Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Tesco AGM - use your vote

A quick plug for the excellent work being done by Unite to combat discrimination against agency workers in the meating packing and supply sector. Unite has been pushing the big supermarket chains to address this issue in the companies that supply them with some success.

Their latest initiative is a shareholder resolution at Tesco's forthcoming AGM which Unite has filed with the West Yorkshire Pension Fund. It seeks to get Tesco to -

Allocate a non-executive board member to Tesco's Corporate Responsibility Committee to share accountability for implementation and achievement of these policy commitments.
Commit to annual reporting publicly on performance and progress on relevant Tesco policies, including formalising specific Key Performance Indicators to measure compliance.
Implement as a manageable model for demonstrating progress, improvements to Tesco's UK meat and poultry supply chain, which has been identified as a particular area of non-compliance with implications for social cohesion. The company should develop a framework, through the auspices of a multi-stakeholder group that includes worker representatives such as the Ethical Trading Initiative, that will:
• ensure Tesco suppliers eliminate discrimination and treat all workers equally regardless of employment status; and
• provide support for UK meat and poultry suppliers to Tesco to ensure they satisfactorily deliver equal treatment and a reasonable ethical norm in this sector.

It's resolution 23 on the AGM agenda, and the meeting is on 3rd July. Most pension funds will hold Tesco because it's such a large company so if you're a trustee this is am opportunity to use your share-ownership to address workplace rights in a company you part own.

At the least you should try and find out how your fund manager(s) intend to vote on the resolution, but better yet why not instruct them to vote for the resolution?