Monday, 11 February 2008

Global union co-operation on SRI & shareholder voting

Hat-tip to Oliver @ the CWC (nicked from his newsletter):

ITUC - ETUC - CWC and Euresa Institute sign a "memorandum of understanding"

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) the Committee on Workers’ Capital (CWC) and Euresa Institute, on 17 January 2008 in Brussels, signed a memorandum of understanding formalising the cooperation of the last few years between the international and European labour movements and Euresa, the European network of social economy insurance companies (cooperative, mutual and non-profit insurance companies).

This agreement reflects the common will – as unions engaged in pension or savings fund management or as cooperative, mutual and non-profit insurance companies or asset managers – to promote actively practices respectful of environmental, social and governance criteria (ESG) in the companies in which they hold shares.

These organisations have consequently decided to develop closer ties by developing exchange and cooperation between their respective shareholding networks, so as to share their analyses and voting recommendations with respect to given companies, prior to their General Meetings. Such cooperation may also extend to joining forces by carrying out collective initiatives for responsible investment, thus making the most of their collective strength.

The memorandum of understanding is in keeping with the prolongation of a Joint Declaration published in 2003, in which Euresa and the ETUC agreed to establish a European "area for dialogue and exchange", and with work under way in the social sphere for a number of years, in particular on social protection.

This practical cooperation underlines the interest of trade union and social economy organisations in contributing to the regulation of social, civil and environmental issues, as well as that of economic and financial activities.

Annexe: Presentation of the signatory organisations:

Committee on Workers’ Capital (CWC)

The Committee on Workers’ Capital (CWC) brings together representatives of the international labour movement with the aim of sharing information and developing strategies for joint action on the socially responsible investment of workers’ capital.

Participants in the CWC are representatives of the international labour movement with expertise in workers’ capital, corporate governance, socially responsible investment, shareholder activism and other investment issues. Established in 1999, the CWC’s formal name is the Global Unions Committee on Workers’ Capital, in recognition of its affiliation with the major international trade union bodies, including the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the Global Unions Federation (GUF) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC).

The CWC is chaired by Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress , the national voice of the Canadian trade union movement. The CWC Secretariat is based at the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), a not-for-profit organisation based in Vancouver, Canada, with close ties to the labour movement, in collaboration with ITUC and the TUAC.

For more information, see

Euresa Institute

Euresa Institute was set up in 2005 to carry out studies and research in the social sphere, to organise training and disseminate information to trade union organisations, consumer associations, and mutual and cooperative companies, whilst respecting the identity and uniqueness of each.

The Institute is composed of five members (Devk in Germany, Macif and Maif in France, P&V in Belgium, Unipol in Italy and Folksam in Sweden) and an associate member (Matmut in France), as well as an ex officio member, the European Trade Union Confederation. The ETUC’s representative, Mr Henri Lourdelle, is social protection adviser at the ETUC General Secretariat. He was named President of the Euresa Institute on 23 October 2007.

Continuing the initiatives implemented by certain of its members, Euresa Institute teamed up in 2006 with the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), and in 2007 with the CWC, to create Voice, an international network of socially responsible investors.

European Trade Union Confederation

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) speaks with a single voice on behalf of the common interests of workers, at European level. Founded in 1973, it now represents 82 trade union organisations in 36 European countries, plus 12 industry-based federations. The ETUC’s prime objective is to promote the European social model and to work for the development of a united Europe of peace and stability where working people and their families can enjoy full human and civil rights and high living standards.



Ron Robins said...

I believe global union action on getting behind socially responsible investing and proxy voting issues is long past due. Your blog devoted to this cause is commendable!

For your information, I've been following socially responsible investing for around forty years and have a website that covers all the latest relevant global news at

Good luck and best wishes, Ron Robins

Tom P said...


Thanks for your support. Your website looks very interesting.

Ron Robins said...

Glad you like it. I spend many hours each day scanning info from all-over the world to kep my readers abreast of SRI developments everywhere.

Hope you visit often! Take care, Ron