As shareholders of AutoNation, Inc. gathered this week for their annual meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Machinists union members rallied to protest the company’s refusal to recognize the IAM after being elected to represent the auto mechanics at an AutoNation dealership in Orlando.
IAM representatives, joined by a former Auto Technician at AutoNation’s Mercedes-Benz of Orlando, attended the shareholder meeting. When prompted with a question from Automotive Coordinator, Boysen Anderson, CEO and Chairman Mike Jackson commented on the strength and importance of the skilled service technicians to AutoNation shareholders and all stakeholders in the company.
IAM representatives then delivered materials that highlighted the company practice of firing or laying off of technicians who are union supporters.
Additionally, IAM representatives presented a key corporate governance proposal that would give shareholders the right to call a special meeting outside of the annual shareholder meeting schedule. This shareholder right is supported by leading investor rights organizations and institutional investors.
“Giving investors the right to call special meetings is good corporate governance,” said IAM Strategic Resources Assistant Director David White, who introduced the governance proposal. “Prominent institutional investors and organizations support a shareholder right to call a special meeting. Fidelity and Vanguard are among the mutual funds supporting a shareholder right to call a special meeting. The proxy voting guidelines of several large public employee pension funds, including the New York City Employees Retirement System, also favor preserving this right.”
The proposal won larger than expected support, given the strong opposition of AutoNation executives and directors, who own 50 percent of the stock