Protesters to target 3M political contributions

Fri May 4, 2012 6:44pm GMT
 

* Shareholder proposal seeks end to campaign contributions

* Company calls proposal imprudent

* Comes amid time of rising shareholder activism

* Shareholders to meet in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Tuesday

By Scott Malone

May 4 (Reuters) - Opponents of corporate political donations plan to picket 3M Co's shareholder meeting on Tuesday in a bid to get the diversified U.S. manufacturer to stop making political contributions.

About 100 protesters are expected to turn out at the meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, to support a shareholder proposal that would prohibit the maker of Post-It notes and films used in television screens from directly contributing to election campaigns, according to organizers.

"Their political spending policies continue to risk their brand and ultimately shareholder value," said Shelley Alpern, a vice president at Boston-based Trillium Asset Management, which submitted the proposal, which also asks 3M to ensure that any trade associations it is a member of not donate its dues to campaigns. Another measure calls on 3M to disclose how it spends its lobbying budget.

Directors of the St. Paul-based company urged shareholders to vote against both proposals, saying the ban on contributions would "imprudently" limit its ability to advance its interests.   Continued...

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