Dollar Tree to Track Overseas Suppliers' Records

April 26--Dollar Tree Inc. has agreed to ask its overseas suppliers to provide reports on their workplace safety records and other labor practices, according to a large shareholder that has been pressing the company to seek such information.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who oversees investments of that state's Common Retirement Fund, released a statement Thursday that said Dollar Tree also has added a vice president position to handle global sourcing and administer its new auditing program.

"The agreements will help safeguard the companies and their investors against the financial and reputational damage that can result when suppliers fail to uphold recognized standards of labor and workplace safety," DiNapoli's statement read.

In Dollar Tree's preliminary proxy statement last year, the New York pension fund submitted a shareholder proposal that the retailer require such reporting. The proposal, which Dollar Tree's board of directors opposed, was withdrawn from the final proxy statement released in May.

Chesapeake-based Dollar Tree operates the nation's largest retail chain selling everything for $1.

In response to questions, Dollar Tree spokesman Timothy Reid wrote in an email, "Our actions are consistent with our goal to establish a higher level of accountability, conformity and compliance with our company's stated policies regarding workplace safety, human and worker rights and environmental issues."

Carolyn Shapiro, 757-446-2270, carolyn.shapiro@pilotonline.com

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