A major activist group has launched a petition to fight the SEC’s shareholder proposal rules

A major activist group has launched a petition to fight the SEC’s shareholder proposal rules – already securing nearly two-thirds of the 75,000 target signatories.

Credo Action, which represents millions of activists around the globe fighting for progressive change, warned the SEC’s amendments to Rule 14a-8 would silence shareholder activism and protect big corporations from the consequences of their actions.

“We can’t let the SEC help Wall Street crush the shareholder activists who hold major corporations accountable. We need to speak out against this awful proposal now, while the SEC is still accepting public input,” the group states on its website.

The petition, which is calling for the withdrawal of the rule amendments, has gained massive support, with 65% of the 75,000 target signatures in the bag.

The group also criticised the SEC’s chairman, accusing him of being specially selected by president Donald Trump to help silence activists.

“The SEC is supposed to protect people from Wall Street. It is doing the opposite. Under the leadership of Trump’s handpicked SEC chair Jay Clayton, the SEC is helping corporations hide their actions and escape accountability from shareholders,” Credo Action stated.

Under the proposals, the SEC would increase the number of years a shareholder must hold a company’s stock before they are eligible to submit a shareholder proposal.

And for the first time since 1954, the regulator is pushing to increase the levels of shareholder support a proposal must receive to be eligible for resubmission to 5%, 15% and 25%, depending on how many times the proposals had been submitted over a certain amount of time – up from the current 3%, 6% and 10% thresholds.

While Chairman Clayton said the changes aimed to “modernise” the shareholder-proposal rules, dissenting Commissioners have voiced concerns they will only serve to quash shareholder rights and allow company CEOs to avoid important issues such as equal pay, discrimination and climate change.

To sign the petition, visit the Credo Action website.

Last Updated: 28 November 2019
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