December 30, 2016 // Boston, MA: Bloomberg recently published a story on four shareholder proposals filed by Trillium Asset Management on minimum wage reform in its Sustainable Finance newsletter. This Fall, Trillium re-filed shareholder proposals at Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. and TJX Companies alongside Zevin Asset Management. The shareholder proposals asked each company to adopt and publish principles addressing minimum wage reform. Trillium also filed a new shareholder proposal at Home Depot on minimum wage reform and joined Zevin as co-filer on a shareholder proposal filed at CVS Health on this issue.
Alicia Ritcey writes:
“Investors including Trillium Asset Management and Zevin Asset Management are calling on U.S. companies to help the fight against income inequality, amid concerns the Trump White House won’t support lifting the minimum wage to a ‘living wage.’ ”
The shareholder proposals have asked each company to publish principles that address the following:
- “A sustainable economy must ensure a minimum standard of living necessary for the health and general well-being of workers and their families; and
- The minimum wage should be indexed to maintain its ability to support a minimum standard of living; and to allow for orderly increases, predictability, and business planning.”
While many states have separate minimum wage laws, the current U.S. federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour for a full-time employee working 40 hours per week. According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in August 2016, 58% of Americans favor raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour. Corporate leaders have also begun to express concern about income inequality, with both Costco and Panera’s CEOs publicly supporting a federal minimum wage increase.
“The investors are asking companies to just take a position on income inequality, which is a softer approach compared to shareholders’ previous attempts to urge companies to address their own pay practices,” Bloomberg said. Jonas Kron, Senior Vice President and Director of Shareholder Advocacy at Trillium stated that companies should begin to be “forthcoming and public” on their stance towards minimum wage reform.
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Important disclosure: The information provided in this material should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell the securities mentioned. It should not be assumed that investments in such securities have been or will be profitable. To the extent specific securities are mentioned, they were selected by the authors on an objective basis to illustrate views expressed in the commentary and they do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for advisory clients. The information contained herein has been prepared from sources believed reliable but is not guaranteed as to its timeliness or accuracy, and is not a complete summary or statement of all available data. This piece is for informational purposes and should not be construed as a research report.
 DeSilver, D. (2016, September 1). 10 facts about American workers. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/01/8-facts-about-american-workers/