Proxy Alerts,

Proxy Alert: Woolworths Group Limited (ASX: WOW)

We are encouraging CWC participants’ funds to vote in support of two shareholder resolutions at the upcoming Woolworths Group Limited AGM on November 21.

The following two shareholder resolutions have been filed by LUCRF Super and the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR):

  • Resolution 6 (a) – A special resolution, as required under Australian law, for ordinary resolutions on ESG risk to be put to a vote;
  • Ordinary Resolution 6 (b) – Human rights in our company’s operations and supply chains

For more details, we invite you to read the investor brief prepared by the National Union of Workers (NUW) and ACCR.

ESG issues
Woolworths is one of the principal buyers of fresh fruit and vegetables in Australia. As per numerous media reports outlined in this investor brief, labour rights violations in Australian domestic fresh food supply chains include abuse, sexual harassment, underpayment and mistreatment of migrant and/or season workers. Migrant workers who spoke out about underpayments, excessive overtime, and unsanitary working conditions at Woolworth suppliers have faced retaliative measures.

Why investors should consider supporting these resolutions
In 2017 ACCR, the National Union of Workers (NUW) and LUCRF Super put forward a human rights reporting shareholder resolution to be considered at the company’s 2017 AGM. The resolution was withdrawn following the company’s commitment to work collaboratively towards the implementation of an agreed pre-qualification programme for labour-hire providers.

Despite ongoing engagement, an agreement on the pre-qualification programme and trade union involvement in worker education and grievance mechanisms has not been reached. The resolutions presented by ACCR and LUCRF Super are premised on the evidence that a tripartite approach is best suited to addressing human rights risks in the Woolworths’ supply chain and mitigating operational risks related to labour rights violations. They seek to align the disclosure requirements in Woolworths’ domestic food supply chain in line with those in its global apparel supply chains.

For more information, please contact Paul Richardson, National Union of Workers or Katie Hepworth, ACCR

Click here to view the investor brief.

Photo credit: Agence Producteurs Locaux Damien Kühn