At Amazon’s annual shareholders assembly final week, the corporate’s shareholders overwhelmingly shot down greater than a dozen proposals aimed, proponents stated, at making the corporate a extra clear and accountable company citizen.
The proposals largely involved racial and fairness points, in addition to antitrust and accountable use of Amazon’s know-how, similar to its facial recognition know-how and Ring doorbell digicam.
The corporate’s annual shareholder assembly is normally held in Seattle however was hosted on-line this 12 months due to the pandemic. Voting outcomes have been posted on Amazon’s company website Friday.
Amazon had opposed all the measures, saying the corporate is already doing sufficient to report and monitor the problems and that it’s working to convey extra ladies and other people of coloration into its high govt ranks.
The shareholder resolutions would have been non-binding; nevertheless, such measures are sometimes deployed to construct consensus round sure company insurance policies and stress board of administrators to take motion.
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Normally shareholders voted in opposition to the proposals by a margin of roughly two-to-one or extra.
The exception was a proposal that might have required an impartial board chairman who shouldn’t be — nor has ever been — the corporate’s CEO. Shareholders torpedoed that proposition by a margin of roughly six to 1, signaling they need Bezos to proceed to have a job within the firm.
Notably, a proposal to audit the corporate’s influence on civil rights, fairness and variety points was extra narrowly defeated. The measure referred to as on Amazon to fee an impartial report inspecting, amongst different points, allegations that surveillance footage from Amazon’s Ring doorbell cameras and associated Neighbors app have been used to “disproportionately tag individuals of coloration as suspicious.”
Proponents of the civil rights audit additionally pointed to accusations that Amazon Net Providers’ facial recognition software program is used to disproportionately conduct surveillance on individuals of coloration, immigrants and civil rights teams.
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As well as, the movement’s backers stated, there have been experiences that Amazon has inconsistently enforced insurance policies barring the sale of merchandise on its retail platform that “promote hatred.”
Different proposals calling for extra transparency in Amazon’s practices relating to hiring and selling executives who’re ladies and other people of coloration failed by wider margins.
A proposal to place an hourly logistics employee on Amazon’s board additionally failed, as did a proposal to audit the environmental impacts of the retail large’s packaging, notably because it pertains to plastics accumulating on the earth’s oceans.
The proposal to place an hourly employee on the board was offered throughout the assembly on behalf of Oxfam America by Jennifer Bates, an Amazon hourly employee who was a part of the unsuccessful effort to unionize the corporate’s Bessemer, Ala., success heart.
This isn’t the primary time comparable measures have been proposed and failed at Amazon’s shareholders assembly.
This 12 months, nevertheless, Amazon is dealing with a string of lawsuits, 5 of which have been filed final month, introduced by company workers alleging gender and racial discrimination.
As well as, the homicide of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody has put questions of racial fairness entrance and heart within the public’s thoughts. Amazon’s executives have spoken out on social media and in weblog posts in help of the Black Lives Matter motion.
Right here have been the ultimate vote tallies on the shareholder proposals:
- A shareholder proposal requesting a report on buyer due diligence: 126,093,181 for, 231,103,314 in opposition to
- A shareholder proposal requesting a compulsory impartial board chair coverage: 52,557,765 for, 299,204,942 in opposition to
- A shareholder proposal requesting further reporting on gender/racial pay: 93,415,729 for, 267,093,612 in opposition to
- A shareholder proposal requesting a report on promotion knowledge: 64,913,836 for; 294,816,522 in opposition to
- A shareholder proposal requesting a report on packaging supplies: 127,811,216 for; 231,830,287 in opposition to
- A shareholder proposal requesting a variety and fairness audit report: 158,884,190 for; 200,719,903 in opposition to
- A shareholder proposal requesting another director candidate coverage: 63,114,460 for; 297,945,126 in opposition to
- A shareholder proposal requesting a report on competitors technique and threat: 120,544,009 for; 236,846,573 in opposition to
- A shareholder proposal requesting an extra discount in threshold for calling particular shareholder conferences: 123,327,426 for; 238,071,476 in opposition to
- A shareholder proposal requesting further reporting on lobbying: 125,796,239 for; 234,754,900 in opposition to
- A shareholder proposal requesting a report on buyer use of sure applied sciences: 122,673,640 for; 234,690,392 in opposition to