New union body will challenge executive pay and all-male boardrooms

Simon Neville, 26th March 2013, The Guardian

Trade Union Share Owners group aims to use its share ownership to ‘inject a dose of reality’ into British boardrooms.

Overpaid chief executives and all-male boardrooms will be challenged by a new grouping of influential shareholders controlled by the TUC, Unison and Unite unions.

The Trade Union Share Owners group, which controls £1bn worth of staff pension funds, will join forces to take action at the annual meetings of FTSE-listed companies, a year after the so-called shareholder spring saw a wave of meetings where investors voiced their anger at excessive pay.

The group will take common voting positions on directors’ pay and bonuses, the membership of boards and the advertising of new director posts.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The UK’s families might be struggling to cope with the biggest squeeze on their incomes in living memory, but that hasn’t discouraged top directors from awarding themselves austerity-busting pay and bonus packages worth millions.

“It’s time to inject a long-overdue dose of reality into British boardrooms and we are going to use the power of our pension funds to make a difference and to encourage a new and more responsible corporate Britain.” Continue reading

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