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Amazon shareholders set to pressure company over CEO pay, employee injuries at annual meeting


The warmth is on at Amazon.

The e-commerce giant is predicted to take flak from shareholders and critics — including several Recent York politicians — over employee issues of safety, anti-union tactics and CEO Andy Jassy’s $214 million pay package at the corporate’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday. 

Recent York City Comptroller Brad Lander will speak on the meeting, taking the corporate to task over the high rate of employee injuries at its warehouses, Lander’s office told The Post.

Lander and anxious shareholders including Norway’s $1.2 trillion fund Norges Bank are pushing a resolution that may call on Amazon to report injury rates for all warehouse staff, broken down by race, gender and ethnicity. 

“High rates of injury, rapid turnover, and aggressive anti-union activity that violates staff’ rights have created an unsustainable workplace for Amazon’s 1.6 million staff,” said Lander, who oversees public pensions for the NYPD, FDNY and teachers. 

As well as, Lander and Recent York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli are urging shareholders to oust two Amazon directors, Judith McGrath and Daniel Huttenlocher, over Amazon’s labor practices and Jassy’s compensation. 

City pensions managers gripe that Amazon has ducked their concerns about health and safety practices for years. 

Recent York City Comptroller Lander is predicted to talk at Amazon’s shareholder meeting. Bloomberg via Getty Images

“They didn’t reply to us,” a source near the pension funds said. “As an alternative, we received a response from management with their familiar refrain: ‘While our directors do meet with shareholders, we cannot honor all such requests.’” 

The proposals are considered long shots since Amazon founder Jeff Bezos controls 12.7% of the votes — and plenty of shareholders typically take cues from company management, which has come out against every shareholder resolution this 12 months. The corporate argues that it spends heavily on employee safety and that it doesn’t interfere with staff’ right to arrange. 

Nevertheless, shareholder resolutions can still put pressure on Amazon. After a proposal for a racial equity audit nearly passed last 12 months with greater than 44% of votes, Amazon subsequently hired former Obama administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch to commission a report on the problem.

Amazon Amazon has been accused of unsafe work practices. NurPhoto via Getty Images

Lander and DiNapoli aren’t the one Recent Yorkers who’re thorns in Amazon’s side.

Labor leader Chris Smalls, who successfully led the hassle to unionize 8,300 Amazon warehouse staff in Staten Island last month, is pushing a shareholder resolution that may require Amazon to commission a report on the steps it takes to guard staff’ “freedom of association.”

The resolution, which can also be supported by Norges Bank, says Amazon has been “subject to overwhelming negative media coverage” of “anti-unionization tactics including allegations of intimidation strategies, retaliation actions and surveillance systems.”  

Two influential investor advisors, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis, have endorsed each the liberty of association and employee injury proposals, the Financial Times reported

Chris Smalls Amazon Labor Union leader Chris Smalls is pushing a shareholder resolution that may require Amazon to commission a report on steps it takes to guard staff’ “freedom of association.”Bloomberg via Getty Images

Each Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services have pushed back against Jassy’s compensation package ahead of the meeting, which is the primary headed by the CEO since Bezos left the corporate last 12 months. Institutional Shareholder Services called Jassy’s $214 million package “excessive” and argued that it “lacks any connection to objective, pre-set performance criteria,” in accordance with the Financial Times. 

An Amazon spokesperson argued that the $214 million figure is affordable since it represents Jassy’s stock grants that may vest over 10 years. 

“What this equates to from an annual compensation perspective is competitive with that of CEOs at other large firms and was approved by the Amazon Board of Directors,” a spokesperson said. 

The shareholder efforts follow several other high profile-conflicts between the Empire State and Amazon. 

On May 18, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the Recent York Division of Human Rights filed a grievance against Amazon, alleging the corporate engages in discrimination against pregnant staff and staff with disabilities by denying them reasonable accommodations. 

And most famously, Bezos scrapped plans in 2019 for the corporate’s HQ2 in Queens after local leaders questioned Amazon’s tax break-laden deal.

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