Coca-Cola shareholders vote against the proposal, which targets pro-life states

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May 2, 2023 | 2:31 a.m

Coca-Cola shareholders recently voted against a proposal to conduct a survey on how state laws restricting abortion affect the company’s business performance.

“Shareholders request The Coca-Cola Company’s Board of Directors to issue a public report before December 31, 2023, omitting confidential information and at a reasonable cost, detailing any known and potential risks or costs to the Company due to enacted or proposed state policies that severely restrict reproductive rights, and detailing any strategies Other than litigation and legal compliance the company may use to reduce or mitigate these risks,” the proposal stated.

The proposal was put forward by As You Saw, a nonprofit organization that promotes ESG policies in companies.

Eighty-seven percent of the controlling shares voted against the measure.

Voting power is allocated according to the number of shares an individual or entity owns.

Instead of each individual having one vote, as is the case in American elections, an entity with a higher percentage of shares will achieve more voting power than an entity with less.

The proposal from As You Saw cited research that showed women who don’t get abortions are more likely to drop out of the workforce.

The proposal, which was rejected by Coca Cola, was submitted by As You Saw, a nonprofit that promotes ESG policies at companies.
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In a proxy statement, Coca-Cola said its “robust risk management processes” are sufficient to address these concerns.

The company argued that no further research was needed on the matter.

The activist group’s statement included a suggestion that the board, at its discretion, may choose to cease operations in states where abortion restrictions are in place.

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Coca-Cola said its “robust risk management processes” were sufficient to address these concerns.
Getty Images

“At its discretion, the Board’s analysis may include impacts on employee hiring and retention, productivity, decisions to close or expand operations in states that propose or enact restrictive laws and strategies, such as public policy advocacy by the Company, relevant political contribution policies, and human resource or educational strategies. “.

Many companies are increasingly under public scrutiny for their political biases in support of left-wing social causes.

The most prominent example last year was Disney’s dispute with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signed legislation eliminating the conglomerate’s special tax concessions after the company criticized him for signing legislation banning the teaching of LGBTQ theory to elementary school students.

During the Trump administration, the Labor Department proposed a new rule that would always require agents — entities with a legal responsibility to act in the best interest of their clients — to always prioritize financial returns over issues like climate change.

“Private employer-sponsored retirement plans are not vehicles to further social goals or policy goals that are not in the plan’s financial interest,” Eugene Scalia, the Trump administration’s labor secretary, said at the time.

The Biden administration has reversed this policy.

Moreover, President Biden has vetoed bipartisan legislation that would have ended enforcement of the Biden Labor Department Act that urged managers of private pension funds to consider ESG in their investment decisions.





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