5.20.09

Constangy partner Randy Loftis is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Labor Relations Committee.  We are forwarding to you communication from the Chamber's Executive Director of Labor Law Policy so that you may be informed of the latest from Capitol Hill.  As always, Constangy will keep you informed immediately as news hits.  If you have questions or concerns, feel free to contact any Constangy attorney. 

TO:       Members of the U.S. Chamber's Labor Relations Committee and other interested members of the business community
 
Recently, you may have received correspondence from a group of investors who indicate they are signatories to the United Nations-sponsored Principles for Responsible Investment in which they request certain information about how companies are managing labor union and employee relations issues in the context of the Employee Free Choice Act, commonly known as "card check" or "EFCA."   They request that the information be submitted by June 8, 2009.  A redacted copy of the letter received by one of our member companies may be found here:
http://www.uschamber.com/assets/labor/090518_SI_co_ltr.pdf
 
We are very concerned about how the information being solicited might be used in the debate on EFCA.  We are particularly concerned about this in light of a second letter that many of the same investors sent to Senator Tom Harkin and Representative George Miller on May 11, 2009 in which the investors professed support for passage of EFCA.  A copy of this letter may be found here:
http://www.uschamber.com/assets/labor/090518_SI_ltr_to_Hill.pdf
 
Our concern is that, without understanding the potential connection between the two letters, companies could respond to the one they received in a way that might be misconstrued as corporate support for the letter sent to Senator Harkin and Representative Miller.
 
We are also concerned about how responses could be used as these investors develop shareholder resolutions for upcoming annual meetings.
 
The United States Chamber of Commerce and the United States Council for International Business are in the process of preparing background information that may be helpful to you as you decide whether or how your company will respond to these letters. We will also be discussing whether we should take additional steps to respond.
 
We do not know how many of our members have received this letter, or whether you have received this letter.  If you have received this letter, we would like to ask you to consider deferring your response until you have had the opportunity to consider the additional background information that we will provide.
 
For those of you who have not received this letter, we believe it is important that you are aware of this development. 
 
We thank you for your attention to this matter, and will follow-up with you within the next week or so.  Please feel free to forward this to others in the business community who you think may be interested in this issue and, as always, please don't hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance on this or any other matter of labor and employment policy.

 

Michael J. Eastman
Executive Director, Labor Law Policy
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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