I just dropped the following letter in the mail….

Loblaw Companies Limited

1 President’s Choice Circle

Brampton ON L6Y 5S5

Attn: LCL Customer Relations Centre

 

December 6, 2018

 

To Whom It May Concern,

I just wanted to let you know that with the cancellation of my auto insurance policy through PC Financial Insurance Broker Inc., I am now completely removed as a customer of Loblaws Companies Limited. I have no plans to patronize any of your businesses again, and I wish you to know why.

I made my decision after reading about your May 4 shareholders meeting. Vancity Investment Management put forth a proposal to “determine the feasibility of paying employees a living wage – one that varies by location and is calculated by its cost of living.” Prior to the meeting, the annual proxy circular carried a recommendation to vote down the proposal, and your CEO Galen Weston got up at the meeting and reminded everyone of that recommendation. It seemed incredibly important to banish this proposal, even though it wouldn’t have enacted a living wage – only allowed the policy to be studied. Nevertheless, the proposal was voted down.

The proposal’s defeat confirmed two things for me: 1. Trickle-down economics is a myth, and 2. Shareholders don’t want to share the wealth.

At the meeting, a spokesperson for Vancity said, “Socially responsible companies contribute to the economic well-being of communities by providing direct and indirect employment preferably at rates that reflect the true cost of living. We believe the living wage reflects those costs.” I believe that to be true. While it’s true that corporations benefit society by delivering goods and services to customers, an even greater benefit is felt when gainful employment is provided. That allows people to participate in the economy in wide-ranging ways. How is that supposed to happen if employees are not fairly compensated for their time and energy? How does Loblaws benefit our society if only its shareholders see any wealth?

That’s why I will be directing my business elsewhere. Income inequality is an economic, social and psychological blight, and by rejecting that proposal, Loblaws is perpetuating it.

I hope this letter causes whoever reads it to think critically. If you find any of this to ring true, someone should open a new dialogue with Vancity, and a similar motion could be reintroduced at the next year’s shareholder meeting. Until then, I choose to do business with more responsible corporate citizens.

 

Yours truly,

Dimetre Alexiou