New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson is requesting that 15 companies adopt human rights policies that treat all employees equally in all offices. Mr. Thompson made the request on behalf of the $80 billion New York City Retirement Systems. "Issues such as child labor and the right to form and join a union have long been regulated in this country. There is no reason why these U.S.-based companies should not implement the same basic human rights in their overseas operations. In fact, refusing to adopt these principles allows for reputation risk and potential losses for investors," Mr. Thompson said in a written statement.
The companies include Best Buy Co. Inc.; Kimberly Clark Corp.; Maytag Corp.; Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.; E.I. du Pont De Nemours and Co.; C.R. Bard Inc.; Cooper Industries Ltd.; Fluor Corp.; and Primus Telecommunications Group Inc. The city's five pension systems own a combined $380 million in shares of those companies.