Shareholders Critical of Company’s Exclusion of Resolution; Concerned with Increased Labor Rights Violations in US
Kara DenizEmail: [email protected] Phone: (202) 624-6911
(LONDON) – Today, some institutional and individual shareholders are criticizing National Express (NEX: LON) for refusing to hold a vote on a resolution at this year’s annual general meeting (AGM). The shareholders denounced the company for failing to address labour violations abroad and suppressing shareholders’ right to a vote on an issue of concern.
National Express failed to include the shareholder resolution which seeks an independent investigation into employment rights violations at the company’s U.S. school bus subsidiary, Durham School Services. Shareholders sponsoring the resolution met the same criteria to submit such resolution, as they have for the past two AGMs. Despite meeting such requirements, shareholders were denied a voice.
After National Express was questioned on why the resolution was omitted, they claimed that one of the formalities had not been met. National Express excluded the resolution from the agenda, without any consultation with the shareholders that submitted the resolution, giving them no opportunity to discuss the formality which National Express claimed was not met.
“We firmly believe the issue of denying Durham school bus workers their fundamental rights on the job is not receiving the necessary attention from the National Express Board of Directors. By refusing to allow a vote on this important resolution, National Express is using the same heavy-handed approach to its shareholders as Durham applies to its workers,” said Ken Hall, General Secretary-Treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
National Express’ U.S. subsidiary has a long history of interfering with employees’ freedom of association rights and refusing to recognize collective bargaining rights. Senior representatives of the transport sector in the global trade union movement have condemned National Express over ongoing labour rights abuses by its U.S. subsidiary.
"We're at this AGM to ram home the message to National Express that the global labor movement is holding it to account. Its North American school bus operations are in the world spotlight today and will be tomorrow and every day until National Express ensures that they abide by the standards that common decency and international norms demand," said Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).
In April, the ITF named National Express as a target company under its Charter on Violations of Workers' Rights, which commits its member unions to action against offending multinationals.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit www.teamster.org. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.