US - The New York City Pension Funds have filed shareholder resolutions urging four companies to ensure their overseas suppliers respect workers' human rights.
City comptroller William Thompson filed the resolutions on behalf of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the Teachers’ Retirement System of New York City, the New York City Police Department Pension Fund, the New York City Fire Department Pension Fund, and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System.
The five funds resubmitted the proposal to Texas-based Kimberly Clark, in which the funds hold more than 1.5 million shares valued at approximately US$98m, and to New Jersey-based Bed, Bath and Beyond, in which the funds hold 789,630 shares worth more than $31.6m.
The five funds also submitted the proposal for the first time, to Philadelphia-based retailer Urban Outfitters, in which the funds hold 324,649 shares of the company’s common stock valued at approximately $7.5m.
“Whether companies are operating in the United States or abroad, they should have to abide by basic human rights standards,” comptroller Thompson said.
“Failing to do so could not only adversely affect workers by allowing oppressive workplace conditions, but also, could prompt a decline in share value which would adversely affect shareholders.”
NYCERS, TRS and Fire also resubmitted a similar proposal to Texas-based Cooper Industries; and NYCERS resubmitted a similar proposal to Michigan-based Lear Corporation, which was supported by 49.8% of the shares at the company’s 2006 annual meeting.
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