Company Research: Transforming Corporate Governance
Company research at the LRS is currently handled on a project by project basis although the vision for the work remains constant:
To ensure that the unions can engage companies on a strategic level it is important for them to have a detailed understanding of the company itself - what some in the labour movement call strategic research. The research should provide the unions with an analysis of ownership and control, the form of corporate governance, the company finances, its specific operations and specific geographical spread, its suppliers and consumers and how the company is located in the sector. It is important that the unions have this analysis to ground their engagement in preparation for changing the company in a manner that incorporates workers' voices and is to their direct benefit. With this analysis unions will also be more confident to form broader alliances with civil society to put further pressure on the company to conform to the international campaign for decent work for decent life.
Current projects include work with the Shoprite Shop Stewards' Alliance. Pick n Pay Shop Stewards’ Alliance, Anglogold Ashanti Africa Continental Alliance and the Massmart Africa Shop Steward Alliance . The alliance brings together unions with members in company operations across countries in Africa and through their affiliation to global unions with the aim of working together to achieve a harmonisation of standards and decent working conditions for all workers.
A further project has established a database to support global unions in campaigns, education and collective bargaining processes regionally and internationally through providing useful and relevant information on multinational companies (MNCs). click here to access the MNC Database
Company research also annually compiles the Directors' Fees report for the LRS publication Bargaining Indicators. This report analyses director pay in around 80 of South Africa's listed companies across 12 sectors for use by unions in the collective bargaining process. This kind of analysis is now being taught in collective bargaining workshops with unions and worker's education NGOs.
The LRS has also begun a programme working with union activists to consider how workers’ capital – through pension funds and other investment vehicles, can be utilised to transform the way companies are governed and promote the developmental agenda.
Links to Resources