(WASHINGTON) – ISS, the top proxy voting advisor, has recommended shareholders vote for a proposal submitted for consideration at the May 6 National Express Group plc (NEX) Annual General Meeting that calls for the board to hire an independent agent with the expertise to investigate workers’ rights and labor violation claims at the company’s U.S. school bus subsidiary — Durham School Services.
The proposal, which was submitted by the Teamsters General Fund, members of the Local Authorities Pension Fund (LAPFF) and 100 individual NEX shareholders, is the first to be recommended by ISS in at least 10 years that specifically addresses labor issues at a publically-traded company in the U.K.
“This shareholder proposal reflects a growing concern by stakeholders that there is a pervasive anti-union bias throughout National Express’ U.S. school bus operations,” said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall. “If NEX truly believes in protecting their employees’ rights to freedom of association, then it will hire an independent monitor to review the policies and practices for its U.S. school bus subsidiary.”
The shareholder proposal will be considered just weeks after a report was released by two Members of United Kingdom’s Parliament, Ian Lavery and Jim Sheridan, that made allegations of serious labor rights violations by Durham School Services.
In addition to ISS, U.K.-based Pensions & Investments Research Consultants (PIRC) recommended shareholders support the resolution, calling the request for an independent review of NEX’s U.S. operations ‘reasonable’ given the potential damage to the company’s reputation and shareholder value a prolonged labor dispute could represent.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.