New York City's pension funds are raising their activism for the 1999 proxy season, according to the Council of Institutional Investors. The Council reports that four of the five employee funds (the exception is the New York City Board of Education fund) have filed, or plan to file, shareholder resolutions at 31 companies, up from 27 in 1998.
Thirteen of the resolutions are resubmissions from 1998. The funds also have sent letters about the MacBride Principles (involving fair employment by companies with operations in Northern Ireland) to three other companies - Estee Lauder; NTL Inc.; and Toys R Us.
Eight of the firms receiving resolutions - Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; Fleming Cos.; Great Lakes Chemical Corp.; Kmart Corp.; Mallinckrodt Inc.; Reebok International Ltd.; Silicon Graphics; and Tenneco Inc. - have been on the council's Focus List of underperforming companies in the past two years.