AFSCME Employee Pension Plan, Washington, filed binding proxy access proposals at American International Group and Eastman Kodak Co. that, if adopted, would give investors the right to nominate company directors. The proposals are among 19 resolutions on five issues the AFSCME fund filed at companies.
"AFSCME plan proposals are aimed at giving shareholders the voice they have been denied by insisting that failed boards be more responsive to investors," according to a statement by Gerald W. McEntee, chairman of the $600 million plan of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "Until the SEC proposes a workable proxy access rule that is fair to investors, the plan will push for the right to nominate directors, company by company."
Joe Norton, spokesman, said officials at AIG, New York, wouldn't comment. Representatives of Eastman Kodak, Rochester, N.Y., couldn't be reached.
The AFSCME fund's proposals include a binding bylaw amendment at Maytag Corp., Newton, Iowa, to require the creation of a board committee that would meet with shareholder proponents pursuant to any unimplemented majority vote on shareholder proposals. The Maytag board has ignored repeated majority votes on shareholder proposals to declassify the board, the statement said. Karen Lynn, Maytag spokeswoman, said the board will have to examine the proposal before making a comment.
The fund also filed non-binding proposals to declassify the boards of Siebel Systems Inc., San Mateo, Calif., and Ingersoll-Rand Co. Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda. Other non-binding proposals include urging boards to place a holding period on stock sales after option exercises at Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Adobe Systems Inc., San Jose; and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., Union, N.J. It also filed proposals to link the vesting of restricted stock awards to performance goals at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., New York; AT&T Corp., Bedminster, N.J.; and Home Depot Inc., Atlanta.
The fund filed a proposal to rescind a poison pill at Bank of New York Co. Inc., New York, where such a proposal received a majority vote last year. It also filed a similar proposal at ADC Telecommunications Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn.