May 17, 2016
23% of Amazon.com Shareholders Call for Assessment of Worker Abuses, Human Rights Violations in Operation and Supply Chain
SEATTLE – Today 23% of shareholders of Amazon.com supported a call for the company to take stronger measures to address human rights violations in its operations and supply chain. This builds off a similar resolution last year that was supported by only 5% of Amazon.com shareholders.
Filed jointly by four SumOfus members who are Amazon shareholders and presented by Lisa Lindsley of SumOfUs proxy resolution Item 4 calls on Amazon.com to “identify and analyze potential and actual human rights risk of Amazon’s entire operations and supply chain.”
In response to the vote, Lisa Lindsley representing SumOfUs.org, issued the following statement
“This is a great example of what individuals can do when we come together. Momentum is building around this issue at Amazon because four individual members of SumOfUs, who are also shareholders of Amazon, got the support of the global SumOfUs community and the attention of institutional investors. The world now knows about the abusive practices suffered by Amazon security officers at its headquarters.
“Amazon shareholders need to know about the risks associated with Amazon’s treatment of workers like disposable production inputs. Who wants to buy a Fire, Kindle or Echo product that may have been made with slave labor? Since Amazon can’t protect human rights at its headquarters, shareholders are understandably concerned that this lack of risk management will generate reputational risks that are bad for Amazon’s bottom line.”
The proposal was supported by proxy advisory firm ISS, which said: “Amazon could provide additional information regarding the policies the company has implemented to identify and assess human rights risks in its own operations and the relevant mechanisms it has implemented to ensure compliance with such policies. Such information would benefit shareholders, as it would allow them to better understand and assess how the company is managing any associated risks.”
Activists from SumOfUs also delivered more than 104,930 signatures to Amazon.com executives at the shareholder meeting, calling on the global corporation to treat workers better and pay its share of taxes. The petition was also signed by over 18,000 direct and indirect Amazon shareholders, and nearly 73,000 Amazon customers.