Shareholder rights endow trade union pension trustees with powerful tools to hold companies where workers capital is invested to the highest social, environmental and governance standards in order to generate sustainable returns for beneficiaries over the long term. It is increasingly recognized that employing active oversight over companies held in a fund’s portfolio is an integral aspect of a trustee’s stewardship duties.

Because workers’ capital from one country is often invested in companies that employ workers in another country, we need to collaborate globally to realize its potential. The Shareholder Activism Working Group mobilizes the CWC’s international network of trustees to respond to trade union initiatives that seek to address labour rights violations and improve working conditions.

There are many different types of companies at the heart of trade union initiatives – some are listed on stock markets, some are private, some are investment vehicles that channel money to infrastructure or real estate. Often, the large investors in companies listed on stock markets are large financial institutions that manage pension funds’ investments. We seek to improve accountability to workers and pension beneficiaries across asset classes and throughout the financial system by holding these investors to account.

In addition to working on specific cases, we conduct research, coordinate investor initiatives and encourage a community of practice among trade union representatives and trustees on key capital stewardship issues.


Are you a trade union representative? Do you want to learn more about the campaigns we support and the working group? Register to access our campaigns portal here (for CWC participants).

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