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Labor Unions as Shareholder Activists: Champions or Detractors?

31 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2008 Last revised: 6 Feb 2009

Andrew K. Prevost

Ohio University - Department of Finance

Ramesh P. Rao

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater - Spears School of Business - Department of Finance

Melissa A. Williams

University of Houston, Clear Lake - School of Business and Public Administration

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Date Written: February 5, 2009

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of labor union shareholder activism through the submission of shareholder proposals during 1988-2002. We examine the effect of labor union sponsored shareholder proposals on announcement period returns, on the corporate governance environment of the firm including shareholder rights, board composition, and CEO compensation, and on long run shareholder wealth. We find that the efficacy of activism is related to union presence at targeted firms and shareholder support for proposals. Our findings, hitherto not reported elsewhere, contribute to the shareholder activism literature by implying that labor unions may be unique in their ability to spur such changes relative to other shareholder proponents.

Keywords: labor unions, shareholder proposals, shareholder activism

JEL Classification: G30

Suggested Citation

Prevost, Andrew K. and Rao, Ramesh P. and Williams, Melissa A., Labor Unions as Shareholder Activists: Champions or Detractors? (February 5, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1119328 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1119328

Andrew K. Prevost (Contact Author)

Ohio University - Department of Finance ( email )

236 Copeland Hall
Athens, OH 45701
United States

Ramesh P. Rao

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater - Spears School of Business - Department of Finance ( email )

Spears School of Business
Stillwater, OK 74078-4011
United States
405-744-1385 (Phone)
405-744-5180 (Fax)

Melissa A. Williams

University of Houston, Clear Lake - School of Business and Public Administration ( email )

Houston, TX 77058
United States
(281) 283-3211 (Phone)
(281) 283-3951 (Fax)

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