General Electric in South Africa: Partners in Progress or Partners in Apartheid
by Jennifer Davis, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
New York, New York, United States
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
The 1977 resolution presented to General Electric, sponsored by church stockholders, requests that the Board of Directors adopt a policy that GE and any of its subsidiaries "shall cease further investment " and "terminate its present operations " in South Africa, until the South African Government has committed itself to ending apartheid and has taken meaningful steps toward the achievement of full political, legal and social rights for the majority population. GE opposed the resolution. This document includes an analysis of GE’s operations in South Africa. GE pointed to its recently-opened plant in the Bophuthatswana bantustan, citing this as a success for its policy of upgrading blacks into better jobs. Contents: The Context • The Resolution • General Electric Response • A Paucity of Information • Wage Scales - Below the Poverty Datum Line • Creating More and Better Jobs • No Right to Trade Unions • Weighed in the Balance… • Legitimizing Black Dispossession • What Price the Nuclear Bomb? • Withdrawal - Effective Action or Empty Gesture? • Do Blacks Gain from Economic Progress? • The Time to Withdraw is Now
Used by permission of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.