Largest Dutch Pension Fund Pulls Investments in Walmart over Poor Labor Practices

Sunday, January 08, 2012
Mike Duke, Walmart CEO
Echoing the criticism of American labor unions, the Netherlands’ largest pension fund has cited Walmart’s poor labor practices as reason for withdrawing its investments from the world’s biggest retail chain.
Algemeen Burgerlijk Pensioenfonds (ABP), with more than $300 billion in assets, said it was pulling out of Walmart because it hasn’t complied with the United Nations Global Compact principles, which promote human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption efforts.
ABP’s decision was four years in the making, having first warned Walmart about its labor practices in 2008. The fund had invested $121 million in the retailer as of June 2011.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which has sought to organize Walmart employees, hailed ABP’s decision and described it as a wake-up call for the company to start treating its employees better.
In 2006, Norway’s Government Pension Fund sold more than $400 million shares in Walmart, also in a rejection of the company’s labor practices.
ABP’s pro-labor policy has also led it to divest from PetroChina. The Dutch fund had previously withdrawn investment in U.S.-based Lockheed Martin, Textron, Alliant Techsystems and Kaman Corporation for their involvement in the production of cluster weapons.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky

Door ABP Uitgesloten Bedrijven Per 1 Januari 2012 (ABP) (pdf) 


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