Proxy Voting with the AFL-CIO

November 2013 Newsletter

Investing in Ourselves

Mike StotzIn only a little more than two years since its inception, the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund has grown to more than $4 billion in committed funds.

That type of growth is truly unprecedented and it’s because now, more than ever, unions are looking for pension fund investments that not only have low fees, but also share their values.

The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund is proud to proxy vote with the AFL-CIO Proxy Voting Guidelines 100 percent of the time.

I thought I would share part of a recent speech that AFL-CIO Richard L. Trumka gave recently at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Convention about the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund:

“Two years ago, a new fund, the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund, opened for investment. In that brief period of time, it has grown to more than $4 billion in committed funds. We’re proud of the fund. It’s an S&P 500 fund like any other, except it uses its proxy voting power to encourage companies to adopt responsible business practices, and most importantly it charges only minimal management fees — only one and a half basis points a year.

You should check to see if you’re paying more for the S&P 500 to Wall Street than you can get it for from the labor movement. The Equity Index Fund allows for proxy voting and shareholder resolutions that are aligned with labor movement’s principles of capital stewardship 100 percent of the time. Every time. All of the time.”

Please encourage your consultants to meet with us to see if your fund is eligible and please don’t hesitate to contact me, or Randy Kinder at indexfund@aflcio-itc.com.

Can we count on you to reach $5 billion in commitments for the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund by the end of the year?

In Solidarity,

mike sig

 

 

Mike Stotz
President & Managing Director
AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation

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Union Spotlight

Insulators Local 24 Supports Corporate Reform by Investing Union

24-logoIn recent years, Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Local 24, based in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, have worked for corporate accountability by investing their pension funds in investment vehicles that use proxy votes to reform Wall Street practices and advance the interests of working Americans.

One of these funds is the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund, a collective investment fund available to qualified pension plans that tracks the returns of the broad U.S. large cap equity market, as represented by the S&P 500.

Asked why Local 24 believes in the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund, Business Manager Lino Cressotti said:

“It is important to support initiatives like the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund and put union pension dollars to work on behalf of all working people by using proxy-voting strength to help support the fight for good governance and corporate accountability.”

Proxy votes for the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund are voted in line with the AFL-CIO Proxy Voting Guidelines 100% of the time.

Local 24 covers the Baltimore-Washington Area and has been a chartered member of the Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers since August 24th, 1907.  For nearly a century, Local 24 continues to obtain better working conditions and wages for the insulation craftsmen, gaining premium pay for overtime, time off for holidays, and a steady increase in wages.

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Union Spotlight

KS AFL-CIO Puts Proxy Votes to Work for America’s Middle Class

5016_logoAs Andy Sanchez sees it, unions have a very powerful and often overlooked tool at their disposal to support America’s middle class: their pensions.  Sanchez is the Executive Secretary-Treasurer at the Kansas AFL-CIO, which represents more than 95,000 union members throughout Kansas.

The mission of the Kansas AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families—to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to the state and the nation.

Sanchez knows that this mission can be accomplished in part by investing workers pension capital in funds that support workers interests and that use proxy votes to advance union issues of corporate reform.

“We are expanding the idea of union solidarity to how we invest,” said Sanchez.  “We can pool our resources and use our collective proxy votes to bring about meaningful corporate reform.  Together we can’t be ignored. Wall Street is noticing us and they are being forced to make changes.”

The Kansas AFL-CIO have invested with the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund for its track record of voting in-line with the AFL-CIO Office of Investment and using proxy votes to limit excessive corporate practices.

“The work we do to support families here in Kansas should be echoed in how we invest our money,” said Sanchez. “We try not to support corporations in Kansas that work against union efforts and raise CEO pay at the cost of jobs, so why would we support these efforts on Wall Street?”

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The Ohio Labor Movement Speaks Out: Union Influence is Growing on Wall Street

burga2“The labor movement is a powerful force for change on Wall Street. We are speaking up with a unified voice and forcing big corporations to respond with our proxy votes. They may have never heard of us before – but CEOs are going to become very familiar with the name of the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund.”

– Tim Burga, President, Ohio AFL-CIO

 

 

sizemore re“The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund is a great tool for the labor movement. Using our pension assets to help ensure that companies are held accountable is the right thing to do.”

– Doug Sizemore, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Cincinnati
AFL-CIO Labor Council

 

HarrietApplegate3“For years unions have been guilty of unknowingly investing with funds and corporations that were actively working to undermine the labor movement and further Wall Street excess at the expense of America’s middle class.  That is no longer the case.  We are speaking out, doing our research and investing our money in funds that support our interests and give workers a seat at the boardroom table with funds like the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund.  It just makes sense, making sure our dollars are working for us rather than against us.”

– Harriet Applegate, Executive Secretary, North Shore Federation of Labor