Amazon asked about the working conditions of…

Amazon (“Wide Moat”) is invited by investors to provide an independent report on the working conditions of its warehouse workers.

The same proposal, filed by activist investor platform Tulipshare, won 44% of the vote at the company’s 2022 annual meeting.

Tulipshare filed its proposal because Amazon failed to proactively engage with it about its demands, it said in a press release.

Tulipshare is an investment platform that works via a mobile application.

Individual investors can purchase shares for a small fee, and Tulipshare is taking collective action based on this to file proposals with various companies.

“Despite decades of criticism over the treatment of Amazon employees, unprecedented organizing efforts led by the company’s workers, and strong investor turnout pushing for change at the company, the board and Amazon’s management team have failed to proactively engage with Tulipshare on this matter,” the advocacy group said.

It says Amazon initially tried to exclude the proposal from proxy voting, but the SEC denied Amazon’s request, “setting a huge precedent for human capital management proposals.”

Contacted for comment, Amazon said it responded to Tulipshare each time it wrote to the company, and in fact Tulipshare did not respond to Amazon.

The company further highlighted its 2022 proxy statement, which states, “We believe that effective corporate governance includes year-round engagement with our shareholders and other stakeholders. We regularly meet with small and large investors to discuss corporate strategy, performance, compensation philosophy, corporate governance, and environmental and social topics.

(…) We consider the information from this feedback and share it regularly with our Board of Directors as we review and evolve our practices and information. »

Tulipshare argues that Amazon has failed to meaningfully engage with its proposal.

Amazon Working Conditions Voting Results

The 44% support garnered from shareholders at the company’s 2022 annual meeting of shareholders represents 53% of independent votes, after taking into account the 9.8% stake of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The proposal was one of five that received more than 40% support, including requests for reports on customer due diligence, packaging materials, lobbying, working conditions in warehouses and customer use of certain technologies.

Typically, companies meet with investors whose proposals receive broad support.

“If investors don’t feel heard, it raises a red flag on governance that can result in votes against board nominees or approval of payouts.

Companies absolutely want to avoid this. But an informed board will want to hear from investors, make its position known, and also learn,” said Jackie Cook, director Stewardship, Product Strategy & Development at Morningstar Sustainalytics.

Without Bezos’ vote, most of the proposals that received more than 40% support would have passed with a majority.

To highlight the difference Bezos’ votes made to the outcome, take a look at the overall support vs. independent vote in the chart below:

© Morningstar, 2023 – The information contained herein is for educational purposes and provided for informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended and should not be considered an invitation or encouragement to buy or sell the securities listed. Any comment is the opinion of its author and should not be considered a personalized recommendation. The information in this document should not be the sole source for making an investment decision. Be sure to contact a financial adviser or finance professional before making any investment decisions.


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