The vast majority of shareholder resolutions are known as “precatory resolutions.” The legal definition “precatory” is referring to a wish or advisory suggestion which does not have the force of a demand or a request which under the law must be obeyed.
In other words, even if these resolutions pass by a wide majority, the company is not required to implement them. This is fundamentally undemocratic and it structurally disadvantages shareowners in the governance of their own company.
In order to assert shareowners’ rights, HII has been developing resolutions that take the form of binding bylaw amendments relating to the issues we care most about. These resolutions are still somewhat rare and therefore tend to receive lower support levels, but because they are legally binding if passed, even bylaw resolutions that receive relatively low vote counts command acute attention of corporate managers.