Interactive proxy voting website launched by union group Committee on Workers’ Capital

New resource for pension fund trustees

The Committee on Workers’ Capital, the group which works to educate union pension trustees on responsible investment, has launched an interactive website where users can search key environmental, social and governance (ESG) votes at companies’ annual meetings.

The project is a collaboration between the CWC and a set of labour and responsible investment advocates globally.

The partners include: Australian Council of Super Investors; Shareholder Association for Research and Education (Canada); Eumedion (Netherlands); Community Growth Fund and Labour Research Service (South Africa); the Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (Spain); ETHOS (Switzerland); Trades Union Congress and PIRC (UK); and the AFLCIO (US).
It comes as Vancouver-based CWC has announced the launch of its Global Proxy Review 2012 report.

CWC says the review and website give trustees an overview of key shareholder votes at companies likely to be held in global equity portfolios.“This information can be used to hold fund managers and proxy voting services accountable for the votes cast on behalf of pensioners and investors,” CWC said.

The new report includes 38 votes from eight different countries on ESG issues “of particular importance to the labour movement”. Companies covered include: News Corporation, Enbridge, TNT Express, Anglo American, Banco Santander, Transocean, Barclays and J.P. Morgan Chase.

As CWC says: “Shareholder voting is one of the primary means by which investors can influence a company’s operations. It is therefore important for shareholders to participate in the voting process.”

The Review was created as a resource for trustees to evaluate how their votes were cast and minimise “accountability gaps” in the investment chain.

The Global Unions Committee on Workers’ Capital is an initiative of the International Trade Union Confederation, the Global Unions Federation, and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD.