NYC Pensions to Challenge Wal-Mart Board

May 1, 2012 ( – New York City’s pension funds announced plans to vote their 4.7 million Wal-Mart company shares against five directors standing for re-election to the retailer’s board next month. 
The reason for the vote stems from allegations that Wal-Mart used bribery to spur expansion to its Mexico operations, reports The New York Times.  

According to the news report, pension fund officials said they were taking action against Wal-Mart’s directors because their previous efforts to persuade the board to increase its oversight of legal and regulatory practices at the retailer were unsuccessful.

For example, in 2005 after reports that Wal-Mart hired undocumented immigrants and violated child labor laws in three states, a group of institutional investors including the New York City comptroller asked the company’s board to hire an independent firm to review its regulatory controls and report findings to shareholders. Wal-Mart directors met with the investor group but turned down its request for a review.

The New York City pension funds that will vote against the Wal-Mart directors are the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System, New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Pension Fund and the Board of Education Retirement System.