Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Global Investors Managing $372 Billion in Assets Endorse the Employee Free Choice Act

Investors in the U.S. and Abroad Consider Passage of the Act an "Economic Imperative"

May 11, 2009 - New York, NY - Yesterday, an international coalition of major institutional investors, managing $372 billion across the global economy, sent a letter to Senate and House leaders endorsing the Employee Free Choice Act (S. 560 and H.R. 1409).

The investor endorsement brings a new business voice to the debate over U.S. labor law reform, breaking sharply with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and other corporate trade associations lobbying against the bill.

"As investors, we believe constructive labor relations are essential for improving productivity, efficiency and workplace safety," said Steven Heim, Senior Vice President and Director of Social Research and Advocacy for Boston Common Asset Management, LLC.

"We believe the proposed legislation would help appropriately rebalance labor-management relations and better protect workers if they face unlawful conduct by employers when exercising their workplace rights."

In their letter, the investors underscored the economic considerations in their endorsement of the legislation, noting that "the decline in unionization in the United States, exacerbated by a variety of anti-union responses from companies and weaker U.S. labor law, has damaged the fragile relationship between management and employees and depressed the prospects for sustained economic recovery."

"The Employee Free Choice Act is an investment in our shared economic future," said Adam Kanzer, Managing Director and General Counsel at Domini Social Investments LLC. "The Act will help to stabilize our economy, both in the United States and abroad, by establishing a more balanced relationship between labor and management. Today, American workers are producing more and receiving less. This is an unsustainable trend that creates material risks for employees, investors and the global economy.

By more effectively protecting workers' fundamental human rights, the Act would help to reverse these damaging trends."

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