By Holy Land Principles, Special for USDR
Nothing is more offensive to fair-minded Americans than double standards in employment practices. Fair-minded Americans expect and demand American companies at home and abroad to practice fair employment.
This is why a recent decision by McDonald’s will both surprise and shock.
The world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants has refused to sign a “single standard” agreement regarding its franchises in the Holy Land—whereas it did sign such an agreement in regards to its franchises in Northern Ireland.
For a long time, McDonald’s resisted signing the MacBride Principles — a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Northern Ireland— claiming it had no control over those franchises. (Even though McDonald’s clearly has control over certain things: the McDonald’s sign, uniform, etc., etc.) However, in December 1994, McDonald’s finally signed an agreement with the Comptroller of New York City to “urge their franchises in Northern Ireland to implement the standards embodied in the MacBride Principles.” In turn, the Comptroller withdrew the MacBride Principles resolution his office had filed with the company.
When asked to sign the Holy Land Principles — a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Israel-Palestine— McDonald’s repeated the same point as to why it is impossible for them to sign the Holy Land Principles, namely, because the company has no control over their overseas franchises.
Fr. Sean Mc Manus— President of the Capitol Hill-based Holy Land Principles, Inc. and Irish National Caucus— said: “Therefore, it seemed entirely reasonable and logical to propose to McDonald’s that we would withdraw our Holy Land Principles resolution if McDonald’s would sign a similar agreement to urge their franchises in Palestine-Israel to ‘implement the standards embodied in the Holy Land Principles.’ Surely this is a rational, sensible and valid proposal— granting the MacBride Principles precedence? Who could possibly and reasonably oppose it? Well, unfortunately, and rather unreasonably, McDonald’s could, and did.”
Fr. Mc Manus continued: “On February 16, McDonald’s turned down our proposal, saying they could not urge their franchises inIsrael-Palestine to implement the standards embodied in the Holy Land Principles—blithely, if not blatantly, ignoring McDonald’s own precedence in Northern Ireland. I believe consumers, investors and other stakeholders will be disturbed by this most regrettable and inexplicable double standard. Who can possibly justify it or explain it? Naturally, therefore, we cannot withdraw our Holy Land Principles resolution lest we become complicit in McDonald’s double standard.”
Double Standard of Many
Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “The Holy Land Principles are pro-Jewish, pro-Palestinian and pro-company. The Principles do not call for quotas, reverse discrimination, disinvestment or boycotts. The Holy Land Principles pose the big, existential question for American companies in the Holy Land that can no longer be ignored. Nor can this question—fair employment by American companies in the Holy Land— be ignored any longer, in good conscience, by investors, especially in the SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) and faith-based community. Isn’t truly remarkable that until we launched the Holy Land Principles, American companies had never been challenged on their fair employment in Israel-Palestine? Nobody had ever filed Resolutions on this issue! Why? How could that have happened when ESG (environmental, social, and governance) issues are so popular? What can possibly explain this double standard? Why wasn’t this double standard exposed by the media and challenged by human rights and SRI groups, especially the faith-based groups? ‘All we like sheep have gone astray… ‘(Isaiah 53:6).”
NOTE: Holy Land Principles, Inc. has filed a total nine Resolutions for 2016 with the following companies: 1. Cisco; 2. Intel; 3. Coca Cola; 4. Pepsi; 5. FedEx; 6. UPS; 7.GE; 8.GM and 9.McDonald’s.
SOURCE Holy Land Principles