US union pension fund files 25 proposals targeting “too big to fail” banks and imperial CEOs

Proxy proposals from AFSCME Employees Pension Plan

The US labour union pension fund the AFSCME Employees Pension Plan has filed 25 shareholder proposals at some of the largest companies in the country for the forthcoming annual meeting season.
The $850m (€635m) fund for the 1.6m-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says the proposals are designed to increase corporate management’s accountability and transparency – and better align the interests of management and shareholders.
Among the companies are household names such as Bank of America, Chevron, Citigroup, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, McDonald’s, Morgan Stanley and Wal-Mart.
“Business as usual in the corporate boardroom needs to end,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders, who also chairs the AFSCME Plan’s Pension Committee. “These proposals will bring greater transparency and accountability when boards of directors fail to properly represent shareholders’ best interests,” added Saunders.The fund has requested “too big to fail” reviews at Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, while board diversity proposals have been tabled at Leucadia National and Precision Castparts.
The fund has also put forward resolutions on human rights at Caterpillar, Halliburton and McDonald’s.
And a series of companies – Freeport-McMoRan, GE, J&J, Lazard, Lockheed Martin, Nabors, Peabody, QEP Resources, Target, Vulcan Materials and Wal-Mart – are facing an AGM resolution on an independent chairman.
Motions on political lobbying have been tabled at Abbott Laboratories, Chevron, Northrop Grumman, Union Pacific and Verizon.

Elsewhere, the $157.8bn California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has said it will vote its 5.3m shares against executive pay and the re-election of chairman and CEO Robert Iger at Walt Disney’s AGM on March 6.
“CalSTRS continues to be troubled by the company’s decision to recombine its board chair and chief executive officer positions and the executive pay structures at Disney,” CalSTRS said.