by Max Brantley
A major Dutch pension firm with $120 million invested in Walmart has announced it has blacklisted the Arkansas-based retailer over its labor policies and anti-union stance. From Huffington Post:
For four years, the fund met repeatedly with Walmart executives, trying to use its shareholder's influence to persuade the company to improve corporate practices, especially with regard to labor and the environment. There were some signs of improvement along the road: Last year's ABP Responsible Investment Report noted that "the company has taken steps in the right direction," pointing to the $100 million Walmart paid to settle court actions in November and December of 2009 alone. It also noted that, based on discussions with management, ABP felt that Walmart had changed its attitude toward unions.
But by January 2012, ABP decided that the company's time was up.
"There has been a change, but in the end we had to conclude that it was not enough," said Pot. "We felt that if the workers are not happy, then what does it mean for the company?"