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USW - United Steelworkers

07/12/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/12/2019 11:22

USW Submits Shareholder Proposals to Oil Company Annual Meetings

The USW continued its commitment to engaging companies at the shareholder level in 2019 by filing proposals at ExxonMobil, Marathon Petroleum and HollyFrontier.

For the seventh consecutive year, the union proposed that ExxonMobil disclose annually its lobbying expenses and membership in trade associations. This year, the shareholder vote for the USW proposal increased substantially by 11 percent, reaching 37.3 percent of the vote. The USW presented this proposal so that shareholders can verify that company funds are not spent advocating for policies that may be detrimental to the company and its employees.

This is the first year the USW filed a shareholder proposal at Marathon Petroleum asking the company to separate the position of board of directors chair and chief executive officer (CEO). Currently, Gary Heminger serves as both chair of the board of directors and CEO.

Separating the board chair and CEO position is good corporate governance policy, the union argued, since the board of directors is responsible for overseeing the performance and compensation of the CEO.

The union's proposal to separate these positions received about 25 percent of the vote.

The USW also engaged in phone dialogues with executives and the investor relations teams at ExxonMobil and Marathon regarding the proposal topics.

At HollyFrontier, the USW requested that the company prepare a report on safety each year. However, this shareholder proposal was excluded from a vote after the company successfully argued against its inclusion with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Making proposals to shareholders is important because the union needs shareholder support for important issues that affect the company and its work force.