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Note: The article copied below refers to a letter which was evidently drafted by the Communications Workers of America,* an AFL-CIO union that represents 60,000 Verizon employees, as part of its continuing "Verizon Investor Campaign."  A copy of the letter obtained from the CWA web site, showing representatives of seven public, religious, and SRI funds as signers with copies to representatives of the CWA and the AFL-CIO, can be downloaded from the following link:

The lead representative of the signing group, Timothy Smith of Walden Asset Management, has stated that this group's Verizon initiative is independent of his representation of the "Working Group" established earlier this year for a collaborative investor-corporate effort to establish a standard for advisory voting practices.

The CWA group initiative is of course independent of the Shareholder Forum.  It should also be noted that C. William Jones, President of the of the Association of BellTel Retirees Inc. which has supported the organization of the Verizon Forum and was a member of the Advisory Panel for the Options Policies Forum, has stated that neither he nor the Association was involved in the CWA group initiative.

* Based on a word processing file provided by one of the letter's signers


Reuters, October 19, 2007 article



Investors urge Verizon to adopt say-on-pay policy

Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:31pm EDT


WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Institutional investors sent a letter to Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) urging the phone company to give shareholders more say over the pay packages of executives.

In May, shareholders narrowly voted in favor of asking Verizon to adopt a policy that would give shareholders an annual vote on senior executives' compensation packages.

"More than half of the people who you represent on the board of directors sent you a message that we want more transparency and accountability in executive pay at our company," the investors said in the letter, dated Oct. 17.

"As institutional investors, we are concerned by the disconnect between executive pay and corporate performance at Verizon and other public companies."

The letter was signed by the North Carolina state treasurer, Connecticut deputy treasurer, the New York State Teachers' Retirement System, the City of Cincinnati Retirement System, Walden Asset Management, Marianist Province of the United States, and Boston Common Asset Management.

In the letter, the investors said Verizon creates the appearance that its pay practices reward performance.

"If you truly intend executive pay to reward superior performance, serious adjustments to Verizon's pay practices are in order," the letter said.

The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, an association of pension funds, also sent Verizon a letter asking it to implement a shareholder vote on executive pay.

A spokesman for Verizon said the board continues to evaluate the "say on pay" issue and has not made a decision yet.

"We appreciate receiving the letter as part of the ongoing dialogue we have with shareholders," said Bob Varettoni.

(Reporting by Rachelle Younglai)
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