While it is not the intent to repeat that post here, it is interesting to note that Politico picked up on the story yesterday and provided a few more details:
Boost for labor in Wall St. billFor years, Democratic-backed labor unions have been trying to get behind enemy lines, so to speak, by helping to put more union-friendly representatives on corporate boards as a way to shape policies from the inside.
Now, they’ve got a surprising new weapon to help them in that effort: the Wall Street reform bill.
Buried deep in the Democrats’ Senate bill are two major changes to how board members are elected — both designed to crack open the insular world of corporate boardrooms and make them more responsive to shareholders.
But when Democrats set out to reform Wall Street, they also included a few provisions that benefit their allies in the labor movement, along with provisions on reining in “too big to fail” banks and exotic investments.
One provision would essentially give the Securities and Exchange Commission the power to force the names of outside nominees onto the corporate ballot. Right now, corporations can print up the ballots — and leave off the other names.
Such a change could give large, long-term investors — such as the pension funds that fund union members’ retirements — a better shot to get elected to the boards.
The other change would require directors running in an uncontested election to win a majority of votes cast. Currently, most directors need to win only a plurality, which has resulted in directors losing the majority vote but still winning the seat.
Critics argue the push is little more than a move by Democrats to reward their friends in organized labor.
“It is reasonable for some to think that these proposals are more about payback than fixing the economy,” said Tom Quaadman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It’s designed to give labor more leverage over management, he said, adding that the Chamber is working to kill the provisions.
“This has nothing to do with responsible corporate governance,” he said. “This is about selective activist investors trying to advance issues unrelated to better corporate governance.” [Emphasis added.]
Simply put, the
And we know just how well that's working out for Europe, don't we?
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.”Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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