Challenging corporate power -- from the inside

Here's some of the amazing work you supported this AGM season


We want to let you know that, in the last few weeks, we hit 6 corporation’s annual meeting to call on Canadian corporations to pay better wages, take climate change and deforestation seriously, and fight back against sexual harassment on its biggest day of the year.

All this amazing work that we can do was in part due to the support of a progressive labour union, the British Columbia Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU). By allowing to access its shares -- we were able to get into some of the biggest Canadian corporations’ annual shareholder meetings.

In all, you challenged Canadian corporations, with combined worth of over $400 billion, on their biggest days of the year by sending thousands of emails to over 150 different pension funds, calling on fund managers to vote for our progressive proposals.

Here’s a run-down of all the AGMs we went to representing you.

TD Bank: pulling the plug on fossil fuel funding.

Here's a picture...  of our action outside of TD's investors meeting

In early April, because of the BCGEU, we we able to hand your petition of almost 20,000 names directly to TD CEO, Bharat Masrani calling for defunding of new and existing fossil fuel projects. Right before we went in, we partnered with and Greenpeace at a rally outside, where executives started feeling the heat before we even presented them with the petition.

TD was so shaken up that top executives requested a personal meeting. We’re making progress with executives and have important and exciting next steps. Stay tuned for what’s coming!

Here’s a press hit on the TD investor’s meeting:

A Green New Deal for Canada set to launch

Loblaw: demanding living wages for workers across Canada

Loblaw CEO makes $7.5 million a year but won't pay a living wage meme

As part of our partnership with the BCGEU we headed to Loblaw, the largest private employer in Canada, to challenge Galen Weston -- one of the richest men in Canada -- to pay his workers a living wage. Our shareholder proposal called on the corporation to address inequality in the company, where most workers are making minimum wage, while Mr Weston remains one of the highest paid CEOs in Canada.

We were joined by partners at Put Food in the Budget and delivered our powerful petition in support of the proposal. Ultimately the proposal received support by combined shareholder worth of over half a trillion dollars. That’s some serious financial power calling for a living wage!

We're committed to keeping the pressure on Galen Weston and Loblaw to pay a living wage and help over 135,000 workers in Canada be able to meeting their basic needs through their work.

Can you sign or share our petition calling for fair wages to keep up the pressure?

Restaurant Brands International: pushing for a No Deforestation policy

RBI shareholder victory meme

RBI is the parent company of fast food giants Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeye’s. Compared to its competitors it has the worst track record for deforestation -- refusing to make a plan to stop slashing rainforests for its palm oil, beef, soy and paper.

Because of the BCGEU, we were able to present Jose Cil, the new CEO, with your petition of 280,000 names calling for a No Deforestation policy for all its supply chain. And we were able to support the bold shareholder proposal calling for the same, which won over 50% of the independent shareholder votes, which is HUGE.

Can you share this graphic about the win?

And check out this video of SumOfUs staff on her way into the AGM.

Brookfield Asset Management: preventing #metoo moments in the financial industry

SumOfUs, BCGEU and UNITE Here outside Brookfield's AGM

Brookfield Asset Management may not be a big household name but it is a $350 billion corporation that owns major hotels like Canary Wharf, the Sheraton, Brookfield Place and more.

Our shareholder proposal on tying sexual misconduct to executive compensation was the first of its kind ever to be presented at a shareholder meeting in Canada and added intense pressure to the corporation to prevent #metoo moments in the financial sector.

We were joined at the meeting with Emma Pullman from the BCGEU and Kay Drummond of UNITE Here Local 75, the union representing hotel workers at a Brookfield-owned property.

Executives were visibly shaken and said that they were taking the issue very seriously. Not only that but 1 in 10 non-controlled shareholders agreed that Brookfield should take this important action.

Check out this video of Emma from BCGEU and Amelia from SumOfUs piling the pressure on the CEO and Chairman of the Board during the meeting.

Dollarama: pushing for better environmental and social practices

SumOfUs presents shareholder proposal to Dollarama

Last year, Dollarama had to recall princess dolls, skipping balls, toy furniture, and other children's toys for containing excessive levels of toxic phthalates. So on its biggest day of the year, we delivered a petition calling on it to address this toxic toy recall.

In addition, we used BCGEU’s shares in Dollarama to file a shareholder resolution calling on Dollarama to report on its responses to environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities to ensure that this type of recall never happen again. BCGEU’s shareholder resolution received the highest vote of all the proposals this year.

We know that our message was heard loud and clear: because of your pressure on the day of the investor’s meeting, Dollarama released an updated ESG report -- something executives told us didn’t have a definite release date when we first spoke to them.

PanAmerican Silver: challenging destructive mines in Latin America

SumOfUs, BCGEU and UNITE Here outside Brookfield's AGM

Pan American Silver is a mining company that celebrates itself as an industry leader for sustainability. And to back it up -- it bought what some are calling the most contentious mines in Latin American -- the Escobal Mine.

Well, they didn’t know that SumOfUs would be there on their “silver anniversary” annual meeting to call it on its hypocrisy. We were asked by grassroots groups and the Xinka people to ask a hard hitting question at the meeting.

What a way to launch a campaign! Over the summer we will start escalating our campaign to call Pan American out on its hypocrisy.

Here's a SumOfUs staff member challenging the CEO directly

Getting into these important investor meetings and challenging executives directly is very important work and helps shift corporate practices. And it's because of you, with the support of the BCGEU, that we have been able to have as much impact as we've had. And even though AGM season is mostly over, now is the time that we start planning what corporations we're going to put pressure on in 2020. But we can't get there without your support.

Will you chip in CA$92 today to keep our shareholder work going?

Thanks for all that you do,
Amelia, Angus and the team at SumOfUs

SumOfUs is a community of people from around the world committed to curbing the growing power of corporations. We want to buy from, work for and invest in companies that respect the environment, treat their workers well and respect democracy. And we’re not afraid to stand up to them when they don’t.

Please help keep SumOfUs strong by chipping in CA$3

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