TIAA-CREF, the nation’s largest pension system and a leader in corporate social responsibility, has come under fire from a coalition of academics and activists who are questioning TIAA-CREF’s commitment on a range of social responsibility issues.
“TIAA-CREF’s tagline is ‘financial services for the greater good,’ but it seems like the only good they are concerned about is the bottom line,” said James Keady, Director of Educating for Justice and long-time active member of the coalition.
Coalition reps will be at the upcoming CREF annual meeting on Tuesday, July 20, 9:30 AM, at TIAA-CREF’s NYC headquarters and plan to pressure TIAA-CREF to stop outsourcing jobs overseas, firing whistle-blowers, investing in sweatshops, and paying its CEO 10 million dollars a year.
“After years of member lobbying, TIAA-CREF finally agreed to talk to some of the companies we have focused on,” said Keady. “Unfortunately, TIAA-CREF’s method of ‘quiet diplomacy’ over the past five years has not led to any substantive changes.”
The coalition believes that TIAA-CREF can and should do more. Its Policy Statement on Corporate Governance reads, “While quiet diplomacy remains our core strategy…the TIAA-CREF engagement program involves many different activities and initiatives, including engaging in public dialogue and commentary… engaging in collective action with other investors… seeking regulatory or legislative relief… commencing or supporting litigation.” It is time for TIAA-CREF to get aggressive with these companies.
If you are a member of TIAA-CREF willing to attend the meeting, the coalition asks you to contact Neil Wollman. If you are not in the system, you can still send a personal message to CEO Roger W. Ferguson, cc [email protected]. You also call 800-842-2733 or 212-490-9000 and ask for CEO Roger Ferguson and leave a recorded message.