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Nader Takes On General Motors

            A Classic: Nader Takes on General Motors.
             When Ralph Nader began his political career as a consumer activist in the early 1960's, taking on a huge opponent like General Motors was just what he had in mind. In 1965, Nader wrote "Unsafe at Any Speed- which criticizes the auto industry and in particular condemned the early Corvair autos built by GM. Soon after publication, GM's legal department opened an investigation on Nader's private life. Nader saw this as a form of harassment invading his right to privacy and eventually brought suit. Although the company settled out of court for $425,000 and apologized, they would soon find Nader back again. .
             Prior to the settlement, Nader had established an organization of young lawyers called the Project on Corporate Responsibility. Nader, as spokesman, announced that his project's endeavor would be directed at "the establishment of enduring access to corporate information, effective voice for affected social and individual interests, and thorough remedy against unjust treatment."".
             In 1970, Nader approached GM again in an attempt to make changes in General Motors' investor relations. Nader and his group announced "Campaign GM- would "seek to persuade GM's shareholders to demand stronger public interest' efforts by GM, such as reducing air and water pollution and making safer cars."" The main objective of Campaign GM was to seek public and private support, culminating at GM's annual meeting of shareholders with three proposals offered as resolutions. .
             Proposal 1 would add three public representatives to GM's twenty-four member board.
             Proposal 2 would create a Committee for Corporate Responsibility, with representatives from the company and from conservationist, union, civil rights, consumer and relations groups.
             Proposal 3 would deal with the amending of the company's corporate character to specify public interest requirements.
             After the Securities and Exchange Commission ruled on the proposals, only two had been left standing with one already amended.

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