Amazon shareholders vote against investor-led offers

BOSTON/NEW YORK, May 25 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) Shareholders on Wednesday voted against all investor-led decisions that challenge the company’s policies — including its use of plastics and some concealment clauses in contracts — at the company’s annual meeting.

A total of 15 investor decisions were considered, including one presented at the meeting. The number was a record for the retail and cloud computing giant, as socially minded investors scrutinize its treatment of workers. Read more

Investors voted on proposals to approve executive and board compensation and a stock split. Read more

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The increase in the number of decisions, which Amazon recommended investors vote against, comes as tech company shareholders push for greater transparency on social issues such as pay equity, workplace culture and safety, and sustainability practices.

Antoine Argog, CEO of activist investor Tulipchir, said in a statement that the company will continue to push for workers’ rights at Amazon.

“While we are disappointed that our proposal did not pass today, this vote was just the beginning of the struggle for workers’ rights,” Argog said.

Andy Gacy, Amazon CEO, defended the company’s safety record and reviewed steps it has taken to reduce injury rates that range from new anti-slip shoes to programs aimed at predicting and preventing repetitive strain injuries.

He acknowledged that infection rates could be affected by the rapid hiring of new workers during the pandemic, including about 300,000 workers in 2021 alone. “When you hire a lot of people, (infection) rates tend to go up,” he said.

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The number of proposals also reflects changes that have occurred under US President Joe Biden’s appointed securities regulators that have made it easier for investors to submit their proposals and difficult for companies to convince regulators that these decisions should not be voted on by shareholders. Read more

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Additional reporting by Ross Kerber in Boston, Ariana McLemore in New York and Eva Matthews in Bengaluru Additional reporting by Simon Jessup in London Editing by Peter Henderson and Matthew Lewis

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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