Friday, November 21, 2008

Trade Unions and Workers’ Capital Stewardship

On Thursday I went to Congress House for an informal meeting of National trade union pension/Capital Stewardship officers, trade union staff pension trustees and lay pension trustees and nominated representatives.

The TUC pension policy officers organise these meetings and the aim is to try and establish a forum for trade unionists who are interested in the investment of workers capital.

We discussed the possible co-ordination of union staff pension funds, the implications for capital stewardship of the financial crisis (very interesting!), other campaigning activities, report on the Committee for Workers Capital (CWC) AGM and future framework for the forum.

There was broad agreement from those present that it would be a good idea to work together on particular issues. Of course, this is an informal forum with no decision making function but I felt that we were making real progress and that there is the opportunity for greater co-ordination and co-operation in the future between affiliates. Which I think would be great but will obvious depend on affiliates being persuaded that this is something that will be in the interests of their members.

With the current financial “crisis”, there has never been in my view a more favourable environment for Union capital stewardship activists to try and persuade their unions that this is in their membership’s interests to get on board. We need in my view to stop the financial services industry in the future using our money to enrich themselves and rip us off. The best way of doing this is enable the real owners of capital to make sure that the companies they own are run in the interests of its owners and stakeholders not its the financial interests of its transient management.

It won’t be easy and we need to organise to win, to change things, not just to protest, but this s a “Seize the moment” comrades. So go for it!


Anonymous said...

That's right...we can run our pensions as brilliantly as we do the Labour Party's finances.

Anonymous said...

Hi John

That's interesting. Was there a rep from UNITE? If so who as I've been trying to find out who deals with these issues within the union without success to date.

Michael J

ps I'm still waiting for a response to my comment from August!

John Gray said...

Hi Anon
Nope – don’t get it? This was a meeting of trade unions not the Party!

Hi Michael J
There were 2 Unite officials. I’m not sure how Unite structures work so I suggest you contact your branch for them to refer your request to your pensions section?
Apologise for not responding to your other comments. I’m a bit behind on responding and I’ll try to catch up with myself asap