Wednesday, 26 April 2017

European pension funds

Well, well ... / My ribs are hurting again. I think I slept the wrong way in bed last night. 'What way is that, boss?' Lying down. 'Oh. Ain't that normal?' Not for me, lately, Voice. I'll have to continue sleeping sitting up for the foreseeable future. I actually quite like it. I mean, it's a new experience, you dig? 'Yeah. / What about the PR email?' Oh, okay. It's another PR email, dear reader(s). It's not that I'm lazy. It's just, well ... they send me so many, and it's easy, and I'm not in the best of health. It's very stressful going around the internet looking for news, you know. I think - 'Boss. Come on, man.' Oh, okay.

A new report examines whether European pension funds - built to provide a decent retirement for working people - are also acting to protect those workers' rights ahead of retirement. Authored by Tom Powdrill, responsible investment coordinator at the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation), it shows that funds have made progress in the area, but have still to achieve their full potential to improve lives.

Jesus H. - !!! There probably won't be any pension funds soon. And no one will have any rights at all. Why are we even discussing this? 'Boss, let Tom explain.' Tom?! Tom, who?! 'Tom Powdrill. He wrote the report.' Oh.

Tom Powdrill explained: "The ITF applauds the widespread take up of responsible investment policies by pension funds. They're a key form of social responsibility - and an implicit recognition that funds play a part in assisting workers both before and after retirement. Motivated by that we investigated how many of them were putting theory into practice and promoting workers' rights. The results were surprising. Core labour standards are being upheld by two thirds of the 100 largest funds in Europe - but one third, many of them based in the key fund arena of the United Kingdom, are sitting on their hands."

Ha! The United Kingdom. I should have known. This country is a shithouse. And it will get worse when we leave the European Union, you mark my words.

He concluded: "Another key finding was the power and prevalence of the 'capital strike': where funds respond to concerns about companies' treatment of workers. We identified funds in this sample alone, representing the huge sum of EUR 2 trillion, who refuse to invest in Wal-Mart, while six funds, representing EUR 287 billion, won't touch Rynanair."

Okay, okay. Well, I'm sure Paddy Crumlin has got something to say. / Paddy, come on, son.

ITF president Paddy Crumlin commented: "Pension money is not gifted. It's the hard earned product of hard work and industrial negotiation and is a deferment of wages that workers decide to make to secure a dignified and decent retirement. It has out to be put to work itself in a way that respects that source. It is only right that it helps build sustainable individual and collective futures, and that it does so ethically. It is morally inconceivable that it should be invested in companies that attack the rights of the very workers paying towards these pensions. This new research has identified much good practice, but it has also revealed a gap that the pension fund industry must move to close."

Well, I don't know. I'm not too optimistic. / Oh, there's a summary of the report. I'll just quote one paragraph of it -

However, almost a third of funds, representing nearly EUR 900 billion, make no reference to international standards. The UK is the clear outsider, accounting for two thirds of the funds in this group by number, and four fifths by assets (EUR 684 billion). This is particularly worrying given that the UK has the largest pool of retirement assets in Europe, and the second largest in the OECD.

Yeah, the UK. And this is what Brexit is about, man: Making life unbearable for the average man and woman in the street. Look at the insane politicians who support Brexit. Look at their eyes! They don't give two shits about sovereignty or taking back control. They just want to destroy pensions, destroy the NHS, destroy schools, destroy support for the disabled and the poor, and ... the list goes on! This is what people are voting for: THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION!!!


Anything else? No. There's nothing else, at the moment. A conceptual later. / Music? I ain't got nothing to say. So ...