1. Channel: Ecommerce & Digital

Amazon Beats Back Shareholder Proposals At Annual Meeting

From the Seattle Times:

“Amazon investors voted against 18 proposals at the company’s annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, opting out of efforts to require Amazon to provide more information on its use of plastics, possible pay disparities and working conditions in its warehouses … One proposal asked Amazon to provide more information about its lobbying efforts to ensure it would address any ‘misalignments’ between its stated climate goals and its lobbying. Another asked for a report on Amazon’s packaging materials, focusing on how it could reduce its use of plastics.

“Oceana, a nonprofit ocean conservation organization, said in a report Amazon generated 599 million pounds of plastic packaging waste in 2020. Up to 23.5 million pounds of that entered the world’s marine ecosystems, Oceana said.

Amazon’s board of directors argued the report’s calculations were ‘seriously flawed’ and overestimated the company’s use of plastic. Amazon, the board said, is already working to address plastic waste and support recycling in the industry.

“Investors also voted against proposals regarding working conditions in Amazon’s warehouses, including one that matched the demand for an independent safety audit in the petition Missouri workers delivered to management before Wednesday’s meeting.”

The Times writes that “on Monday, a group of corporate employees began urging their colleagues to walk-off the job later this month to show frustration with recent layoffs, Amazon’s return to office mandate and a lack of action on climate change, organizers said. The one-day walkout, slated for May 31, hinges on at least 1,000 employees from Amazon’s Seattle headquarters agreeing to participate.

“On Tuesday, workers at an Amazon warehouse in Missouri delivered a petition to management with 400 employee signatures asking the company to slow the pace of work, increase break times and conduct an independent safety audit of its facilities.

“That same day, protesters gathered outside Amazon’s corporate offices in South Lake Union, calling on the company to decrease pollution from its network of delivery vans. The group of activist organizations asked Amazon to commit to zero-emissions deliveries by 2030.”

KC’s View:

CEO Andy Jassy reportedly was willing to address how Amazon is working to improve customer service and shipping speed, but not the labor issues that, if not quite roiling the company, certainly must be a distraction, throwing into question Amazon’s stated “world’s best employer” intentions.

Seems to me, though, that these things are connected, and you cannot focus on one without dealing with the other.  Head-on.  It sometimes feels like the two sides exist in different universes, and that’s not doing anybody any good.

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