TJX Companies’ Shareholders Support Disclosure on Prison Labor


TJX Companies’ Shareholders Support Disclosure on Prison Labor

Boston, MA (June 5, 2019) – From the TJX Companies’ annual shareholder meeting on June 4th, a preliminary vote report indicated that approximately 38% of shareholders voted in favor of a shareholder proposal that asked for disclosure of prison labor in the company’s supply chain, rounding out a series of three shareholder proposals on prison labor brought to annual shareholder meetings in 2019 by Boston-based socially responsible investment firm NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.

“We are very pleased that shareholders at TJX Companies have joined those at The Home Depot and Costco Wholesale in supporting our shareholder resolutions asking for disclosure and oversight on prison labor,” stated NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.’s CEO Julie Goodridge.

Motivated by the pursuit racial justice and economic equality as well as protecting its clients’ investments in each company, NorthStar’s in-depth research on prison labor began almost five years ago. Goodridge explained that “one of NorthStar’s goals is to hold companies accountable for protecting all workers. If a company is profiting from the use of prison labor, they must protect and advocate for these individuals. Our capitalist system was built on the backs of slaves and continues to benefit inappropriately from the labor of people – disproportionately people of color – in prison. Companies must exercise their influence over suppliers to improve health, well-being, pay, and job training for incarcerated people.”

Building on its first company engagements on this topic last year, each proposal on prison labor that NorthStar brought to a shareholder vote this year earned successively higher votes at each respective annual meeting. “Our proposal received over 28% of the vote at Costco in January, then approximately 30% at Home Depot a couple weeks ago, and we finished the proxy season strong with a preliminary vote of 38% at the TJX Companies’ annual meeting this week,” detailed Mari Schwartzer, NorthStar’s Director of Shareholder Activism and Engagement.

“All three companies – TJX, Home Depot, and Costco – have different supply chain risks related to prison labor in the U.S. and have yet to take steps that satisfy shareholders,” continued Schwartzer. “Prison labor is an opaque industry where companies cannot know their risk until they proactively seek it out. Shareholders have shown that this risk is worth company investigation.”

NorthStar Asset Management, Inc. is a progressive wealth management firm based in Boston with a mandate to invest responsibly.  At NorthStar, creative shareholder engagement is a positive force for change.


Contact: Julie Goodridge

NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.

Boston, Massachusetts



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