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Workers’ Capital News - October 2013

In this issue:

  • Governance and Disclosure

    Responsibility of minority shareholders on human rights/ New Bangladesh Accord website discloses factories

  • Shareholder Activism

    Burrow calls for “patient, productive and engaged capital” at PRI/ Votes registered against executive pay at Oracle for Oct. 31 AGM

  • Pensions and Investments

    Infrastructure allocations and long-term investment/ Canadian pension system changes could have major consequences

Governance and Disclosure

Responsibility of minority shareholders on human rights

A recent article from Responsible Investor (free to non-subscribers) highlights the applicability of both the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to minority shareholders, including pension funds. The article relates specifically to the POSCO case, focussed on two pension funds in Norway and the Netherlands, and in particular on the outcome with the Norway NCP.

New Bangladesh Accord website discloses factories

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh has set up a website that provides the list of signatories, disclosure of the factories that supply them, and key data on these factories (location, number of stories, workers, etc), as well as background information and frequently asked questions on the Accord itself. In other Accord news from Reuters, Adidas has confirmed it will become a signatory.

Shareholder Activism

Burrow calls for “patient, productive and engaged capital” at PRI

Responsible Investor has made its article on Sharan Burrow’s keynote address at the PRI in Person event in Cape Town free to non-subscribers. You can find the article, Global trades union chief calls on PRI to be more activist and coalesce around G20 long-termism, here. There was also coverage from Top 1000 Funds, including a link to the speech document.

Votes registered against executive pay at Oracle for Oct. 31

As reported by Responsible Investor, the campaign by CtW Investment Group to vote against executive pay at Oracle’s AGM this Thursday has been supported by advance votes from several institutional investors, including AFSCME. More on shareholder concern with CEO pay at Oracle can be found in a past WSJ article.

Pensions and Investments

Infrastructure allocations and long-term investment

Based on a recent survey, IPE reports that allocations to infrastructure are expected to grow in the next year and a half for almost two-thirds of respondents, including pension funds. In contrast, Pensions & Investments reports that current uptake on infrastructure investment is moving slowly, according to a recent report from the OECD. The report, the OECD’s Annual Survey of Large Pension Funds and Public Pension Reserve Funds, focuses this year on long-term investments as per objectives outlined by the G20/OECD High-level Principles of Long-term Investment.

Canadian pension system changes could have major consequences

A recent article in the Globe and Mail (Canada), authored by the CEOs of four of Canada's large public sector pension plans, makes the case for the significant positive value to the economy and workers in Canada from the defined benefits model. A similar case is made in greater detail by a recently released study by the Conference Board of Canada.

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