Protestors to March on Hershey’s Shareholder Meeting – 5/1/12

Protestors to March on Hershey’s Shareholder Meeting

Over 100 community, labor, human rights leaders decry Hershey’s greed

HARRISBURG, PA—On May 1, 2012, over 100 community, labor, and human rights leaders will march on Hershey’s annual shareholder meeting to condemn the company as an icon of corporate greed. The march—led by the National Guestworker Alliance, SEIU, and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation—is one of a nationwide series of nonviolent direct actions against corporate greed this spring under the banner of 99% Power.

Last summer, hundreds of student guestworkers escaped captive labor at the Hershey’s chocolate packing plant. They exposed the depth of Hershey’s corporate greed: how the company destroyed hundreds of permanent, living-wage jobs and subcontracted to replace them with temporary, sub-minimum wage jobs for exploitable guestworkers.

While the student guestworkers exposed Hershey’s labor abuses, human rights groups exposed Hershey’s use of child labor in Africa, and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation exposed illegal discrimination by the Milton Hershey School against a 13-year-old HIV-positive boy.

“Hershey’s used to be iconic American brand. But the company’s violation of the most basic labor, civil, and human rights—from Central Pennsylvania to Central Africa—have turned it into an icon of corporate greed,” said NGA Lead Organizer Jacob Horwitz.

“Ordinary Pennsylvanians are joining with national leaders to demand that Hershey’s abandon the low road of greed and exploitation, and take the high road of true corporate social responsibility,” Horwitz said.

The leader’s demands are that Hershey’s:

  1. create dignified, living wage jobs for local workers;
  2. sign the NGA’s Worker Dignity Protocols to end exploitation of guestworkers; and
  3. pledge an immediate end to discriminatory practices and abuses that affect children at both the Hershey School and the Hershey family of companies.

The march takes place amid a wave of grassroots protests by the 99% Power coalition, which are converging on the shareholder meetings of America’s greediest, most destructive corporations, including Hershey’s, Walmart, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.

WHAT: March on Hershey’s shareholder meeting

WHO: Over 100 community, labor, and civil rights leaders

WHEN: May 1, 2012, 9:30 a.m. ET

WHERE: Intersection of Park Blvd/Route 39 & Boathouse Rd in Hershey, PA, marching to Giant Center, 550 Hersheypark Dr.

CONTACTS: Stephen Boykewich, stephen@guestworkeralliance.org, 718-791-9162

Mitchell Troutman, mitchell.troutman@gmail.com, 570-483-8824

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