Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Vote for Worker Board Members at Walmart AGM for better Governance and to tackle Covid-19 pandemic

Today I took part as a pension trustee in a online seminar with USA Walmart workers and their trade union, about governance and the abysmal response of the retail giant Walmart to the Covid-19 emergency.

Their workers spoke about the dangerously confused and fragmented response by management, which meant that workers and customers were put at unnecessary risk with little or no PPE provided, inadequate or non existent measures to social distance nor proper deep cleaning of stores.

It sounded like a complete and utter "f**k up", made worse by a woeful provision of sick pay for staff if they become ill and inadequate (at best) company medical insurance.

Next week there is the Walmart shareholders Annual General Meeting and there is a resolution calling for some of the company board members to be elected by its own staff.

If you look at what has happened with the very low levels of Covid-19 in Germany, which has had worker board members as a norm for decades, maybe this shows how companies have better governance and are more safely run if they have worker reps on their actual board.

I made the point at the seminar that as a long term investor I don't want for us to invest in a company that treats its staff badly and puts them and its customers at risk in a pandemic. It is not only morally (and legally) wrong but a bad decision to invest in a company that is so poorly run in an emergency that it allows its staff and customers to be put at deadly risk!

The AGM is next week and the motion for elected worker reps is proposal 7. Please contact your Pension or fund managers and if they own stock on your behalf in Walmart let them know your views. 


Hippie said...

As a single parent, I want to live in dignity, John, with my son. What do you suggest I say to my 7yo autistic son, the reason why he can't go home, and has lost all his toys, bicycle, clothes, everything? Do I simply explain that Newham have an assumed exemption from, and they just lie to justify not intervening in unlawful evictions?

John Gray said...

Very sorry to hear this but could you email me on John.Gray@Newham.Gov.Uk with details?