Twenty years ago, Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, controlled about 30% of the company’s stock. This year, his ownership interest fell below 10%. Together the top five institutional shareholders control 22% of the company’s stock and more than three thousand other investors control the remaining 68% of the company’s shares.
Among those smaller investors are public employee pension funds, foundations, mutual funds, union pensions and individual investors holding stock in their 401(k)s.
Here’s a snapshot of who is speaking out at this year’s annual meeting:
- Nonprofits – Open Mic
- Human Impact Partners
Other organizations that have filed resolutions include:
- Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict – An order of Benedictine nuns from Rock Island, Illinois
- The Teamsters – One of the largest unions in North America with 1.4 million members across the US and Canada
- United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust – A trust that provides retiree health care to over 860,000 members
- Oxfam – A global charitable organization based in the United Kingdom focusing on the alleviation of global poverty
- The AFL-CIO – The largest federation of labor union in the United States, representing over 12 million retired and active workers in the U.S
Some of Amazon’s largest shareholders have the power to ensure accountability from the company and its board of directors. This year, we’re urging the following investors to support our worker and community recommended resolutions.
- State Street
Open MIC (Open Media and Information Companies Initiative) is an organization that uses shareholder engagement to promote greater corporate accountability at tech companies.
By working with impact investors, Open MIC develops and supports campaigns on issues ranging from racial and gender diversity in the workforce, to algorithmic accountability, to online privacy. With campaigns at companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple, Open MIC is championing transparency and accountability against some of the biggest corporations in the world.
This year, Open MIC is bringing that transparency to Amazon, by supporting a proposal requesting the company conduct an independent review of Amazon’s customer due diligence proposal, including how Amazon’s services and technology may be resulting in human rights violations.
Human Impact Partners
Human Impact Partners is a national non-profit organization that seeks to transform the field of public health to center equity and build collective power with social justice movements. They have worked extensively on health and injury issues at Amazon, and have advocated for safer working conditions at the company. This May, Human Impact Partners sent a letter to shareholders and board members of Amazon.
Monitored: How Amazon Undermines the Safety of Workers and OUR Community
This new report was written by members of Athena, a nationwide coalition dedicated to defeating unchecked corporate power and advancing democracy that represents us all. We believe this report is particularly relevant now, as Amazon shareholders weigh in ahead of the May 25 Annual Meeting.
The report covers two areas where Amazon’s practices are coming under increased scrutiny: unsafe working conditions in Amazon warehouses, and impacts of its technology partnerships on communities of color. In both cases, Amazon is using its market power to reshape society to suit its business needs, often at the expense of workers and communities of color, while ignoring or failing to address the concerns raised by civil society. Importantly, Amazon employees themselves are leading the efforts to make change at the company on these issues.
The analysis included in the report is a synthesis of the latest research and developments on these issues, gathered together in one place for the first time.