Proxy Voting

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Proxy Voting

Shareholders in publicly traded companies hold the right to vote on issues that are put forward by corporate management and shareholders at annual general meetings. Exercising proxy voting rights is an opportunity to align workers’ capital with workers’ interests and contribute positively to a company’s long-term value. The CWC encourages a community of practice among trade union pension trustees to advance the active ownership of company shares through proxy voting.

Proxy voting is a valuable tool to enable trustees to carry out their capital stewardship duties. Because the process of voting on large numbers of shareholder proposals can be difficult to manage, institutional investors often delegate voting to investment managers. The degree of oversight varies. Some asset owners adopt their own voting policy and instruct their asset managers to vote accordingly. Other funds’ proxies are voted according to their asset managers voting policies.

The CWC circulates proxy alerts on specific resolutions – including management resolutions and shareholder proposals - to encourage those managing workers’ capital to exercise their voting rights on issues that are important to workers in the short and long term. We review and analyse key proxy votes that raise ESG issues at corporations likely to be held in the global equity portfolios of pension funds. We also keep track of voting guidelines that the labour movement develops to help trustees and investors evaluate the performance of fund managers or proxy voting services on key ESG issues.

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