New York City's five public pension funds want Alberto-Culver Co., Melrose Park, Ill., to implement the MacBride Principles, a set of guidelines to establish justice and equality in the workplace in Northern Ireland. William C. Thompson Jr., city comptroller, submitted a shareholder resolution asking the company to implement the principles. The funds — the $34.4 billion New York City Employees' Retirement System, the $28.5 billion Teachers' Retirement System, the $16.6 billion Police Pension Fund, the $5.6 billion Fire Department Pension Fund and the $1.8 billion Board of Education Retirement System — hold 212,439 shares of Alberto-Culver common stock with a total market value of $9.3 million.
Yvette Jackson, city spokeswoman, confirmed that Alberto-Culver is the fifth company to receive a shareholder resolution from the city pension funds this year. Mr. Thompson already submitted shareholder proposals to Claire's Stores Inc., Raytheon Co., TeleTech Holdings Inc. and Yum Brands Inc. Last year, the funds' resolutions led to calls by Coca-Cola Co., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Marriott International Inc. to urge franchise holders in Northern Ireland to implement the principles and adhere to fair employment standards. The funds have more than $1.4 billion in total investments in those three firms.
The MacBride Principles were created in 1984 by Sean MacBride, founder of Amnesty International, and several associates to serve as guidelines for corporations in Northern Ireland to ensure fair employment standards and foster a diverse work force.