Thursday, 10 April 2008

Unions as shareholder representatives

There's an interesting piece by Don Young on the role of unions in the capital markets here. Below is a short excerpt. Don's book is also worth a read.

Currently, many union members are also members of pension funds and many more have savings and mortgages. In this regard, it is possible to cast the unions as the representatives of more real shareholders than any other institutions. By 'real shareholders' we mean those who are the ultimate stakeholders in the economy and the actual owners of savings and pensions. The finance industry are agents and intermediaries, but have arrogantly and inaccurately assumed the roles of owners and shareholders. Let us say it again - they are not, they are agents of the real capital owners, who for a complex of reasons, get little or no say in what happens to their money unless they are very rich.

These real owners, the millions of small savers and pension fund members need a strong voice and don't have one. This is a void into which the unions could migrate, if they are intelligent about it.

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