TIAA-CREF (TC) praises itself on issues of labor/human rights, promoting its shareholder activism work, social screening, and otherwise. Some of that is certainly deserved, though much came about from participant and stakeholder pressure. Working through a school system chapter (CUNY), MakeTIAA-CREFethical.org helped get the 1.4 million strong American Federation of Teachers to pass resolutions demanding TC to do better on human/labor/civil rights.
Recently TC changed its own labor practices by starting to outsource jobs to India from their large Denver office (over 1,000 employees). What makes this particularly appalling is that TC’s CEO, Roger Ferguson, is on Obama’s Economic Recovery Board. Is sending jobs overseas a way to promote domestic economic recovery? TC says it is, for fiduciary responsibility purposes. Of course, by that logic, it could start hiring people at sub-minimum wages or have no problem with sweatshops, since it helps the bottom line.
MakeTIAA-CREFethical.org says, call TIAA-CREF at 800-842-2733 (212-490-9000) and ask for CEO Roger Ferguson. Leave this message: “An organization priding itself on its labor rights record has no place outsourcing jobs to other countries, especially given our country’s employment woes.” (Or, use your own words– and include other ideas from MakeTIAA-CREFethical.org). If you are part of the TIAA-CREF system, let them know that as well. Also email Mr. Ferguson and TIAA-CREF Trustees with the same message.