Tag Archive for ‘Target’
Major U.S. retail chains like Target and K-Mart are being criticized by some consumer groups for opening on Thanksgiving Day. Columnist Gael O’Brien finds she agrees with the critics. In the rush for short-term profits, she says, companies are “losing capital” with their employees and damaging their reputations as responsible corporate citizens.
Warehouse workers in the Inland Empire — as well as in the next two biggest distribution hubs, the Chicago area and central New Jersey — are cogs in a system that stocks the shelves of stores such as Walmart, Target and Foot Locker. Even so, the big retailers are separated from the workers, and shielded from legal exposure, by layers of intermediary companies.
While the Supreme Court in Citizens United envisioned a world where shareholders could hold managers accountable for political spending, corporations have clever legal ways to hide their role in politics from the public. Over the past few weeks, a growing consensus among shareholders, corporate leaders and corporate law experts has emerged. All are urging increased transparency for corporate money in politics.
The proposal by NorthStar Asset Management, a Boston money manager, requested that the company annually report on its political policies and contributions, disclose future anticipated spending, and provide an analysis of how such spending matches company values or policy. Although the measure was defeated, it is considered to be a template for similar proposals at other corporate annual meetings.
A constitutional law expert says the U.S. Supreme Court ‘s January ruling in the Citizens United campaign spending case raises a host of corporate governance issues that should be addressed by legislation before the 2012 Presidential election. “One of the reasons that this is such an objectionable decision,” she argues, “is it allows corporate managers in publicly traded companies to spend what Justice Brandeis called ‘other people’s money.'”
Three leading sustainability investment firms filed shareholder resolutions at Target and Best Buy seeking to have independent directors review the companies’ political spending practices and policies. Target and Best Buy have been under fire for contributions made to an organization that backs a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate who opposes gay marriage.
Retailers Target and Best Buy find themselves the focus of unwanted attention following their contributions to an organization that backs a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate who opposes gay marriage. The case is one of the first major controversies since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations and unions could spend freely on political campaigns.