CWC May 2015 Newsletter

New trade union leadership to head Global Unions’ Committee on Workers’ Capital

  • New CWC Leadership Team - Chair: Ton Heerts, President of the Dutch trade union confederation FNV; Co-chair: Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO; Co-chair: Paddy Crumlin, President, ITF; with Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary

Ton Heerts, President of the Dutch trade union confederation FNV, has been appointed Chair of the Committee on Workers’ Capital (CWC), the labour movement’s forum for trade union engagement with pension funds on responsible investment practices. Appointed by the ITUC in March 2015, Ton Heerts will lead the CWC for the next three years, together with Vice-Chairs Liz Shuler (Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO), and Paddy Crumlin (President, ITF) and with Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.

Some USD25tr are invested in the global economy to finance workers’ rights to retirement. By leveraging their retirement savings, workers and their representatives, including member-nominated pension trustees, can influence how companies respect human and labour rights, integrate environmental, social and governance concerns while remaining financially sustainable.

The appointment of the new CWC leadership team follows on discussion on the governance and reorganisation of the Committee at the ITUC General Council meeting in December 2014. In April 2015, the CWC leadership approved a work plan to strengthen pension fund trustee networks and to coordinate targeted shareholder activist campaigns for corporate accountability. The work plan also has three thematic priorities for the year to come: curbing tax evasion, and mobilising pension fund finance for infrastructure and for a low-carbon economy.

The CWC was created in 1999 by the Executive Board of the then ICFTU, following a conference of trade union leaders from ICFTU affiliates, Global Union Federations and the TUAC in November 1999 in Stockholm. The Committee was chaired by Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress between 2000 and 2003, and by Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress between 2003 and 2014.