Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chevron Faces Shareholder, Union and Community Revolt at Annual Meeting

Chevron Faces Shareholder, Union and Community Revolt at Annual Meeting, says Rainforest Action Network

Rep from Brazil's Largest Union Denied Access to Meeting; No Mention of Brazil and Nigeria Liabilities; Record Votes for Separation of CEO and Chairman

SAN RAMON, Calif., May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, more than 150 protested at Chevron's annual shareholder meeting, joining a unique group of union members, shareholders and community leaders. Every year, Chevron faces opposition at its shareholder meeting, but today's drew a larger and more diverse crowd galvanized by the oil giant's year of legal problems, oil spills and fines for reckless practices.

"CEO Watson's fraudulent omission of the current liabilities the company is facing in Brazil, Ecuador and Nigeria once again highlights his gross negligence when it comes to worker safety, environmental health and human rights. This was reflected in record high votes for the resolution calling for separation of chair and board," said Ginger Cassady of Rainforest Action Network.

Chevron faces more than $43 billion in actual and potential fines: $22 billion for oil spills off the coast of Brazil, $18 billion for oil contamination in Ecuador, $3 million for gas explosions off the coast of Nigeria, and $27 million for tax-dodging in Richmond.

Joao Antonio de Moraes, National Coordinator of the United Federation of Oil Workers in Brazil, the country's largest union, was denied access to the meeting based on a supposed paperwork error: "I traveled across the globe to call on Chevron to increase the safety of its oil rigs and refineries. Being refused access to the meeting underscores the lack of respect Chevron has for the communities where it operates."

The United Federation of Oil Workers filed suit in March to demand the cancellation of all Chevron oil and gas concession contracts in Brazil.

Seven shareholder resolutions were presented to address Chevron's risky operations, including a call for the separation of CEO and chairman that received 38 percent of the vote (double previous years). New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli joined with 39 other investors, with a combined total of $580 billion in assets under management, called on Chevron to settle its two-decade-long legal battle in Ecuador.

"Chevron needs to put its pants on, start acting like a grown up and accept responsibility for its mess in Ecuador," Luz Trinidad Andrea Cusangua, plaintiff in the Ecuador case, said to CEO Watson.

SOURCE Rainforest Action Network

CONTACT: Kerul Dyer, +1-415-866-0005

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