The 2022 Amazon Proposals

1. ProposalAddress Wealth Inequality through an Ownership Culture. Lead Proponent: Corporate Governance 

" should address inequality and democracy by helping establish an ownership culture within the firm and in the larger society," said James McRitchie of "This proposal asks to include a simple matrix, ideally using EEO-1 classifications, to report the stock ownership and associated voting power awarded to each tier of employees." 

2. Proposal: Amazon 401(k) Climate Alignment. Lead Proponent: As You Sow

“Amazon does a great job on climate in their operations with 100,000 new electric vehicles and data centers powered by renewables. Why is it that Amazon employees who are invested in their company retirement plan are profiting from companies burning down the Amazon?” said Andrew Behar, As You Sow CEO. “We are asking that the company deliver a report to investors about the material impact of investing out of alignment with their own sustainability goals and how this creates cognitive dissonance for employees and investors.”

3. ProposalCustomer Due DiligenceLead Proponent Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood (an Affiliate of Investor Advocates for Social Justice) 

"Providing government agencies with technologies that may enable mass surveillance puts Amazon at risk of contributing to severe violations of international human rights and humanitarian law," said Sr. Pat Mahoney of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, the lead filer of the Customer Due Diligence proposal. "To prevent further harm to impacted stakeholders and mitigate risks to the company, Amazon must strengthen its processes for vetting government customers and contracting opportunities."

4. Proposal: Employee Turnover. Lead Proponent: AFL-CIO

“Workforce turnover rates are an important indicator of whether a company offers good jobs,” said Brandon Rees, Deputy Director, Corporations and Capital Markets of the AFL-CIO. “The AFL-CIO's shareholder proposal will give investors material information on workforce turnover that they need to assess Amazon's progress towards its goal of becoming the ‘Earth's Best Employer’." 

5. Proposal: Facial RecognitionLead Proponent: Harrington Investments

“Amazon and its surveillance technology incorporating facial recognition has evolved into a perfect public/private partnership,” said John Harrington of Harrington Investments. “Authoritarian government can now utilize the technology to control populations while private sector corporations can manage the data to exploit facial identification for commercial advantage. The harm will be to civil liberties and competitive business practices.” 

6. Proposal: Freedom of Association: Lead Proponent: SHARE 

“The recent tragedies that led to the deaths of Amazon warehouse workers indicate the need for higher human rights commitments and better workforce practices at the e-commerce giant. Amazon should take greater responsibility for its workforce and allow them to use their freedom of association and rights to collective bargaining in the most effective way,” said Sarah Couturier-Tanoh, Manager of Corporate Engagement & Advocacy at SHARE. 

7. ProposalHourly Employees on the Board of DirectorsLead Proponent: Oxfam America   

“Amazon continues to rake in billions of dollars in profits, while workers suffer some of the highest warehouse injury rates in the nation,” said Robbie Silverman, Senior Corporate Advocacy Manager for Oxfam America. “Placing an hourly associate on Amazon’s board of directors would be transformational, signaling an authentic interest in hearing the voice of workers at the highest level of corporate governance and demonstrating a commitment to investors that the company is taking workers’ concerns seriously.” 

8. Proposal. Independent Chair. Lead Proponent: Zevin Asset Management 

"We need a change," said Marcela Pinilla. Director, Sustainable Investing at Zevin Asset Management. "The company needs a refresh from the top. Leadership to date has not shown that it is capable of being accountable. The “Earth’s Best Employer” is treating employees as expendable in return for growth and expansion. Amazon is facing numerous challenges that have only grown more serious in the past year. This calls for an independent board chair to help confront the company’s many challenges and provide oversight of executives’ risk-taking behavior. We are filing this proposal for the second year because we see a stagnant mind-set in how Amazon executives consider and define business risks. This behavior has come at the expense of key relationships including its workers and communities. An independent board chair should be separate from the CEO. They should have no material relationship or affiliation with the company, and they should not be a former executive officer of the company. One key obligation of the Board is to understand the limits of untenable business practices."

9. Proposal: Lobbying Expenditures Disclosure. Lead Proponent: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters

“Wanting to be the world’s best employer while funding organizations that lobby against workers’ rights is but one example of the misalignment between Amazon’s politics and public relations,” said Ken Hall, General Secretary-Treasurer of the Teamsters Union. “Without full disclosure of the company’s lobbying expenditures, shareholders don’t know if Amazon puts its money where its mouth is.”

10. Proposal. Paid Sick Leave.  Lead Proponent: United Church Funds

Matthew Illian, UCF’s Director of Responsible Investing said: “One of the world’s largest and most profitable companies can afford to offer paid sick leave to all of its employees, and this would create a more loyal and adaptable workforce.”

11. ProposalParis-Aligned Lobbying. Lead Proponents: Newground Social Investment, Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Aberdeen, SD

"For years Newground has engaged Amazon on sorely-needed transparency, and oversight of its lobbying efforts," said Bruce Herbert, AIF, Chief Executive, Newground Social Investment.  "Though the company has certainly stepped up in particular ways regarding climate change and reducing emissions, the largest impact it may have is supporting trade associations and other initiatives whose work blocks climate progress.  Amazon could be a real force and its lobbying dollars are vast – it has significantly outspent all of its tech peers in 2021.  But it buys naming rights for the Climate Pledge Arena (in Seattle) while being part of the very trade associations that work to kill any major policy advances on climate. This gross misalignment cannot continue, and we ask investors to put an end to it by voting FOR this shareholder proposal."

"We are a community of religious women and partners in mission who commit ourselves to steward our resources responsibly in an effort to care for all of creation," said Sr. Pegge Boehm.  "We literally take stock in Amazon to do the right thing for its people and the planet, as we have committed ourselves.   We believe in Amazon’s potential to align their values with those who lobby and advocate on their behalf.  We believe Amazon has a responsibility to steward their abundant resources for good.  “To whom much is given, much is required,” Luke 12:48.  So, in this time of climate crisis, we expect that you hold yourselves up to a high standard.  At a minimum, we expect you to align your lobbying activities with the Paris Agreement’s ultimate goal of limiting average global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius." 

12. Proposal: Plastic PollutionLead Proponent: Sara Sackner and supported by As You Sow

“Amazon is believed to be one of the largest corporate users of flexible plastic packaging, used for its blue and white e-commerce mailers, which cannot be effectively recycled,” said Conrad MacKerron, Senior Vice President, As You Sow, who is representing proponent Sara Sackner. “The company generates an estimated 465 million pounds of plastic packaging waste annually, much of which ends up in landfills or leaking into the environment. Unlike peers like Walmart and Target, the company has not set plastic use reduction goals. The proposal challenges the company to set such goals to help stem the global tide of plastic pollution, which poses threats to wildlife and human health.” 

13. ProposalRacial and Gender Pay GapsLead Proponent: Arjuna Capital   

“Amazon’s board has fought investors on racial and gender pay equity for the last 3 years, despite strong, consistent support for Arjuna Capital’s proposal,” said Natasha Lamb, Managing Partner at Arjuna Capital, which filed a proposal citing Amazon’s lack of best practice pay equity reporting.  “Given the pay divides that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, protests to uphold Black lives, and Amazon’s own statements of solidarity, it’s inexcusable and hypocritical that the company continues to fight this simple and reasonable investor request.  Now is the time for Amazon to address the structural racism and sexism that relegates minorities and women into low-paying jobs, so we can create a more diverse, innovative, and accountable organization.” 

14. Proposal: Racial Equity AuditLead Proponent: New York State Common Retirement Fund

“Amazon continues to face controversies that raise questions whether the impact of its policies, practices and products uphold the company’s rhetoric opposing systemic racism and injustice," said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. "Following last year's unprecedented vote by shareholders, it's beyond time for Amazon to independently review whether it has the policies and plans in place to address the risks that come with a failure to safeguard against discrimination, racism, and inequalities.”  

15. ProposalRisks Associated with Use of Concealment Clauses. Lead Proponent: Whistle Stop Capital, as part of the Transparency in Employment Agreements Coalition led by Earthseed, Whistle Stop Capital, Open MIC and Frontier Technology

Said Meredith Benton, Principal/Founder of Whistle Stop Capital, “If a company uses employment clauses to conceal from the public its true workplace conditions investors cannot have confidence in either the diversity and inclusion promises made or the reporting shared.”

“This shareholder resolution is based on a simple premise: Companies benefit from knowing when sexual harassment, discrimination and unlawful behavior are happening in the workplace, which is why employees should be encouraged to speak out about such conduct. It’s simply good business," said Michael Connor, Executive Director, Open MIC. "Amazon would be well-advised to weigh the resolution carefully and look to a future where employees are encouraged to help build a more equitable and productive work environment.”  

16. Proposal: Tax Transparency. Lead Proponent: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate / OIP Investment Trust -U.S Province 

"Responsible taxation is a vital sustainability issue for investors," said Rev. Séamus P. Finn OMI, OIP Trust. "Aggressive corporate tax avoidance cost hundreds of billions in lost revenues each year from government budgets. It exacerbates existing inequalities, undermines broad-based economic growth, and creates unnecessary asset level and systemic risks for investors. Public country-by-country reporting will allow investors to better understand Amazon’s business model and tax planning strategy and ensure that it’s growth fairly contributes to the communities in which it earns its profits and doesn’t unfairly undercut those companies taking a responsible approach to tax planning."  

 17. ProposalWorker Health & Safety Audit. Lead Proponent: Domini Impact Investments

“The COVID-19 Pandemic and the recent tragedy in Edwardsville, Illinois, have raised serious questions around workplace health and safety at Amazon’s facilities," said Mary Beth Gallagher, Director of Engagement, Domini Impact Investments LLC. "The company’s high injury rates and turnover have also drawn scrutiny from legislators, regulators, and the public, while contributing to recent labor shortages and calls for change from workers. In light of this, Domini Impact Investments LLC is signaling to Amazon that investors want the company to listen to essential workers and support their right to a safe and healthy workplace.” 

“At Amazon, machines get better treatment than people. Amazon associates are breaking their backs and working nonstop for the sake of same day delivery -- our every move is watched and timed and if we slow down or mess up in any way, we are punished. Amazon’s inhumane, exploitative business model is a threat to working people and our economy as America’s workers are left injured, exhausted, and mentally battered each day. We must put an end to the high-tech sweatshops Amazon is running and the exploitative business model they are perpetuating across the country.” - Courtenay Brown (Amazon Associate at Avenel, NJ Fulfillment Center and Leader with United For Respect in Newark, New Jersey)

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