AFL-CIO and Utility Workers Urge Shareholders of FirstEnergy to Vote to Reform
WASHINGTON, May 2, 2013
WASHINGTON, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The AFL-CIO and the Utility
Workers Union of America are urging shareholders of FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) to
vote "against" the company's advisory vote on compensation for its named
executive officers — also known as the "Say-on-Pay" vote.
The AFL-CIO and UWUA also recommend that FirstEnergy's shareholders "withhold"
their votes from all five director nominees who are members of the Board of
Directors' Compensation Committee — Robert B. Heisler, Jr., Ted J. Kleisner,
Christopher J. Pappas, Catherine A. Rein, and Wes M. Taylor — and vote "for"
three shareholder proposals recommending reforms in the company's executive
The AFL-CIO and the UWUA are encouraging shareholders to vote against
FirstEnergy's Say-on-Pay resolution because CEO Anthony Alexander's total
compensation went up 27 percent in 2012 to $23.3 million, despite the
company's poor performance last year. The company's revenues, net income and
earnings per share all fell in 2012.
The two organizations urge shareholders to withhold their votes from the
entire Compensation Committee because of the directors' failure to respond to
shareholder concerns about executive compensation.Despite the company's poor
performance, the Compensation Committee also voted to give Mr. Alexander a
$9.3 million restricted stock retention package.
The three shareholder proposals seeking to reform the company's executive pay
practices include a proposal submitted by UWUA which urges the Board of
Directors to end the practice of benchmarking the CEO's total compensation to
that of peer companies.According to the proposal, this practice has
contributed to a year-after-year ratcheting up of CEO pay at FirstEnergy
without regard to corporate performance.
A shareholder proposal submitted by the AFL-CIO recommends that retirement
benefits for senior executives that offer preferential benefit formulas
compared to other employees should be submitted to shareholders for approval.
Another proposal encourages the retention of a significant portion of equity
awards by senior executives until they reach retirement age or leave the
"In our view, FirstEnergy is a prime example of the problem of runaway
executive pay at U.S. companies," stated Michael Langford, National President
of the UWUA and a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council. "Shareholders have
an opportunity this year to send a strong message to directors that
compensation practices for top executives at this company must be reformed."
The complete communication from the AFL-CIO and UWUA to FirstEnergy
shareholders is available at http://www.aflcio.org/proxyvotes.
The AFL-CIO is a federation of 57 labor unions including the UWUA. The UWUA
and other AFL-CIO affiliated unions represent employees of FirstEnergy, and
members of AFL-CIO affiliated unions also participate in pension funds that
are shareholders of FirstEnergy.
The AFL-CIO and UWUA are not seeking to act as a proxy for any shareholder,
and will accept no proxy cards. Any proxy cards received will be returned.
For more information contact:
Brandon Rees, AFL-CIO, 202.637.5152
Mark Brooks, UWUA, 615.259.1186
SOURCE Utility Workers Union of America
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