Trustees Of NYC’s $250 Billion Pension Funds Warn Studios That They Risk Losing Investor Confidence If WGA & SAG-AFTRA Strikes Drag On

Trustees of New York City’s $250 billion pension funds have warned Disney, Paramount and Comcast that they risk losing investor confidence if they allow the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA strikes to drag on much longer. The WGA has been on strike since May 2, and SAG-AFTRA since July 14.

The letters, signed by New York City Comptroller Brad Lander on behalf of the trustees of the city’s five pension funds, urged the companies “to end the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes promptly” in order to “ensure the long-term stability” of their businesses and their shareholders’ investments.

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In a letter to Disney CEO Bob Iger, Lander noted that the pension funds “are substantial long-term Disney shareholders of The Walt Disney Company, with approximately 2.7 million shares valued at $229.2 million.”

See the letter to Iger here.

In a similar letter to Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, Lander noted that the pension funds “are substantial long-term Comcast shareholders, with approximately 6.3 million shares valued at $272.7 million.”

See the letter to Roberts here.

And in his letter to Paramount Global President & CEO Robert Bakish, he noted that the pension funds “are substantial long-term Paramount Global shareholders, with approximately 21,000 class A shares and 691,000 class B shares with a combined value of more than $10 million.”

See the letter to Bakish here.

In each letter, Lander noted that “as long-term investors,” the pension funds have “long considered constructive labor management relations to be fundamental to effective human capital management and the creation of sustainable shareholder value.”

The five pension funds in question are the New York City Teachers’ Retirement System, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the New York City Police Pension Fund, the New York City Fire Pension Fund, and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System, which are collectively known by the acronym NYCRS.

And in each letter, Landers wrote, rather ominously, that “In addition to concerns that the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes expose NYCRS’ investments to undue risk, I am also concerned that the underlying business practices which led to this conflict, if not resolved, may threaten the long-term stability of NYCRS’ investments in your company.”

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