Boston Globe: Union fighting a boardroom battle against Newton firm

Public companies are supposed to be answerable to shareholders, but those answers aren’t always what shareholders want to hear.

Witness the battle that hotel union Unite Here is waging against Hospitality Properties Trust, one of the Newton real estate investment firms overseen by Barry and Adam Portnoy.

The fight has gone on for a few years now. By the time HPT held its annual meeting June 15, Unite Here had key allies, including Institutional Shareholder Services (a major advisory firm for investors) and New York City’s comptroller’s office.  Read more. 

Hospitality Properties Trust board abolishes annual director elections, defying years of investor votes, reports UNITE HERE

Less than two months before Hospitality Properties Trust [Nasdaq: HPT] was to begin annual director elections for its entire board of directors – for the first time in its history – the board abruptly reversed course, reinstating multi-year, staggered terms for directors.

HPT’s move comes as a slap in the face to investors who voted for five years in support of annual director elections, then voted for three years to protect this right from a Maryland state law loophole. Read more

Citing a “Troubling Lack of Responsiveness” at Hospitality Properties Trust, ISS recommends shareholders vote the Blue Card, says UNITE HERE

UNITE HERE announced today that proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recommends shareholders of Hospitality Properties Trust (NYSE: HPT) vote the BLUE proxy card FOR the UNITE HERE’s proposal to opt out of Maryland’s Unsolicited Takeovers Act (MUTA) and require prior shareholder approval to opt in, thereby securing shareholders’ right to annual director elections at the June 1st annual meeting.