Walmart Gets Slapped By Dutch Pension Firm

Dutch pension administrator PGGM Vermogensbeheer B.V. said on Monday (July 1) that it would no longer invest in Walmart, saying the retailer was not willing to discuss its concerns, including possible labor issues in the United States. PGGM is hardly an investor to be ignored, as it controls invested assets of more than 140 billion euros (roughly $182 billion U.S.). "The policy pursued by Walmart in the U.S. restricts employees' opportunities to organize themselves in trade unions," PGGM said in a statement. "This is not only contrary to fundamental principles and rights at work, but also contrary to the codes Walmart has compiled for its own suppliers." The investment group also expressed concerns about the lack of candid answers Walmart has offered about the various global bribery allegations it is facing. "These facts render it impossible for PGGM to give constructive substance to its role as an active shareholder on behalf of its clients. In PGGM's Responsible Investment policy, exclusion is always the final step, never an objective in itself. Via dialogue and by using its voting rights in shareholder meetings, PGGM does its utmost, on behalf of its clients, to encourage companies to implement responsible behavior. However, in the case of Walmart, this ultimately has not been possible." Statement