Ford Boycott Called Off

Posted By: March 29, 2013

Washington, D.C., March 13, 1998 — Because Ford has agreed to implement the MacBride Principles, the Irish National Caucus, the Capitol Hill-based Irish lobby, has called off its Boycott. “The purpose of the Boycott was to force Ford to comply with the MacBride

Principles,” said Fr. Sean McManus, Caucus President. “Our objective has been achieved, so, naturally, the Ford Boycott ends.”

The Comptroller of New York City, Alan Hevesi, announced that he, William Kelly, Director of International Government Affairs of Ford Motor Company, and Sister Regina Murphy of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility had entered into an agreement whereby Ford “agreed to take all lawful measures to implement the fair employment standards embodied in the MacBride Principles.”

“I congratulate Comptroller Hevesi and all concerned in reaching this agreement with Ford,” said Fr. Sean McManus. “I never doubted for one moment that Ford would sooner or later have to accept the MacBride Principles. It was just a matter of keeping up the pressure on them.”

The agreement of Ford indicates how successful the Caucus Boycott has been, which surprised Ford executives. George E. Trainor — a former Director of International Public Affairs at Ford — wrote that “I am astonished at the number of Irish-Americans who have given Ford Motor Company a summary court martial on this issue, tried, convicted, and sentenced us . . .”

One important moment in the Boycott came when Fr. McManus testified before the House International Relations Committee on March 13, 1997. He used Ford Motor Company as a prime example of ongoing discrimination in Northern Ireland. Fr. McManus stated,

“Obviously Ford was shaken to be severely criticized before the House International Relations Committee. What multinational company wouldn’t be concerned about being attacked before this committee?”

“While we are delighted that Ford has signed the agreement, we will continue to monitor their record on fair employment. Over the years, the Caucus has built up a very extensive file on Ford,” Fr. McManus concluded.

The Irish National Caucus initiated and launched the MacBride Principles in 1984. They are a set of nine Principles designed to stop U.S. companies from subsidizing U.S.

discrimination in Northern Ireland. Ford becomes the 42nd U.S. company to agree to comply with the MacBride Principles.