July 2013 Newsletter
The Labor Movement Must Invest In Itself
That is why the AFL-CIO sponsored funds, including the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund, the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust, and the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, are so important to the labor movement.
I’m proud to say that within two years of inception, the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund has raised or has commitments of $3.5 billion in union pension assets.
This is how it works: The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund tracks the returns of the broad U.S. large-cap equity market, as represented by the S&P 500 Index. Because stocks are not actively traded, it results in very low fees and expenses managed by ASB Capital Management. By growing the fund, it strengthens our ability to engage in shareholder activism and proxy voting to promote good governance in line with the AFL-CIO Proxy Voting Guidelines.
Hundreds of union pension funds across America have a portion of their assets already invested in other Index Funds – many paying higher fees while letting Wall Street firms and banks decide how to vote their interests.
All Taft-Hartley or public pension funds with a passive large cap equity mandate should consider the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund. And my request to you today is to please immediately set up a meeting between us and your consultant to discuss the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund.
Excellent tracking. A low fee. A 100% proxy voting advantage geared toward working families – the time is now!
We have a goal of growing the fund as much as possible by the AFL-CIO Convention. Will you help us do that?
President & Managing Director
AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation
AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund By the Numbers
– Provided a 13.77% return, year to date through 2Q13.
– Tracked the S&P 500 Index return closely, and beat the Lipper S&P 500 Index Fund Universe average return by 61 basis points.*
– Has a 2-year performance that ranks in the top 105 of the Lipper Universe.*
* As of 3/31/13
The Amalgamated Transit Union
The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) believes strongly in the need for the labor movement to invest in itself, and consequently is making major commitments to AFL-CIO sponsored programs, like the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund.
In fact, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 (ATU Local 689) in Washington D.C. has made one of the largest commitments to the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund of any local union to date!
Additionally, the ATU International Plan and also the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit
“Pension fund investment in labor-friendly ventures such as the AFL-CIO BIT and HIT are a stimulus package we create for ourselves. The result is healthy returns to investors and good union jobs. The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund is another key program, allowing us the right use of our investments to proxy vote as shareholders in support of workers’ interests,” said Lawrence J. Hanley, the International President of ATU.Authority (MARTA) Plan in Atlanta have invested in the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund.
The ATU is comprised of over 190,000 members, including: metropolitan, interstate, and school bus drivers; paratransit, light rail, streetcar, and ferry boat operators; mechanics and other maintenance workers; clerks, baggage handlers, municipal employees, and others. ATU can be found in 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and nine Canadian provinces.
Success in Action
We can make corporate America change. Here are four examples of recent AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund shareholder actions and successes:
1.) Citigroup – The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund asked the financial services company to ban the acceleration of equity awards for departing executives. After the proposal was filed, the Citigroup Board adopted a resolution waiving its ability to accelerate vesting of executives’ equity awards upon termination.
2.) Chesapeake Energy – The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund asked the company to disclose its specific performance metrics for incentive pay and the resulting payouts. The company committed to enhance its proxy disclosures to include the specific performance measures, formulas, and payout schedules for both the 2012 and 2013 performance share unit awards.
3.) Abercrombie & Fitch and Nabors Industries – The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund sought disclosure of specific performance metrics for executive pay. The proposals are expected to go to a vote by shareholders this year.
4.) Pitney Bowes – The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund asked the company to appoint an independent chairman, reducing management accountability by concentrating too much power in on executive. The fund withdrew its proposal at Pitney Bowes after it named an independent director as chairman.
New Investor Sound Off
“We recently made our financial commitment to the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund and are also proud supporters of the other two AFL-CIO sponsored funds: the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust and the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust.”
– Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, California Labor Federation
“We decided to invest our pension dollars in the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund for two reasons: their good management by ASB Capital and because we believe the one key way to change corporate America is by leveraging our assets to create a seat at the table.”
– David Ybarra II. President, Minnesota Pipe Trades Association