Workers’ capital is invested in companies operating in a globalised economy, with increasingly complex supply chains. By leveraging their retirement savings, workers can influence how companies respect human and labour rights, remain financially sustainable, and minimize adverse impacts on the environment.
Understanding the importance of this role, the CWC (Global Unions Committee on Workers’ Capital), established in 1999, connects labour activists from around the world to promote information sharing and joint action in the field of workers’ capital. The CWC is a joint initiative of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the Global Unions Federations (GUFs) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC).
The work of the CWC, guided by the Global Unions Statement on Responsible Approaches to the Stewardship of Workers’ Capital (2007), and is implemented through working groups on shareholder activism, trustee education, and economically targeted investment.
How did investors voice their discontent with regards to executive compensation at Barrick Gold in Canada and Afren in the UK? Both companies – likely to be held in pension fund portfolios – faced votes of historic proportion against executive compensation in 2013.
Global Proxy Review is a pension trustee’s guide to key shareholder votes at multi-national companies across the globe. With this oversight tool, trustees and investors can evaluate the performance of fund managers or proxy voting services on the most important environmental, social and governance issues of the year.
The 2013 report includes 40 votes from eight different countries on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues of particular importance to the labour movement.
Visit: www.workerscapital.org/proxyreview to download the full report
Click here to read the press release
Trustees and investors can now use the Global Proxy Review interactive website to search key votes from the past three years. Go to the Global Proxy Review website to start searching and reviewing the voting record for your pension plan!
With over 110 participants from 13 different countries, the Shifting to the Long Term 2013 Conference took place in Washington, DC on October 16 & 17, hosted by the AFL-CIO.
The event brought together pension fund trustees, trade union representatives and other responsible investment stakeholders to discuss developments, share initiatives and co-ordinate strategies to shift away from short-termist and speculative behavior and towards long-term and responsible management of workers' capital.
Following opening speeches from Ken Georgetti (President, CLC, and CWC Chair), Sharan Burrow (General Secretary, ITUC), and Richard Trumka (President, AFL-CIO), sessions covered issues such as:
- Long-term investment and financial market reform
- Shifting financial relationships for the long term
- Addressing human rights & labour rights in investment decisions
- Investments for a sustainable future
- Response to the Bangladesh tragedy
- Pooling resources for effective global workers’ capital strategies
- Trustee leadership
- Active ownership
CWC members can access the conference report under the "Participate" section of the intranet (requires login).
The CWC Secretariat has launched a new Global CEO Paywatch webpage, featuring an overview and analysis of global trends in executive compensation along with a table compairing top paid executives in Australia, Canada and the United States.
- Trends in executive compensation and income inequalities
- Why has executive compensation increased so much?
- The reaction to excessive executive compensation
- Impact of Say-on-Pay votes on executive compensation
- Next steps for pension trustees
In addition, the Global CEO Paywatch table provides the salaries of the top 10 paid CEO’s in Australia, Canada and the US and the result of Say-on-pay votes demonstrating increasing discontent by investors.
Go to the Global CEO Paywatch webpage
Also available as a CWC Investor Brief.
If you are interested in participating in this project and expanding the number of countries listed in this table, we encourage you to contact the CWC Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Global Unions Committee on Workers Capital is encouraging institutional investors to support the Accord. This first in a series of blog posts focuses on the reputational risks faced by companies that have not signed the Bangladesh Accord and outlines why pension trustees should be concerned about this issue.
Reputational risks: why should pension trustees care?
Read the full blog post here.
Also available as a CWC Investor Brief.