Union Investment Group Pressures Tesco

The CtW Investment Group here, which is affiliated with the Change to Win union coalition, said it is seeking to tie the pay of Tim Mason, Tesco's top executive in the U.S., to the performance of the company's Fresh & Easy chain.

WASHINGTON — The CtW Investment Group here, which is affiliated with the Change to Win union coalition, said it is seeking to tie the pay of Tim Mason, Tesco's top executive in the U.S., to the performance of the company's Fresh & Easy chain.

In a letter to Patrick Cescau, the senior independent director at Tesco, CtW said it believes the sales performance at Fresh & Easy, which operates in the Southwestern U.S., has been worse than Tesco has admitted. CtW also called for more transparency in Tesco's disclosure of Fresh & Easy's financial performance and cited the acquisition by Tesco of its two U.S. perishables suppliers — 2 Sisters and Wild Rocket Foods — as evidence of the chain's struggles.

"There is no question that Fresh & Easy has grown much more slowly than planned and has continued losing money when it was supposed to break even," the letter stated. "With its two key suppliers abandoning the U.S. market, the need to provide shareholders with full disclosure of concrete performance and compensation metrics has become acute."

The announcements from CtW come as Tesco prepares for its annual meeting this Friday. The union group had previously announced it opposition to Tesco's executive pay.