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2005-12-01
New York, NY. TIAA-CREF Urged To Divest Wal-Mart Stock

A coalition of groups is calling upon the huge TIAA-CREF retirement fund to divest its shares in Wal-Mart stock, and other corporations that are "involved in human rights violations, and public health and environmental degradation, and instead invest in socially responsible ventures." On December 5th, the Make TIAA-CREF Ethical Coalition (MTCE) will hold a demonstration at the retirement fund's headquarters during the shareholder meeting for TIAA-CREF mutual funds. According to the MTCE, "TIAA-CREF is the nation's largest pension fund, mainly for educators. Its advertisements boast that the fund invests for the "greater good." The reality is that TIAA-CREF holds shares in some of the most controversial and notoriously unethical corporations, including Altria/Philip Morris, responsible for Marlboro-the #1 cigarette brand among youth; Nike and Wal-Mart, widely condemned for their use of sweatshop labor -- and other bad practices for the latter company regarding domestic labor, sprawl, and effects on local economies; Costco, for its warehouse in Cuernavaca, Mexico, which severely damages an archeological site and abuses human rights; Unocal, the oil giant currently being sued for human rights abuses in Burma. And Coke for human rights and environmental abuses overseas-and advertising to children in the U.S. Such investment by TIAA-CREF violates certain principles in their Policy Statement on Corporate Governance. A coalition of groups urges the pension system to influence these companies to change these practices or to divest of shares in these corporations involved in human rights violations, and public health and environmental degradation, and instead invest in socially responsible ventures. We have done lobbying and taken direct actions to promote more social responsibility within TIAA-CREF. Because of the size and prominence of TIAA-CREF, if they make the changes we desire, it can lead other large institutional investors to do the same."


What you can do: TIAA-CREF has a small, socially-responsible investment fund, but at least 95% of the fund's investments are therefore socially irresponsible. The TIAA-CREF demonstration to divest Wal-Mart stock will take place on December 5th from 3:30 till 4:10 PM at the fund's headquarters at 730 Third Avenue, in Manhattan, between 45th and 46th Streets. To learn more about this coalition, go to http://www.maketiaa-crefethical.org, or email: NJWollman@manchester.edu"NJWollman@manchester.edu and say "send
MTCE updates" in the subject line. Members of the coalition include: The US Campaign for Burma * Corporate Accountability International (formerly Infact) * World Bank Bonds Boycott * Press for Change * Social Choice for Social Change * Canadian Committee To Combat Crimes Against Humanity (CCCCH) * Citizens Coalition (Frente Civico) * Educating for Justice * National Community Reinvestment Coalition * National Congress for Community Economic Development * Campaign to Stop Killer Coke/Corporate Campaign, Inc. * Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood *Sprawl-Busters*










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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