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Amazon shareholders submit 10 resolutions on environment, equity, lobbying and other issues

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Amazon shareholders submit 10 resolutions on environment, equity, lobbying and other issues

Amazon person expertise designer Emily Cunningham speaks at a rally outdoors of the corporate’s shareholders’ assembly in May 2019. Employees in help of the local weather decision wore white to the occasion. (Amazon Employees for Climate Justice Photo)

Amazon shareholders plan to press for a spread of company reforms on the firm’s annual assembly in May. Amazon launched an early proxy assertion Friday that features 10 shareholder resolutions on points starting from the atmosphere to pay fairness.

The tech large filed its proxy assertion sooner than common as a result of the corporate needs to amend its bylaws to decrease the brink required for shareholders to name particular conferences. The modification would enable traders who collectively personal 25% of Amazon inventory to name a particular assembly. Previously that threshold was 30%.

Amazon says it’s altering the brink in mild of “evolving governance practices in addition to investor suggestions and former shareholder votes on the matter.” The firm says its board believes a 25% threshold “strikes an acceptable stability between enhancing shareholder entry and minimizing the potential harms related to permitting a small variety of shareholders to name particular conferences.”

One of the shareholder resolutions within the proxy seeks to decrease the possession threshold to 20%, however Amazon is recommending traders vote that proposal down.

Other resolutions ask for complete studies on Amazon’s lobbying actions, meals waste, and pay gaps amongst workers of various genders and races. Amazon’s board is recommending shareholders vote down every of the 10 resolutions.

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Last yr, Amazon traders filed a record-setting 11 shareholder resolutions. None of these resolutions had been adopted however the shareholders behind them succeeded in attracting nationwide consideration to their causes. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, an worker activism group that fashioned final yr, made a splash on the firm’s final shareholder assembly.

Protestors collect outdoors Amazon’s 2019 shareholder assembly. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

Activist workers carrying white shirts stood up in the course of the assembly to point out help for a shareholder decision demanding the corporate take extra aggressive motion in response to local weather change. More than 7,600 workers of the corporate signed an open letter backing the decision. A couple of months later, Amazon launched its Climate Pledge, which incorporates broad new sustainability objectives.

Activists have used Amazon’s annual shareholder assembly as grounds for demonstrations for the previous few years, however they received’t have that chance this yr. The assembly shall be held on-line for the primary time because of the COVID-19 outbreak that’s forcing organizations all over the world to cancel in-person occasions.

Amazon plans to introduce a revised proxy assertion in April that would embody adjustments to the proposals.

Here are the shareholder resolutions included within the preliminary proxy:

Food waste: Shareholders need Amazon to report on the environmental and social impression of meals waste that the corporate generates. The report ought to decide the trigger, amount, and vacation spot of meals waste, related greenhouse fuel emissions, and objectives for decreasing that waste, in accordance with the decision. Shareholders say Amazon’s rising market share within the U.S. grocery enterprise lends weight to the necessity for a meals waste survey.

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Facial recognition: For the second yr in a row, shareholders are asking Amazon to report on whether or not its facial recognition software program may elevate civil rights and privateness points. The decision would require Amazon to look at these points, acknowledge whether or not Rekognition software program is utilized by authoritarian governments, and assess the monetary dangers related to the controversial know-how.

Hate speech: Shareholders would love Amazon to report on its efforts to stop the sale of things that promote discrimination in its market. The decision relies on studies that anti-semitic books, gadgets depicting racial violence, and different objectionable items can be found for buy on Amazon.com

Board coverage: Investors are pushing for an impartial chair of Amazon’s board of administrators who has by no means served as an government of the corporate. The decision’s objective is to wrestle some management of the corporate from Jeff Bezos, who at present serves as CEO and board chair.

Pay hole: One decision asks Amazon to report the corporate’s international median pay gaps between workers of various races and genders. Amazon already studies its general gender pay hole yearly.

Environmental justice: This proposal requests a report on the environmental impression the corporate has on communities of coloration. It asks Amazon to element what steps past regulatory compliance the corporate is taking to mitigate environmental injury that disproportionately impacts marginalized communities.

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Ideological discrimination: Shareholders behind this decision need Amazon to report on the enterprise dangers related to discrimination towards totally different political, spiritual, and social ideologies. The proposal factors to Amazon’s discretion deciding which charities can take part in its Smile program and which books may be bought on the corporate’s market.

Promotion velocity: To higher perceive the impression discrimination has on profession mobility, shareholders need Amazon to report on “promotion velocity.” The report would element the time elapsed between promotions for workers of various races and genders.

Shareholder conferences: Amazon traders wish to make it simpler for teams of shareholders to satisfy outdoors of the corporate’s annual assembly. This decision would enable shareholders with 20% inventory possession to name a particular assembly. Currently, that threshold is 30%.

Lobbying: This decision asks Amazon to offer extra complete reporting on its lobbying actions, together with direct and oblique, and clarify its reasoning for backing totally different points.

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