MacBride Principles

The MacBride Principles – consistant en nine fair employment principles – are a corporate code of conduct for United States companies doing business in Northern Ireland and Have Become the standard for all US Congressional aid to, or for economic dealings with, Northern Ireland. They were promoted by Seán McManus and the Irish National Caucus , and by John Finucanne and the American Irish Political Education Committee (PEC), and were drafted by Nobel laureate Seán MacBride (founding member of Amnesty International ), and were launched in November 1984 . [1]

The principles

  1. Increasing the representation of individuals from under-represented religious groups in the workforce including managerial, supervisory, administrative, clerical and technical jobs.
  2. Adequate security for the protection of minority employees both at the workplace and while traveling.
  3. The banning of provocative religious or political emblems at the workplace.
  4. All job openings should be advertised and special recruitment efforts should be made to attract applicants from under-represented religious groups.
  5. Lay-off, recall, and termination procedures.
  6. The abolition of job reservations, apprenticeship restrictions and differential employment criteria, which discriminates on the basis of religious or ethnic origin.
  7. The development of training programs that will prepare substantial numbers of current jobs for skilled jobs, including the expansion of existing programs and the creation of new programs to train, upgrade, and improve the skills of minority employees.
  8. The establishment of procedures to assess, identify, and promote the employment of minorities.
  9. The appointment of a senior management staff member to oversee the company’s affirmative action efforts and the setting up of forward-looking affirmative action principles.

In addition to the above, each signatory to the principles is required to report annually to an independent monitoring agency on its progress in the implementation of these principles.

Some of the principles are seen as unrealistic and impracticable, such as protection of employees on their way to and from work. In addition, they are perceived to increase their investment in Northern Ireland by increasing the economic problems of the province. [2] No cases were mentioned where a specific American investment had led to discrimination.

There was acceptance, but also a lack of great enthusiasm, by the Government of the Republic of Ireland , and by moderate nationalists in Northern Ireland, among the Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP), as the principles of developing European labor law provisions. In 1987 the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Lenihan was quoted as following the McBride Principles: “The Government’s policy is to press for action by the British Government on measures in the short and medium term …” . [3] He later wrote in 1989 “The Government’s view is that there is nothing objectionable in the MacBride principles”. [4]

Parallel British reforms

Main article: United Kingdom labor law

Within Northern Ireland Itself, HAD Reforms Begun partner after the British government suspended the Parliament of Northern Ireland in March 1972 starting with the Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1976. [5] Reviews This was further Top Amended in 1989. [6] In 1999 the Fair Employment and Treatment Order 1998 became law.

Since then, the Fair Employment Commission for Northern Ireland , now a part of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland , has a non-governmental purpose. The MacBride Principles of Speeding in the 1980s, but they are debatable whether they are significantly more important than 1989. In a 2003 report the Irish National Caucus and to be able to work in the managerial position, and other groups, and calling for affirmative action policies. [7]


The MacBride Campaign is conducted on a three-fold level:

  1. Federal – The MacBride Principles Became The Law Of The US in October 1998. The US House and Senate Passed The MacBride Principles-As Part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1999-and President Clinton’s signed them into law. The MacBride law mandates that recipients of US contributions to the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) must be in compliance with the MacBride Principles. (The US has been contributing $ 19.6 million per year since 1986 to the IFI.)
  2. State and Cities – Millions of dollars in state and city pension funds are invested in American corporations doing business in Northern Ireland. The MacBride Campaign lobbies to have legislation passed to them in the future, only in that endorse the Principles (again, note, not divestment or disinvestments). This is the first step. The second step – one of the MacBride Principles has passed a lawsuit in the United States. .
  3. Shareholder Resolutions – The Campaign works to have shareholders and pass resolutions to the Principles.


The MacBride Principles have been passed in the following 18 US states:

Connecticut , Florida , Illinois , Maine , Massachusetts , Michigan , Minnesota , Kentucky , Missouri , Nebraska , New Hampshire , New Jersey , New York , Pennsylvania , Rhode Island , Texas , Vermont and California .

They have been passed over by cities, and are pending in many more. The following organizations or individuals also endorsed them:

  • American Irish Political Education Committee
  • The Reverend Jesse Jackson
  • Randall Robinson of TransAfrica, the group that sponsored Nelson Mandela’s visit to the United States
  • Former New York State Governor George Pataki
  • Former New York State Governor Mario Cuomo
  • Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
  • Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins
  • Former Mayor Raymond Flynn (and former Ambassador to the Vatican)
  • The AFL-CIO
  • The National Council of Churches
  • The American Baptist Convention
  • The Episcopal Church
  • The Lutheran Pension Board
  • The United Church of Christ
  • The United Methodist Church
  • some American Roman Catholic bishops
  • Virtually all Irish-American organizations.


  1. Jump up^ Launch date link accessed August 2009
  2. Jump up^ Cowley, Martin, “Hume Attacks SF Cynicism on MacBride Principles”, Irish Times, 24. 9. 1987, p. 7.
  3. Jump up^ “Archived copy” . Archived from the original on 2011-06-09 . Retrieved 2008-10-15 .
  4. Jump up^ [ permanent dead link ]
  5. Jump up^ [Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1976]
  6. Jump up^ [Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1989]
  7. Jump up^ INC report 2003

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