NEW YORK (CNS) — Dozens of institutional investors, including Catholic religious congregations, labor unions, public pensions and faith-based asset management firms, called on companies to support workers through policies to prevent severe economic hardship brought on by the coronavirus.
The growing coalition of investors said steps such as providing emergency paid leave to all employees, prioritizing health and safety, and avoiding layoffs would protect workers.
The call came in a statement released March 26 by three leaders in the responsible investing community: Domini Impact Investments, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and Scott M. Stringer, New York City’s comptroller.
At its release, 195 institutional investors representing more than $4.7 trillion in assets had signed the statement, but supporters have continued to be added since, reported the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.
The call for emergency leave should encompass part-time, temporary and subcontracted employees, the investors said. “Without paid leave, social distancing and self-isolation are not broadly possible,” they said.
Saying workers should avoid exposure to the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, as much as possible, the investors suggested companies implement rotating shifts and remote work when possible; enhance protections, training and cleaning; adopt workplace health and safety guidelines offered by health care professionals; and close locations if necessary.
Maintaining employees on staff will prevent widespread unemployment that could worsen the growing financial crisis, the statement said, noting that doing so would allow companies to resume normal operations as quickly as possible.
The investors urged companies to maintain supplier and customer relationships in maintaining prompt payment for materials and services and working with customers who are facing financial challenges. The investors also said “we expect the highest level of ethical financial management and responsibility” during the current uncertain market.
In addition, they called on corporate executives to “consider measures beyond these recommendations,” including child care assistance, hazard pay, help in accessing government support, employer-paid health insurance for laid-off workers and the deployment of resources to respond to the pandemic.
“While we acknowledge many of these recommendations may be out of reach, over the last several years we have seen corporations show leadership by using their power as a force for tremendous good. This leadership is critically needed as we face COVID-19 together,” the statement concluded.
Among the statement’s supporters are more than three dozen Catholic religious congregations of men and women and regional investment coalitions whose members are primarily Catholic institutions.
Others joining the call were the United Food and Commercial Workers, the AFL-CIO, the investment arm of the Presbyterian Church USA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and several international asset management funds.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103