Shareholders of Dillard's Inc., Little Rock, Ark., will vote Saturday on a proposal co-sponsored by the five New York City retirement funds, urging the company to adopt an independently monitored code of conduct for its international suppliers based on International Labor Organization and United Nations standards.
The $33 billion New York City Employees' Retirement System, the $26 billion Teachers' Retirement System, the $15 billion Police Pension Fund, the $5 billion Fire Department Pension Fund and the $1.7 billion Board of Education Retirement System co-sponsored the proposal. Together the funds own 242,386 Dillard's shares.
Other co-sponsors include Christian Brothers Investment Services and Amalgamated Bank's LongView Collective Investment Fund. The other co-sponsors own a total of 82,000 Dillard's shares.
Corporate "violations of human rights in these overseas operations can lead to negative publicity, public protests and a loss of consumer confidence which can have a negative impact on shareholder value," the proposal says.
Dillard's board opposes the proposal. "The company believes that it has already addressed the concerns raised in the proposal without further expenditure of valuable time and funds," according to a statement.