The building-trades funds faced their toughest opposition to option expensing from Intel Corp.'s directors, who campaigned against it in several communications to shareholders. The shareholder vote was very close, and neither side achieved a majority. Shareholders in May voted 48.53% against and 47.55% in favor of the proposal, with 3.92% abstaining, according to a tally by Intel.
"We believe this is a deeply flawed method of accounting that will diminish the accuracy and clarity of our financial reporting and could cause real economic harm to Intel, our stockholders, and our economy," said Andrew S. Grove, chairman, in a letter to shareholders.
"Intel was the most meaningful vote," Mr. Durkin said. "Intel was the one that fought back the most."
Intel officials didn't return calls for comment.
The resolutions, which are non-binding, urge the company to include the costs of such stock compensation in the income statement to more accurately reflect a company's operational earnings.
In one proxy supporting statement, the Carpenters said the "lack of option expensing can promote excessive use of options in a company's compensation plans, obscure and understate the cost of executive compensation and promote the pursuit of corporate strategies designed to promote short-term stock price, rather than long-term corporate value."
Most recent majority votes for an expensing proposal by one of the group's funds were at Genzyme Corp., FPL Group, Supervalu Inc. and J.C. Penney Co., the first three introduced by Carpenters' funds and the other by a fund of the Laborers' International Union of North America.
"As FASB deliberates to make an accounting rule change and corporate opposition mounts to it, we want to be able to say shareholders at a broad range of companies want options expensed," Mr. Durkin said.
That effort, meant to pressure the FASB, could mean a fight in Congress, as well.
A bill, H.R. 1372, pending in the House subcommittee on capital markets, insurance and government sponsored enterprises, would place more than a three-year moratorium on any FASB rule-making on stock-based compensation.
On June 3, Robert H. Herz, FASB chairman, testified before the House subcommittee, objecting to such intervention by Congress.