Amazon shareholders to vote on workers’ rights for first time

Amazon investors will be asked to vote on workers’ rights for the first time this year.

Activist investor platform Tulipshare said that the move comes after it successfully defeated the e-commerce giant’s attempt to exclude the proposal from this year’s proxy statement.

It says that the US Securities and Exchange Commission determined that its proposal “transcends Amazon’s ordinary business matters”.

The proposal was submitted on behalf of a Tulipshare investor that was concerned about allegations that Amazon employees are being subjected to unsafe working conditions and unfair treatment on a global scale, including the company’s attempts to block unionisation of warehouse workers.

“Having our proposal on the ballot marks a momentous step in accountability,” said Antoine Argouges, chief executive and founder of Tulipshare. “ Thousands of retail investors expressed interest in our Amazon campaign as they are concerned about the welfare of Amazon’s warehouse workers.

The vote on workers’ rights is not the only push back Amazon has faced in recent months; in March it was reported that Amazon was facing pressure from investors over tax transparency.

24 institutional investors said they wanted to have a better understanding about how much tax the e-commerce giant pays globally, according to a report by the Financial Times.

"Safety is integral to everything we do at Amazon, as demonstrated by our relentless focus on health and safety training, engagement with employees, and refinement of our processes to improve working conditions," said a spokesperson from Amazon. "We are transparent about our commitment to and efforts to improve workplace safety, discussing our initiatives in detail in our “Delivered with Care” safety report and on our website. We have incurred more than $15 billion in COVID-19-related costs to help keep our employees safe and deliver for our customers."

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