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AFSCME Seeks Control Of Private Corporations

From a cheering Reuters:

Exclusive: U.S. union targets dual chairman-CEO roles

By Ross Kerber
January 17, 2012

(Reuters) – An influential public-sector labor union has filed proxy proposals aimed at separating the roles of chairman and chief executive at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and seven other big companies, officials told Reuters.

The move, by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, will put new energy into a smoldering leadership issue that analysts expect to be among the hottest in corporate governance at annual meetings this spring.

What this is nothing more than the second largest biggest public sector union trying to gain some control over private sector companies. (The largest is the NEA.) In fact, AFSCME is probably the second largest union in the US, public or private.

And never mind that AFSCME has nothing to do with these companies. But they want to be able to call the shots about who runs them and how they are run. It is unreal.

Unions and other shareholder activists have in prior years won a few contests calling for "independent chairmen" as a way to strengthen corporate oversight. But the advisory votes have not led to many shifts in executive titles.

Yes, these private companies need the same kind of clear headed oversight that the public sector currently enjoys.

That could change with renewed focus on the issue by AFSCME. The 1.6 million-member union was an early backer of other reforms that later gained traction such as the "Say on Pay" votes now required of major U.S. companies after the financial crisis, and of rules making it easier for shareholders to nominate their own directors.

This was yet another poison pill tucked in the 2,300 plus pages of ‘Dodd-Frank.’

While AFSCME has raised the issue before, this year’s effort targets more companies than in the past and comes as support for such measures, while still a minority, appears to be growing. Coming after the financial crisis, the effort is likely to rachet [sic] up pressure on JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and the seven other companies to make changes

Officials said AFSCME has filed independent chairman proposals at nine companies this season, up from four last year, and to encourage other shareholders to file similar measures

AFSCME has also filed measures at other companies requiring reports on their lobbying spending and tax risks

Meanwhile, what do we know about AFSCME’s lobbying spending and tax risks? Except that they are the single largest union contributor to the Democrat Party, and that they pay absolutely nothing in taxes because they are tax exempt.

Even though the vast majority of the political contributions from these companies probably already goes to Democrats, AFSCME and the DNC want more.

For the record, between 1990 and 2010, AFSCME gave 98% of their political contributions to Democrats, for a total of $48 million dollars. In 2010 alone AFSCME made $2.2 million in political donations. Only $6,000, or 0.3%, went to Republican candidates.

But now AFSCME and the DNC want this kind of party loyalty from everyone else.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “AFSCME Seeks Control Of Private Corporations”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Stockholders ready their answer to AFSCME union organizers and labor union lawyers …


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