Amazon, the fund of Italian metalworkers against Bezos in assembly: discriminates against workers -

Amazon, the fund of Italian metalworkers against Bezos in assembly: discriminates against workers -

Finance is the continuation of politics by other means. Looking at Cometa's latest move, one would like to update von Clausewitz. The largest Italian metalworkers' pension fund (it has almost 470,000 members and 13 billion in managed pension savings) at the Amazon shareholders' meeting voted against the re-election of executive chairman Jeff Bezos. The reason? Disputes regarding violations of workers' rights and human rights and racial and gender discrimination in which the company is involved. The fund was able to participate by virtue of the package of shares held and which is worth 57,784,975 dollars (0.005% on 1.18 billion market cap) expressing its opinion on 23 items on the agenda on issues underlying the contract of metalworkers and considered fundamental such as the health and safety of workers, human, civil and trade union rights, fair pay and environmental sustainability. Amazon is in fact accused of implementing anti-union practices by hindering the freedom of association of workers, including through intimidation of employees, as happened in Canada, in various US states, in Germany and in Poland. Significant criticalities are then recorded - according to Cometa - in terms of health and safety, so much so that, according to data reported by a shareholder to the meeting, the accident rate in the company is 80% higher than the average for the entire sector.

The wage gap and other activist funds

The company's conduct is also highly controversial in terms of wages: the median wage of women employed full-time is 17% lower than that of men. Last but not least, the pension fund opposed the remuneration of top management for 2022, which is not linked in any way to the achievement of financial, operational or social or environmental sustainability objectives. The salary of CEO Andy Jassy (1,298,723 dollars) is in fact 794 times higher than that of the rest of the group's employees, the highest levels found on the market. This is a trend that is also being seen among many proxy advisors and activist funds. success at the last Unicredit meeting for the salary of CEO Andrea Orcel ed it happened in 2022 with the French ethical fund Phitrust against the paycheck of the CEO of Stellantis, Carlos Tavares.

Ethical stances

Always a pioneer of economic, social and ecological sustainability, the fund chaired by Riccardo Realfonzo has decided this year to continue its commitment to finance more on a human scale with the voting policy: in fact, the first fund Italian social security to do so in such a structured way. To help him in this strategy is the advisor Frontis Governance. With Amazon, he supported the proposal of the shareholder As You Sow to ask the board of directors for a report on the ways in which the big e-commerce company considers climate risks in defining the investments of the group's employee pension funds and supported the proposal of the American Baptist Home Mission Society shareholder to request an assessment here as well of the human rights risks deriving from the use of products and services distributed by Amazon. In addition, he pushed for greater alignment of the level of tax transparency provided by Amazon with international best practices (suggested by shareholder Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate) and sided with the Catherine Donnelly Foundation in the proposal to entrust an independent third party with the drafting of an assessment of the compliance of Amazon's practices with the fundamental principles of protection of workers' rights to associate and access collective bargaining.

The other assemblies

But that of Amazon - it was said - is not the first and will not be the last meeting in which Cometa will actively participate thanks to its investments: there are 120 scheduled between now and the end of the year, such as Alphabet, Pirelli, Vodafone, Mediobanca, Microsoft . Meanwhile, the fund has voted against the re-election of Tim Cook at Apple and the compensation of his managers (but in favor of reports on wage gaps); against Roche's president and board of directors' annual bonus; against Campari's stock option incentive plan; against the compensation of Tavares, Orcel and Bernard Arnault.

Source link