WORKPLACE: USTCís Push Sends Albertsonís Flying, April 1995
SOCIAL TOPICS (Archive): WORKPLACE
USTCís Push Sends Albertsonís Flying
Published, April 1995
Sustained pressure on Albertsonís to disclose its equal employment opportunity (EEO) record finally paid off last month when the supermarket chain agreed to our 1995 shareholder proposal. USTC filed the resolution with Albertsonís when our analysis of the companyís 1989-1994 EEO statistics showed limited progress with respect to representation of women, and particularly minorities, in management.
An Albertsonís stockholder for over 10 years, USTC owns more than one million shares. Our formal dialogue with Albertsonís began in 1992 when unsuccessful attempts to learn about its EEO performance led USTC and other shareholders to file our first EEO public disclosure resolution. After several meetings and a commitment to limited disclosure, shareholder proponents withdrew the resolution. According to USTCís Social Research Manager Heidi Soumerai, ďWe had developed a good relationship with Albertsonís based on open, ongoing dialogue and felt they were in the early stages of progress.Ē
In an effort to address our concerns and resolve the 1995 shareholder proposal, USTCís Ann Taylor met with Albertsonís CEO, senior managers and department heads at the firmís Boise, Idaho headquarters earlier this year. To stave off a proxy vote by shareholders, Albertsonís officials offered a number of concessions which included: 1) publishing a public interest report that will describe the companyís commitment to fair employment and diversity issues; 2) providing USTC with annual EEO statistics and meeting periodically to discuss these issues; 3) publishing information showing women and minority trends as well as recent program modifications and additions; and 4) printing 15,000 copies of the report to be sent to each store, distribution center, division office, financial mailing list, as well as making it available at the firmís annual meeting. When pressed, company officials further agreed to reference the availability of this document in the annual report. The 25-30 page public interest report, entitled Core Values, is scheduled for release in June 1995.
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