National Center for Public Policy Research Shareholder Proposal Questions Fast Food Giant's Strategy of Caving to Leftist Demands to the Potential Neglect of Company Investors
Oak Brook, IL / Washington, D.C. - At today's annual meeting of McDonald's shareholders held in Oak Brook, Illinois, a representative of the National Center for Public Policy Research presented a shareholder resolution urging the fast food giant to alter its strategy of catering to leftist activists on wage and other economic issues.
"In recent years, McDonald's has shown a tendency to cave to left-wing pressure campaigns. From waffling on minimum wage issues to deciding which organizations to belong to, McDonald's has a pattern of appeasing the leftist mob," said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. "Doing so is not only detrimental to the company's investors, it is also a poor strategy if McDonald's is simply trying to make the liberal activists go away. Corporations that cave to the left only place a bigger target on their backs - which was borne out at today's meeting. Last year, McDonald's made concessions to the leftist mob and increased the minimum wage for many of its employees. Throughout the year and outside of today's meeting, liberal protestors demanded still higher wages."
At the meeting, Danhof explained that:
At last year's shareholder meeting, the company crowed about artificially increasing the minimum wage for some of its workers. Well the barbarians are back at your gate demanding more - they did not see your concession as a victory for workers - they saw it as a sign of weakness which they can exploit. With less economic understanding than the Socialist Senator from Vermont, they demand wage increases that would shutter most McDonald's locations. You should be screaming this from the rooftops, not relying on pro-free enterprise groups to do it for you.
But there's the rub because when radical liberal activists spread lies about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a well-regarded 40-year-old organization that McDonald's joined because it works to reduce our taxes and to ease the regulatory burden upon our operations, McDonald's was one of the first organizations in the country to cave in and withdraw its membership.
The full text of Danhof's remarks at the McDonald's meeting, as prepared for delivery, can be found here.
Danhof also presented a resolution at last year's McDonald’s shareholder meeting.
Danhof presented today's and 2015's resolution on behalf of National Center Chairman Amy Ridenour, a McDonald's shareholder.
The full text of Ridenour's 2016 proposal, and McDonald's reply, can be found on pages 58-59 of the company's proxy statement, which is available here. The final vote count is not yet available.
"Continuing to prove the main emphasis of our proposal, earlier this month McDonald's ended a nutritional education program after repeated complaints from activists," noted Danhof. "Just last year, McDonald's management vigorously defended these programs when pressured at the shareholder meeting. But once again, the activists have won and McDonald's shareholders are left to wonder how these repeated concessions to liberal agitators are eating into their investments."
The National Center's Free Enterprise Project is the nation's preeminent free-market activist group focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. In 2014-15, National Center representatives participated in 69 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers' rights and many other important public policy issues. Today's McDonald's meeting marks its fifteenth shareholder meeting of 2016.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter.