BACKGROUND: TIAA-CREF (www.tiaa-cref.org) is a Fortune 100 financial services company that is the leading retirement system for people who work in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields. With over $435 billion in combined assets under management TIAA-CREF serves 3.4 million active and retired employees of more than 15,000 institutions.
TIAA-CREF claims that they have “a long-standing commitment to socially responsible investing (SRI) that is consistent with our nonprofit heritage and unwavering mission to serve those who serve the greater good.”
As of March 31, 2008 TIAA-CREF owned 3.6 million shares of Nike stock worth $244 million dollars, making them one of the largest institutional shareholders of Nike stock in the world. Their significant ownership of Nike shares puts them in a strategic position to influence Nike’s actions.
DEMAND: TIAA-CREF must engage Nike and demand that they disclose wage rates for all their contract factories.
ACTION: Cut and paste the letter below and email it to John Wilson, TIAA-CREF’s Director of Corporate Governance, JWilson@tiaa-cref.org. Feel free to add your personal comments to the letter.
I am aware that as of March 31, 2008 TIAA-CREF owned 3.6 million shares of Nike stock worth $244 million dollars, making them one of the largest institutional shareholders of Nike stock in the world. Your significant ownership of Nike shares puts you in a strategic position to influence Nike’s actions. Therefore, I am requesting that you engage Nike on the following issue.
When asked whether or not Nike production workers are paid a living wage, Mr. Phil Knight, the Founder and Chairman of Nike responded to a PBS reporter, “Absolutely. No question about it.” I would like you to request that Mr. Knight provide the facts that support this assertion by publicly disclosing hourly wage rates for each factory where Nike products are produced.
I look forward to your written response to this request.