Committee on Workers Capital

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Committee on Worker's Capital

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"The Committee on Workers' Capital (CWC) brings together representatives of the international labour movement to share information and develop strategies for joint action in the field of workers' capital, including such areas as pension trustee education, corporate and financial market governance, shareholder activism and economically targeted investment.

CWC participants are drawn from the international trade union movement, and have expertise related to workers' capital, corporate governance, socially responsible investing, shareholder activism, and other investment issues." (,en/)

Strategies for Workers' Capital

"Worker's Capital

The concentrated nature of share ownership on the world's capital markets means that large institutional investors – insurance companies, mutual funds, and pension funds - own the bulk of the world's listed companies. In many countries, a significant portion of these shareholdings is held in workers' retirement savings, pension funds, and other investment vehicles, otherwise known as workers' capital. . The largest shareholding bodies in Great Britain are the British Telecom and mineworkers pension schemes. In the U.S., it's the public employees of California; it's the civil service fund in The Netherlands; the workers' pension fund in Denmark, and in Canada , the teachers and civil servants of Ontario.

Workers' capital refers to the assets accumulated in collectively funded schemes in order to provide workers with financial security in their retirement. As beneficial owners of these deferred wages, workers are the indirect owners of a substantial portion of the world's equities, though pension asset allocation patterns vary between countries. According to a 2002 estimate, workers' retirement savings and pension funds total more than USD 11 trillion globally (Watson Wyatt Global Investment Review 2002), and it has been estimated that pension fund holdings account for about one-third of the world's total share capital – and significantly more in some countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States."

A proactive approach to managing workers' capital - sometimes known as capital stewardship - can help companies build long term value while avoiding short term excesses. The key idea is to influence corporate behaviour by leveraging worker capital as indirect owners of business through their shareholdings.

A wide and varied "toolbox" is available: Positive actions can range from coordinated shareholder activism and proxy voting campaigns to international engagement with companies in which retirement funds hold stock as well as investment managers. Alternately, "negative" screening is available to weed out companies pursuing undesirable practices (social, environmental, lacking workers rights, etc.) from pension fund and retirement investments. With effective organization and coordination, worker capital can help address persistent corporate or market failings, resulting in improved corporate governance. Capitalcan be steered to needy areas of the economy that traditional institutional investment has failed to serve properly (economically targeted investment)." (