with Israel's strict labor and employment laws. From their Proxy handbook:

Marriott’s practices align with the Principles included in the Proposal. Given our Global Employment Principles, Policies and Practices, Marriott’s practices at our two managed hotels in Israel align with the Principles included in the Proposal. In addition, the Israeli Equal Opportunity Law, which applies to our managed and franchised hotels in Israel, forbids discrimination in hiring, promoting, work conditions, training or termination of work. As a result, we believe that formal adoption of the Holy Land Principles is not necessary nor incrementally valuable to our business interests nor citizenship commitment. Given our portfolio of over 6,000 hotels globally in 122 countries and territories, our policies need to be applied consistently worldwide thus making a country-by country-approach inefficient and unduly burdensome. For these reasons, the Board opposes this proposal and recommends a vote AGAINST the proposal.

While the Marriott chain has 2 facilities in Israel, you'd never know it by looking at their website.
With 18 states enacting anti-BDS legislation, the "Holy land Principles"  provides a foot in the door and a nose under the tent for the "Israel is always wrong" crowd to demonize and delegitimize Israel outside the rubric of BDS.

Always open and read  your proxy statements, and Marriott shareholders- vote No on this resolution.

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