United Steelworkers Welcomes Decision
TORONTO, July 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) welcomes
the decision by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) to
divest its entire holdings in Excellon Resources Inc.
"Investors have obligations to shareholders to invest responsibly and
avoid links to human rights violations, and this is especially the case
with CPPIB which oversees the retirement funds for all Canadians," said
Ken Neumann, USW National Director. The USW has criticized the CPPIB in
the past for its poor policy on socially responsible investment.
The CPPIB held nearly three million shares in the Toronto-based mining
company at the end of the 2012 fiscal year. The CPPIB is the most
recent large shareholder to divest of Excellon Resources shares. Matrix
Asset Management divested in 2012 and Dimensional Fund Advisors
divested earlier this year.
Excellon is embroiled in a long-running and occasionally violent dispute
with workers and landowners in Mexico, where the company has been the
subject of human rights and labour rights violation allegations. In
2011, the company refused to participate in a dispute resolution
process established by the Canadian government`s Corporate Social
Responsibility Counsellor for the Extractive Sector.
Last year, Excellon was named in a complaint under the OECD Guidelines
on Multinational Enterprises filed by the Canadian Labour Congress
(CLC), the USW, Los Mineros, communal landowners and Mining Watch
Canada. The Mexican government rejected the complaint after it
conducted a flawed and much-criticized investigation. Subsequently,
community and worker representatives from La Platosa were invited to
speak at the OECD Annual Meeting of National Contact Points in June.
Excellon continues to refuse to engage in good faith dialogue with Los
Mineros, the only democratic union acting on behalf of Excellon's
workers, and communal landowners at its La Platosa, Mexico mine site.
In February of this year, CLC Secretary-Treasurer Hassan Yussuff
travelled to Mexico to meet with community members and Los Mineros
officials. This was part of a fact-finding mission by the Trade Union
Advisory Committee to the OECD and included a meeting at the Canadian
embassy in Mexico City.
The USW filed a complaint last week with the federal information
commissioner on the failure of the Harper government to respond to
requests for information under the federal Access to Information Act.
The USW is exploring the relationship between the Canadian government
and Excellon. In August 2012, Excellon hired lobblyist Will Stewart of
Ensight Canada to seek government support for Excellon operations in
Mexico. Stewart is a former chief of staff for John Baird, Minister of
Excellon share prices remain depressed despite efforts to boost prices
through insider purchases, share buybacks, reports on potential new ore
finds and a controversial reverse stock split. Trading of Excellon
shares on the Toronto stock exchange has sunk to an all-time low.
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Joe Drexler, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-544-6009, email@example.com
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, firstname.lastname@example.org