From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
MISSION RESPONSIBILITY THROUGH INVESTMENT COMMITTEE
04 May 1996 20:45:33
95390 MISSION RESPONSIBILITY THROUGH INVESTMENT COMMITTEE
APPROVES GENERAL ASSEMBLY DIVESTMENT LIST
by Julian Shipp
BEDFORD PARK, Ill.--The Mission Responsiblity Through Investment Committee
approved a list of 25 tobacco and military-related corporations that meet
the General Assembly
criteria for divestment.
The list was approved Oct. 7 following a joint meeting of MRTI and the
Social and Ethical
Responsibility Committee for Investments of American Baptist Churches.
The Assembly's guidelines on military-related investments identify the
according to four criteria, including companies among the top 10 firms
engaged in foreign military
sales during the most recent fiscal year for which statistics are
available. Corporations that produce
weapons that can lead to mass and indiscriminate injury and/or death to
civilians are also listed under
the Assembly guidelines.
Companies listed are Alliant Techsystems, Avondale Industries,
Dynamics, General Motors (Hughes), Litton, Lockheed-Martin, Logicon,
Loral, McDonnell Douglas,
Northrop-Grumman, Oshkosh Truck, Raytheon, United Technologies and
The Assembly's guidelines on tobacco investments identify the
companies among the top 10
in annual revenues from tobacco-related business averaged over two years.
These companies are Philip Morris, BAT Industries PLC, RJR Nabisco
American Brands, Compagnie Financiere Richemont AG, Rothmans International
PLC, Universal Corp., Imasco LTD, and Loews Corp.
"Many of these companies have been on the [General Assembly] list for
years," said Bill
Somplatsky-Jarman, associate for MRTI and environmental justice in the
Division. "But a few are new due to recent corporate mergers."
According to Somplatsky-Jarman, the list will be sent to the Board of
Pensions and the
Presbyterian Foundation. He said both organizations have their own
procedures for communicating
to their investment managers how divestment and/or proscription action
will be taken.
Somplatsky-Jarman said the list of companies will also be distributed
to all PC(USA)-related
colleges and seminaries.
He said companies newly identified by the Assembly criteria will
receive a letter of
notification and request for information. MRTI will also communicate with
the presbytery where
the company is headquartered.
For example, Somplatsky-Jarman said, General Electric Corp. did not
drop out of the top 10
military contractors despite the sale of its aerospace division. In
addition, he said, GE is among the
top 10 companies engaged in foreign military sales and is now subject to
MRTI's one-year waiting
During this time, he said, presbytery executives could respond to
MRTI's inquiry and cite
reasons why GE should not be listed for divestment.
"This would give both the presbytery and [GE] time to respond,"
During the meeting, the MRTI and American Baptist Church committees
met with Amoco
Corporation, Northern Trust Company and Velsicol Corporation to learn more
about their respective
The discussions with Amoco and Velsicol focused on environmental
issues. The dialogue
with Northern Trust centered on the bank's acclaimed programs on workforce
Additionally, the committees met with Steve Coates of the
U.S./Guatemala Labor Education
Project, an organization with extensive experience in improving working
conditions for Maquiladora
and agricultural workers in Guatemala.
MRTI members also selected the Rev. Gary Miller, campus minister at
as its chairperson. Claire McDonald of Clairmont, Calif., will serve as
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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