Valerie Heinonen

Drawing Caterpillar Out Of Its Corporate Cocoon: Company Should Examine Its Role in Mideast Violence

On April 14, an American corporation was confronted with the choice of whether or not to examine their role in perpetuating the cycle of violence in the Mideast. An alliance of Catholic nuns and Jewish peace activists teamed up to introduce a shareholder resolution asking Caterpillar, Inc. to conduct an internal investigation to determine if the use of their bulldozers to violate human rights laws goes against corporate policies. In fact, it was the first time ever that a shareholder resolution relating to human rights violations in the occupied territories has been brought before a US corporation. Though the odds against the resolution were tremendous, it still garnered 4% of the vote, enough to be re-introduced next year.