Update from Mercy Investment Services (MIS)
During the 2018 shareholder advocacy season, Mercy Investment Services engaged 18 companies on human trafficking and human rights and filed five resolutions. Human trafficking engagements expanded this year to include JetBlue, Marten Transport, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines.
This year, Mercy filed resolutions asking trucking companies Marten Transport and Saia to report on the implementation of a program to address human trafficking internally and in their supply chains. Since a meeting the company requested, Marten has drafted a policy, agreed to train its drivers, had a board discussion on the topic, and shared plans to post the policy on its website as well as inform customers. The company also made contact with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT). Shareholders agreed to withdraw the resolution.
Saia also asked to meet to learn more about the issue. In a subsequent meeting, Saia indicated it has been in contact with TAT; developed an extensive policy that includes a train-the-trainer program for all drivers; will conduct annual refresher courses around National Trafficking Awareness Day; and will include materials in its newsletter and develop a social media strategy. Shareholders withdrew the resolution.
Delta Airlines published an article on human trafficking in its November 2017 in-flight magazine, Sky, and will publish an ad in its magazine highlighting trafficking on a quarterly basis, with the first appearing in January 2018. It also agreed to share training materials with investors. Due to the company’s proximity to Saia Trucking, investors introduced the key staff members to share best practices.
Mercy Investment Services led a dialogue between Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) shareholders and American Airlines (AA) on the company's ongoing efforts to combat human trafficking. Shareholders congratulated AA on the ticket agent who identified two girls as potential victims, and the company provided an update on the implementation of its trafficking awareness training program. At JetBlue, ICCR partners filed a resolution on the trafficking issue. The company shared that is has trained 22,000 crew and 17,000 support staff. It conducts both initial and recurring training on spotting and reporting for all customer-facing crew members, as well as business partners like baggage handlers, cleaners, etc. Its 24-hour hotline, Bluewatch, catalogs all incidents. Filers withdrew the resolution after reviewing the company’s letter outlining its trafficking training and outreach on the issue. Investors also filed a resolution at Spirit Airlines. The company explained it is developing a corporate social responsibility link on its website to add data shared at the meeting. Company spoke of a recent incident and how the training it has instituted worked and a trafficker was intercepted.
Messages to: Pat Zerega - Senior Director Shareholder Advocacy