Franklin Research and Development Corp. and Service Employees International Union Master Trust have turned up the heat on the Nigerian military junta to release oil union leaders Frank Kokori and Milton Dabibi.
The two organizations have decided to sponsor a shareholder resolution on the Nigerian issue to be voted on May 14 at the annual shareholders' meeting of Mobil Corp.
Franklin Research in Boston as well as several religious investor groups also sought to have the issue brought up at Chevron Corp.'s upcoming annual meeting.
However, Chevron obtained approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to omit the resolution, said Simon Billenness, senior analyst with Franklin Research.
Mobil is being targeted because it is in direct partnership with the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Co. and has made payments including royalties, fees and taxes to the military junta, said Mr. Billenness.
In a prepared statement, Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, said, "Reports from Nigeria indicate (Messrs. Kokori and Dabib) are very sick and may die in jail.
"Mobil Corp. has a grave responsibility to use its influence with the Nigerian government to seek the release of the duly elected leaders of its Nigerian employees."