The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) held its 30th National Convention at the Palais des congrès in Montreal the week of May 8th, 2023. The Canadian Capital Stewardship Network (CCSN) welcomed the opportunity to join thousands of delegates to discuss the vital “Lifting Everyone Up” agenda of Canadian labour and discuss key worker rights’ campaigns, asset manager accountability and trustee leadership.
The CCSN had a booth at the event and greeted convention delegates over the week. We held discussions with local treasurers, pension trustees and union leaders in the public and private sectors to discuss how the CCSN can support trade union goals and objectives.
On the first day of the convention, the CCSN held a public report back for delegates. We were pleased to welcome union appointed trustees and pension committee activists, as well as rank and file delegates seeking to learn more about pensions and responsible investment. We spoke about CCSN initiatives to promote Freedom of Association shareholder resolutions at companies like Amazon and Starbucks. The successful examples of unionization at Starbucks combined with a recent majority shareholder vote asking the company to uphold freedom of association, was another example of how campaigns on the ground can be tied to shareholder action.
We also reported on a CCSN convened engagement between asset owners and Canada’s 6th largest pension asset manager, Fiera Capital. Asset managers have sizeable power and influence over the companies they own on behalf of investors, including workers’ capital funds. The CCSN helped convene this inaugural Canadian asset manager accountability engagement with Fiera this past April. Over 20 pension funds, foundations and religious investors came together to discuss some gaps and to suggest improvements in Fiera’ approach to holding investee companies accountable on labour rights and the climate transition.
We are happy to report that the resolution in support of the CCSN that was submitted by BC General Employees’ Union (BCGEU), was adopted on the convention floor. The resolution reinforces the legitimacy of the CCSN within the Canadian labour movement and it encourages CLC affiliates to get involved. We look forward to continuing to work with the CLC and its affiliates and to expand our community of practice and our impact across the country.
The CCSN is proud to support, and be supported, by the Canadian labour movement. To get involved with the CCSN, please get in touch with the Secretariat: [email protected]