AMAZON.COM, INC. | Workplace Health and Safety Audit at AMAZON.COM, INC.

Status
AGM passed
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
17
Resolution details
Company ticker
AMZN
Lead filer
Resolution ask
Conduct due diligence, audit or risk/impact assessment
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Decent work
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Shareholder
Company sector
Consumer Discretionary
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
"RESOLVED: Shareholders request that the Board commission an independent audit and report of the working conditions
and treatment that Amazon warehouse workers face, including the impact of its policies, management, performance metrics,
and targets. This audit and report should be prepared at reasonable cost and omit proprietary information."
Whereas clause
"Whereas: Investigative reports allege a “mounting injury crisis at Amazon warehouses,” with Amazon employees getting injured more frequently and severely than elsewhere in the industry.1 CEO Jassy’s claim that Amazon’s injury rates are “about average” relative to industry peers is misleading since Amazon is included in the warehouse industry average, driving that figure up.2 In 2022, Amazon employed 36 percent of all U.S. warehouse workers, and was responsible for 53 percent of all serious injuries in the industry.3 Thus Amazon’s own reporting downplays its significant problems, underscoring the need for an independent report.
Despite Amazon’s serious injuries decreasing between 2021 and 2022, its overall injuries increased. Amazon reported 39,000 total injuries at its U.S. facilities in 2022,4 more than double the rate at non-Amazon warehouses.5 Amazon’s warehouse conditions are not only a danger to employee safety, but also to the stability of its workforce. A 2021 New York Times investigation found that Amazon’s turnover rate was roughly 150 percent a year.6 In 2022, Forbes reported Amazon’s high attrition rate—double the industry average—is “costing the company and its shareholders $8 billion annually.”7
Amazon workers are closely monitored for their work productivity, with employees alleging that the pressure to meet quotas under threat of termination can lead to injury and burnout.8 New laws in California and New York target Amazon’s use of productivity quotas that can prevent workers from complying with safety guidelines or recovering from strenuous activity, leaving them at high risk of injury and illness.9 Workers acknowledge Amazon instructs them on safety, but they have to break safety rules to keep up with their mandated quotas and pace of work out of fear of losing their jobs.10
Numerous federal- and state-level investigations found the high level of injury risk in Amazon’s operations violated the law, citing Amazon for willful misconduct, and alleging Amazon is “knowingly putting workers at risk” across multiple warehouses, an allegation so severe that only
0.4 percent of citations in the regulator’s 50-year history have been classified as willful.11 In 2023, Senator Sanders launched an investigation into workplace health and safety practices at Amazon and penned a letter demanding information about Amazon’s ‘“systematically underreported” injury rates, employee turnover, productivity targets and adherence to federal and state safety recommendations,” per The Washington Post.12
Currently, the Department of Justice is taking an unprecedented step by “investigating potential worker safety hazards at Amazon warehouses across the country, as well as possible fraudulent conduct designed to hide injuries from [regulators] and others,” while also investigating whether Amazon made “false representations” to lenders about its workplace safety record to obtain credit.13
1 https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazons-dupont-washington-warehouse-has-highest-injury-rates-of-any-fulfillment-center-in-the-u-s-report-shows/ 
2 https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-jassy-injury-claims-shareolder-letter-2022-4 
3 https://thesoc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/SOC_In-Denial_Amazon-Injury-Report-April-2023.pdf 
4 https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/15/osha-cites-amazon-for-unsafe-warehouses-as-injury-numbers-remain-high.html 
5 https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/12/study-amazon-workers-seriously-hurt-at-twice-rate-of-other-warehouses.html 
6 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2023/06/20/sanders-investigation-sentate-amazon/ 
7 https://www.forbes.com/sites/edwardsegal/2022/10/24/amazon-responds-to-release-of-leaked-documents-showing-1 50-annual-employee-turnover/?sh=7032aab41d0b 
8 https://www.huffpost.com/entry/amazon-fined-for-knowingly-putting-workers-at-risk-with-productivity-quotas_n_6 238f2a5e4b009ab92fc0603 
9 https://www.huffpost.com/entry/california-law-ab-701-targets-amazon-warehouse-production quotas_n_614c5a0fe4b06beda46bc490; https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/03/new-york-passes-bill-targeting-amazon-warehouse-productivity-quotas.html 
10 https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/11/amazon-warehouse-reports-show-worker-injuries/602530/ "

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
Kutxabank Gestion SGIIC SAU. For
THEMATICS Asset Management For
Church of England Pensions Board For
Whitley Asset Management For
Anima Sgr For As the approval of this proposal would allow shareholders to fully evaluate the company's efforts to address workplace safety.

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