Sunday, April 20, 2003

Doing some research into landmine producers I came across a delightful American company called Alliant Techsystems, based in Minnesota.

Alliant Techsystems (ATK) says it is "a $2.1 billion aerospace and defense company with leading positions in propulsion, composite structures, munitions, and precision capabilities."

On its website, ATK publishes its values statement, "developed," it says, " by employees across the company to help capture the essence of the spirit that drives our work performance."

The values are:

Always Ethical
We are committed to conducting business in an ethically and socially responsible manner. Our constituents — customers, shareholders, colleagues, and communities — can depend on us to deliver what we forecast, what we predict, and what we promise.

Target Excellence
We are dedicated to excellence and continuous improvement in ourselves and our products, processes, technologies, and systems — quality in everything we do.

Customer Satisfaction
We provide value to our customers by helping them achieve 100-percent mission success.

Shareholder Value
We make ATK our business by acting, thinking, and making decisions as owners. We pursue efficiencies to be competitive and promote financial growth for employees and shareholders.

Key on Employees
Employee performance is the driving force behind our business success. As the most valuable of company assets, employees are recognized and rewarded for their intellect, creativity, and contributions to our success.

Our first consideration is the safety of our employees. We are committed to ensuring that our facilities are in order, procedures are accurate, employees are trained, and attitudes are solid for safety.

We value and respect all people for who they are, for their differing opinions and viewpoints, for the way they think, and for the way they do things. Our goal is to build on the strengths of our differences.

Corporate Citizenship
It is our duty and privilege to invest and volunteer in the communities in which we live and do business. We are committed to protecting the environment in all of our business activities.

One of the products produced by ATK is the Volcano, a "modular mine delivery system for dispensing of antitank mines from a variety of five-ton dump and cargo trucks, the UH-60 helicopter, and the M548A1 tracked cargo carrier."

According to the Minnesota Medical Association, ATK is the major producer of landmines in the United States.

In a Human Rights Watch Report, ATK was identified as a "recalcitrant producer," one of 30 US companies which rejected HRW's humanitarian appeal to forego any future production of antipersonnel mine components. HRW says that "Alliant was awarded DoD antipersonnel and antitank landmine production contracts worth $336 million in 1985-95; its Wisconsin subsidiary Accudyne Corp. was awarded similar contracts worth $150 million in 1985-95; and its New Jersey subsidiary Ferrulmatic was awarded a $72,000 contract in 1985 for the M128 Volcano landmine dispenser."

The CEO of ATK insisted some years ago that "It is irresponsible to imply in any way that companies such as Alliant Techsystems have contributed to the world's landmine problems. To do so wrongly maligns responsible U.S. citizens, and diverts resources that could be applied toward stigmatizing the governments that violate international law."

On April 2nd, Kaveh Golestan was killed in Northern Iraq by an anti-tank mine of unknown origin. On the same day, shares in ATK closed at $53.08.

Read more at Minnesota Alliant Action.

Discuss Northern Iraq -- and Beyond


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