Activist Diane Wilson of CODEPINK talks to reporters today at a press conference before the Formosa Plastics Corporation's Annual Shareholders Meeting in Taipei. PAN Hansheng, Co convener of the Green Party Taiwan and lawyer Robin Winkler of Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association look on.
Diane Wilson, co founder of Codepink the US activist organization, and a fourth generation shrimper from the Texas Gulf Coast was ejected from the annual shareholders meeting of the Taiwan PVC giant Formosa Plastics Corporation today. After the meeting she said she was denied an opportunity to present Chairman LI Chih-tsun, members of the Wang Family and the executive management of Formosa Plastics with the Black Planet Award from the German foundation “ethecon”. The 2009 award was given to Formosa Plastics et al. for the dubious distinction of having the worst environmental and social record of all companies in the world.
Diane Wilson, who has been visiting Taiwan worker and environmental justice groups during the past week was supported by about twenty five activists in her action. About a dozen of the activists had proxies or shareholder status, and Diane, who also had a proxy was told that her proxy had not been validated in accordance with new regulations. Observers of the companies screening procedures observed numerous irregularities, so were somewhat surprised that such a hostile attitude was taken towards Diane and others who accompanied her.
Robin Winkler, an American born Taiwanese and founder of Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, pointed out that the meeting should be open to all “stakeholders” rather than just shareholders, particularly those such as Diane Wilson who are bringing a very important message for the company. The shareholders should have the right to know.
The group of “green shareholders” forced their way into the meeting, the security for which Formosa Plastics was reported to have said was the strictest in 56 years of shareholder meetings. Security personnel subsequently forcibly ejected Diane Wilson, her lawyer Severia Lu, and Robin Winkler from the meeting.
The green shareholders remaining in the meeting included PAN Hansheng, Co convener of the Green Party Taiwan, objected to the second item on the agenda pertaining to the distribution of profits. He pointed out that the company faced huge potential exposure due to the recent disclosures of groundwater contamination at the Renwu PVC Plant in southern Taiwan, and the potential consequences (carbon tax and a pending carbon reduction law) for their CO2 emissions (some 27% of Taiwan's total), and pending legal and financial exposure for their failure to behave in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
Regarding the Black Planet Award and concerns over their environmental and social record, Formosa had issued several press releases prior to the meeting. However attendees in the meeting noticed a number of discrepancies between the contents of those press releases and the statements of Chairman Li made during the meeting – in particular their knowing failure to disclose toxic leaks in the Renwu PVC Plant Representatives of several groups stated they will be following up with Taiwan's corporate and securities authorities.
The environmental groups speaking during the meeting also emphasized that there must be no sacrifice of workers rights in order to live up to the company's environmental responsibilities and called for health tests to be conducted on all current and former workers.
Environmental groups were also happy to have media coverage of their objections to Formosa's practices with forty to fifty cameras (television, video, and still) and hourly reporting from the major networks starting from 1530, while the meeting was still in progress.
There was a strong police and security presence at the meeting.
Green shareholders and stakeholders sitting in during today's Formosa Plastics Annual Shareholders Meeting in Taipei. Many were later forcibly removed from the meeting.
Green shareholders and stakeholders press conference before the Formosa Plastics Corporation's Annual Shareholders Meeting in Taipei.
The Shame FPG ad from the recent bus ad campaign that was silenced when FPG threatened to sue bus companies.
Security personnel at today's meeting for which Formosa Plastics was reported to have said was the strictest in 56 years of shareholder meetings.
Black Planet Award for FPG.
Ethecon Black Planet Award:- Dossier on FPG
Click to view the open letter to the Formosa Plastics Group.
Breaking News: Greens storm the Formosa Plastics Annual Shareholders Meeting to present the Black Planet Award
Green Groups Storm Formosa Plastics Corporation at Annual Shareholders Meeting - Taiwan's Newspapers Mum