Swift's shareholders again back Teamsters' stock-structure revamp plan
The Teamsters' proposal was endorsed by Swift shareholders at the company’s 2015 annual meeting on May 8, with the plan receiving 82 percent support from Class A shareholders, up 3 percent from a year earlier.
Under Swift’s current stock structure, CEO Jerry Moyes has majority control over the company, even though he owns a minority stake.
Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall said Swift’s board needs to demonstrate its independence and protect the interest of all shareholders.
“The current system creates opportunity for conflicts of interest between Moyes and other shareholders and material, financial risk for the company and its investors,” Hall said.
Hall sent a letter last month to shareholders, urging them to vote for the proposal and to withhold support from the company’s incumbent, independent directors who failed to implement the proposal after last year’s strong vote and who have failed to rein in the excessive pledging of stock that he said puts investors at risk.
The country’s two largest proxy-voting advisers, ISS and Glass Lewis, recommended that shareholders support the proposal and withhold support from the company’s independent directors.
More than 40 percent of the publicly traded shares cast withheld support from the independent directors being elected.
“Swift’s board is losing the confidence of the shareholders they are elected to represent,” Hall said. “There is growing frustration with the board’s inaction, and patience is running out.”