New York City's five public pension funds submitted shareholder resolutions to five companies, asking them to adopt the MacBride Principles, promoting workplace justice and equality, to their operations in Northern Ireland. The resolutions were submitted to Raytheon Co., Waltham, Mass.; Crane Co., Stamford, Conn.; Yum Brands Inc., Louisville, Ky.; TeleTech Holdings Inc., Englewood, Colo.; and Claire's Stores Inc., Pembroke Pines, Fla.
"It is critical that in the coming years we vigorously continue to encourage companies to adopt an aggressive affirmative-action policy," said New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., trustee of four of the funds.
The New York City funds are the $31 billion Employees' Retirement System, $23 billion Teachers' Retirement System, $14 billion Police Pension Fund, $5 billion Fire Pension Fund and $5 billion Board of Education Retirement System. The funds have a total of $122 million invested in the companies.
Marisa F. Jacobs, vice president of corporate communications and investor relations at Claire's Stores, said the company already has policies that prohibit any form of discrimination in Northern Ireland and complies with anti-discrimination laws. A similar shareholder proposal by some of the New York City pension funds was overwhelmingly defeated last year, she said.
Pamela J.S. Styles, director, investor relations and corporate communications at Crane, said the pension funds missed the filing deadline and so the resolution won't appear in the proxy statement. She said Crane obeys anti-discrimination laws in Northern Ireland. Similar resolutions have been overwhelmingly defeated, Ms Styles said.
Representatives of the other three companies couldn't be reached for comment.