Caterpillar Inc. shareholders today defeated a proposal calling for a majority vote for elections of directors to the board.
The vote was 62% to 38%, according to preliminary tally from the annual meeting provided by Jim Dugan, a spokesman for the Peoria, Ill., company.
The proposal was the first of 68 majority-vote proposals expected to be decided this year. They were introduced by the $527 million United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Pension Fund, Washington, and other allied building trades pension funds. The pension fund group withdrew similar majority-vote proposals from 13 other companies after corporate officials agreed to discuss the implications of the proposals in the coming months.
Among other proposals, Caterpillar shareholders voted 51% to 49% in favor of requiring shareholder approval of any poison pill anti-takeover measure.
"The board will take this under advisement and expects to make an announcement in the coming months," Mr. Dugan said.
Last year, shareholders voted 55% in favor of the poison pill proposal. Support ranged from 48% to 50.8% in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.