Labor Flexes Its Muscles As A Stockholder

When angry investors fired off letters to embattled Philip Morris Cos. recently, the signers included usual shareholder activists such as the California and New York City public employees' pension plans. But two others stood out: the Teamsters and the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW). The unions, whose pension funds together own about 0.5% of Philip Morris, have been leaders in the effort to get the company to split apart its food and tobacco units. And last year, a Teamsters proposal to toss out management's poison pill garnered a 40% vote.

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