Amazon faces shareholder vote over treatment of warehouse workers

  • Tracks SEC support for vote after guidance change
  • Filed by retail activist platform Tulipshare

LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) – Inc. (AMZN.O), the world’s largest retailer, will face a shareholder vote calling for an independent audit of its treatment of warehouse workers after the the main US securities regulator has rejected the company’s decision. asks to skip the resolution.

The move means Amazon investors will be able to vote on the issue for the first time, supporters said, taking advantage of advice from the US Securities and Exchange Commission in November that made it more favorable to votes on important social issues. . Read more

Founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, Amazon has drawn increasing criticism in recent years for its treatment of workers, including allegations of poor working conditions in its warehouses and its attempts to prevent workers from unionizing. Read more

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As investors push for companies around the world to look after their workforce amid a heightened focus on social issues, London-based retail investor activist platform Tulipshare has helped to file a resolution to shed light on Amazon’s practices.

Specifically, the proposal – filed under the name of Tulipshare investor Thomas Dadashi Tazehozi – asked the company to commission an independent audit and report on working conditions at the company.

While Amazon asked the SEC to let them decline to put the resolution to a vote, saying the issue was with ordinary business operations, an April 6 letter from the SEC disagreed.

“In our view, Tazehozi’s proposal transcends ordinary business,” said the letter seen by Reuters.

Amazon declined to comment on the SEC’s response when contacted by Reuters. An annual general meeting of shareholders is scheduled for May 25.

A separate shareholder resolution calling for an occupational health and safety audit submitted to the company by investors including the Domini Impact Equity Fund, however, was not supported by the regulator.

Noting that the second resolution was “substantially duplicated” from the first, the SEC said the company’s request to be allowed to override the vote was valid and that it would not recommend enforcement action if Amazon had to do it.

Last week, some 55% of workers at a Staten Island warehouse voted to form America’s first union at Amazon.

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Reporting by Simon Jessop, additional reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Mark Porter

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