UK - The union Unite is to scrutinise the actions of pension fund managers to ensure private equity investments do not result in job losses or benefit cuts for its members.
Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite, said: "We shall not prop up leveraged buyouts where workers are made redundant, factories are closed and jobs are outsourced or off-shored.
"Nor will we support poor investment decisions where our members' savings take the hit for reckless, get-rich-quick schemes," Woodley added.
Unite, the largest trade union in the UK, joined forces with American union SEIU to warn private equity bosses that pension schemes should not be relied on for funding.
The union also told pension scheme trustees they should not be over-exposed to investments built on debt and consider the effect of their investments on society at large.
Woodley concluded: "There will be no blank cheques. If private equity wants our pension money, then they must prove that this money will not help throw workers on the scrapheap while lining the pockets of the equiteers."
The action was held in conjunction with the Global Day of Action on private equity on 17 July, which saw coordinated events across 25 countries throwing a spotlight on the leveraged buyout industry.
In February, a report from Aon found almost three quarters of company pension fund trustees would be concerned if their sponsor was taken over by a private equity firm (www.globalpensions.com, 5 February 2008).
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