More environmental protection!
More social justice!
In order to maximize profits Bayer sold blood products contaminated with the aids virus,
Siemens brought the Slovakian nuclear ruin in Mochovce on line, ThyssenKrupp sells
warships around the world, and DaimlerChrysler/EADS will lift the Eurofighter up in the
sky. Bayer and other companies are planting genetically modified seeds all over the
world. Deutsche Bank is organizing the systematic exploitation of developing countries
instead of solving the debt crisis in a socially just manner. Several german firms are
extorting wages cut by threatening to move jobs to a low-wage country.
Some small shareholders in Germany have been protesting against such ruthless
business practices since the middle of the 80's. They do not want the societal restric-
tions on individual property rights to degenerate into an anecdote to the constitution.
The ‘Critical Shareholders‘ are not the ones who first ask how high their dividends are,
but where they come from. They loudly demand more environmental protection, more
social justice, and the maintenance of human rights in the annual general meetings of
shareholders in about 30 German corporations.
The Critical Shareholders asked that environmental protection and product liability be
included among the main company goals in the corporate charter at BASF, Bayer,
RWE, Thyssen, Deutsche, and Dresdner Bank in 1996 and 1997 – and received
considerable success with between three and eight per cent of the votes cast. More
and more small shareholders are joining the Critical Shareholders and are giving them
their proxy rights. Some 1,500 people did it in the year 2000. Some 4,000 did in 2002.
"We respect anyone who wishes to keep his or her Daimler or Siemens shares as
an investment," assures the executive board member of the Association of Critical
Shareholders, Henry Mathews. "But if you don't think that part of your dividend should
be earned with weapons or nuclear technology or exploitation of employees then you
can let the company managers know through us."
Shareholders who wish to be represented by the Association and its member organi-
zations only have to provide a power of attorney once a year. It covers the proxy rights
in all companies in whose annual general meetings the Critical Shareholders are
active. "We do not charge any fees for this service," assures Mathews, "but our work
is only possible if the shareholders donate a small portion of their dividends to us."
The guideline is 0,15 Euro per share, "but many people donate more."
Complete Info in german language
Network of ethical shareholders in Europe
Critical Shareholders in Germany expose ”ethical” index FTSE4Good