BECTON DICKINSON (N.J.)
1997 SHAREHOLDER RESOLUTION
REPORT ON OPERATIONS IN MEXICO
The Congregation of Divine Providence, P.O. Box 197, Helotes,
Texas 78023, owner of 400 shares of Common Stock, has informed
the Company that it plans to present the following resolution at
"We believe U.S. corporations operating in Mexico should
practice fundamental principles of safe environmental practices,
establish adequate health and safety standards and promote a fair
and dignified quality of life for workers and their communities."
"Research indicates many U.S. corporations with maquiladoras
and other Mexican operations are harming workers and their
families through use of solvents and other chemicals without
proper safeguards and polluting both sides of the U.S.-Mexico
border through improper disposal of hazardous wastes."
"Many maquiladoras do not provide adequate health and safety
practices, a fair standard of living with an adequate wage for
employees or respect for employee rights. For example, many U.S.
companies pay a minimum wage that does not meet the basic
subsistence needs of an employee and their family."
"The shareholders request the Board of Directors to provide
a comprehensive report describing our Company's maquiladora
operations in Mexico. The report should be available to
shareholders on request, may omit confidential information and be
prepared at reasonable cost."
The shareholders' statement in support of the resolution is as
"NAFTA, the North America Free Trade Agreement, has already
stimulated investment along the border and in Mexico. We believe
the growth of plants known as maquiladoras on the border enables
some U.S. corporations to use this system as a means to increase
profits and productivity by paying minimal compensation to
employees and by avoiding health, safety and environmental
regulations. To change this trend, companies which own
maquiladoras must apply high standards. The report requested will
illustrate that our company is serious about the welfare of its
employees and the environment."
"We hope this report will include:
1. Operating policies for maquiladora plants.
2. Toxic chemical releases into air, water and land and
the environmental technologies used to control these amounts and
dispose of the wastes.
3. Toxic chemicals used in facilities and methods by
which employees are informed about and protected against adverse
4. Frequency and extent of plant inspections by
5. Information, as is available under U.S. Right to Know
provisions, provided to employees and communities on chemicals
used in our plants.
6. Minimum and average wages, profit sharing and other
compensation paid to employees and how wages compare with local
cost of living. If applicable, discuss employee use of company
7. Ways by which employee rights, such as the right to
organize, are protected and sexual harassment is prevented.
8. Actions taken to improve local infrastructure e.g.,
housing, potable water, child care, sewers, upgrading management
and mechanical skills of workers, transfer of technology."
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS RECOMMENDS A VOTE AGAINST PROPOSAL 4.
The Company's policies call for fair and competitive wage and
benefit packages, along with safe workplaces, for all of its
employees worldwide and require strict compliance with all
applicable health, safety and environmental laws and regulations.
The Company closely adheres to and enforces these policies
on a global basis, including in its operations in Mexico.
Consistent with the Company's policies and practices, the
May/June 1996 issue of Business Ethics magazine published a
survey that ranked Becton Dickinson ninth among the one hundred
most socially responsible public companies identified. The
workers at our facility in Nogales, Mexico are valued members of
the Becton Dickinson worldwide team of employees and, as such,
are treated fairly with the same consideration as are other
employees of the Company, both in the United States and in other
parts of the world. Further, the Company's commitment to its
employees and their families extends beyond them, to their
communities. In Nogales, for example, the Company actively
supports many local organizations, including the Red Cross, a
local community college and several orphanages, and participates
in an innovative housing subsidy program to assist its employees
to purchase their first homes.
In summary, the Board is of the opinion that the Company's
activities in Mexico, where the Company has had a substantial
presence for over 40 years, are conducted in a manner that
addresses the concerns raised by this proposal and are consistent
with and reflect the commitment of the Company to its worldwide
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