UTC Shareholders Vote on CEO Pay Proposal

IAM representatives at the UTC shareholder meeting included (left to right) Tony Walter, Vice President, Local 743, David White, Assistant Director, Strategic Resources Dept. and Mark Hebert, President of Local 743.

IAM representatives attended the annual shareholder meeting for United Technologies Corporation (UTC) in Indianapolis, IN, this week and actively supported a proposal to give shareholders a say on excessive executive compensation at the aerospace giant.

The pay and accountability proposal, submitted by the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund, drew support from more than 40 percent of all shareholders, reflecting growing concern that executive pay does not equal executive performance at UTC. Pay for UTC CEO Louis Chenevert in 2009 was $20.5 million, according to proxy material provided by the company.

“Year after year, corporate boards approve enormous pay packages for executives, despite serious questions about the wisdom of their overall management,” said IAM District 26 Directing Business Representative Everett Corey.  “In the past year, UTC executives embarrassed shareholders, alienated workers and angered lawmakers when they threatened to outsource thousands of U.S. jobs to overseas locations.”

There is also increasing public support for improved transparency and accountability of these executive pay programs. The AFL-CIO/IAM proposal calls for an advisory vote to establish an annual referendum process for UTC shareholders to vote on executive compensation for the top five highly-paid executive officers.

“The IAM will continue to urge UTC to provide shareholders with a voice to express their opinions on executive pay,” said Corey. “More than 25 companies, including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Occidental Petroleum, Verizon and Microsoft have already agreed to such a vote. If adopted, this resolution would be an important step forward in enhancing board accountability.”

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