April 12, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A group of British Columbia (B.C.) union pension plans may pull more than $1 billion of investments managed by RBC Financial Services.
The group sent a warning letter to RBC in Vancouver, British Columbia, that they will withdraw the funds if its parent company, the Royal Bank, does not reverse its actions of outsourcing jobs overseas to replace Canadians. The unions stated that outsourcing the approximately 45 Canadian jobs is unacceptable.
B.C. Insulators Union Business Manager Lee Loftus said the pension plans believe it is hypocritical for their retirement funds to be invested by a company that is undermining the Canadian economy and hurting Canadian workers.
“RBC’s disrespectful corporate behavior is totally unacceptable to our union members and to the overwhelming majority of Canadians,” said Loftus, who chairs the B.C. Insulators pension plan board. “The $1 billion question is whether RBC will recognize that moving jobs out of Canada permanently can only hurt our economy – that’s wrong.”
Loftus says the unions are under no illusion that $1 billion worth of investments is a major sum of money to Canada’s largest bank, which holds over $830 billion and over $500 billion in deposits, but that the principle is important. “When individual Canadians are pulling their own personal RBC accounts and cancelling RBC credit cards, we want to do our part too and stick up for keeping jobs in our own country,” he said.
The pension funds’ letter was sent April 11, 2013, to RBC Investor Services’ Vancouver manager by D.A. Townley & Associates, administrator of pension plans for the B.C. Insulators and several other B.C. unions.