Verizon Communications Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. are targets of a shareholder proposal by the $901 million Massachusetts Laborers Pension Fund, Burlington, calling on the companies to each disclose their CEO succession-planning policy and add a commitment to seek feedback annually about the policy from long-term investors, according to Jacob Hay, spokesman for the Laborers International Union of North America, Washington. The international unions corporate affairs department advised the Massachusetts fund on the proposal, Mr. Hay said.
Officials at New York-based Verizon asked the SEC for permission to exclude the proposal from its proxy statement, said Robert A. Varettoni, executive director-media relations at Verizon. The request is pending, he said. Verizons annual meeting is May 1. Executives at Merrill Lynch, New York, declined to comment, said spokesman Mark Herr.