Now it is our turn to be heard – read on…
By Cathy Kristofferson, May 29, 2013
Once again today, as they have done for the past 14 consecutive years, ExxonMobil shareholders voted down non-discrimination protections for the company’s LGBT employees. This year the vote was 81-19%, the lowest vote for non-discrimination in all those years.
The ex-Mobil LGBT employees once had protections, including domestic partner benefits, but those were all stripped away when the company merged with Exxon in 1999.
Although I find little value in the Human Rights Campaign’s much maligned Corporate Equity Score, I do find it totally humorous that they gave ExxonMobil a negative 25 score last year.
Refusal to grant non-discrimination protections can be seen as nothing but pure discrimination, as the company made forty-four BILLION dollars in profit last year. They just missed the all-time annual earnings record for any company – their own in 2008 – so clearly too high a cost cannot be the reason.
In addition to their shareholders consistently voting against LGBT protections, the company falsely advertises on its website that it has protections in place. Resource Center Dallas CEO Cece Cox said in a statement: “The company continues to incorrectly assert that it provides employment protections and an equitable workplace for its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees.” Cox has tried to get the misleading claims corrected going so far as to meet with vice presidents at their global headquarters but the company has not taken action.
ExxonMobil should now, if they weren’t before, become the poster child for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), awaiting attention in Congress along with the Executive Order to extend workplace protections to all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people employed by federal contractors collecting dust for a year now at the White House both of which we have written about here on OBLOGDEE.
ExxonMobil is one of the government’s top 100 contractors raking in billions of taxpayer dollars in federal contracts each year. The Executive Order protecting government contractors that President Obama promised to sign while campaigning back in 2008, which LGBT activists are still waiting for, would provide the much needed non-discrimination protections.
Cox, of the Resource Center Dallas, noted that “Exxon says it would comply with an executive order mandating LGBT employment protections for federal contractors if and/or when one is issued, and it is looking more and more likely that will be the only way to get the company to treat all of its employees equitably.”
ExxonMobil has about 90,000 direct employees, not counting unknown numbers of temporary employees, contractors, etc., so given somewhere between 3-10% being gay that would be at least 2,700 to 9,000 employees who could be protected if only President Obama could hoist that Executive Order pen.
GetEQUAL TX activist C.D. Kirven protesting outside today’s shareholder meeting said:
“I think if the Obama administration decides to get a backbone and stand up for all families and pass an all- inclusive ENDA then I think they’ll be forced to. This kind of stuff is about survival. Health benefits is about survival and not being fired is about survival.”
Last week, the national group Freedom to Work filed suit against ExxonMobil alleging the company discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation in its hiring practices in Illinois. This followed a testing process where they submitted ‘test’ resumes of very qualified LGBT applicants as well as a test resume of a lesser qualified non-LGBT applicants. And the result- only the non-LGBT applicant received positive feedback.
Between their many years of disdainful record towards the LGBT community and that whole Exxon Valdez Alaska debacle I don’t know who among us still patronize their pumps, but if you do PLEASE STOP.
And please do something to join in the call for federal employment non-discrimination protections.
There are plenty of ways to contribute –
- signing a petition – http://youpower.democracyforamerica.com/petitions/stop-spending-taxpayer-money-on-discrimination
- calling your legislators,
- joining an action,
- and now refraining from buying ExxonMobil products!
- LGBT Job Protections Needs Activist Uprising (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- The Special Rights Battleground of ENDA and Immigration Reform (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Understanding those very grave concerns about ENDA’s religious exemption (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- The Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 will be introduced with problems (oblogdeeoblogda.me)