Responding to shareholder pressure, Chevron to exit Myanmar over human rights abuses

The Unitarian Universalist Association, along with other investors and members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, recently co-filed a shareholder resolution with Chevron (PDF) triggered by human rights abuses in Myanmar. The lead filer of the resolution is the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Today, Chevron, along with its partner Total, the French oil giant, announced that they would be leaving the country.

In February 2021, Myanmar’s military mounted a coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of the country. Since the takeover, the military has cracked down brutally against dissent, abducting young men and boys, killing health care workers and torturing prisoners. Revenues from Chevron’s natural gas business have helped to fund the military regime.

In December, the Teamsters, UUA and other investors filed a resolution asking the company to consider adopting a policy of not doing business with governments that are complicit in genocide and/or crimes against humanity. In meetings following the filing, shareholders urged the company to cut off payments to the illegitimate government. Shareholders will vote on the resolution at Chevron’s annual general meeting later this year.

Simon Billenness, director of the Campaign for a New Myanmar, said this: “Clearly, both oil companies felt the pressure from the Blood Money Campaign and from shareholders. The investor group should be proud to be a part of this successful movement.” Simon served on the UUA’s Socially Responsible Investing Committee for eight years.

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