By: Lissa Marie Dewindt
This post contains content from the Independant.com article:
Over the past decade shareholder lawsuits continue rising, and here’s one of the reasons why.
Big Corporations have failed to execute the shareholder’s Legal Rights and Safeguards.
According to Independant.com, “Seattle-based Amazon com Inc. has asked federal regulators to block multiple shareholder proposals addressing criticism of company stances on curbing hate speech diversity in hiring workplace conditions and surveillance technologies.” Amazon’s attempt to block shareholders’ opportunity to vote on the proposals has influenced controversial debates. While some agree that Amazon is doing what is best for the company, others argue that their approach is unethical. Ultimately, shareholders are left feeling frustrated.
The article mentions that the majority of these proposals are, “asking the company to report on its efforts to check hate speech, consider qualified women and nonwhite candidates for all open positions, add hourly associates to its board of directors and assess whether its surveillance capabilities violate human rights.” This is due to the fact that shareholders want Amazon to take action by adding “a ban on “offensive content.” However, Amazon understands that this would have a detrimental effect on their market. Fewer purchases would be made, and the company would generate less profit.
As a result, Federal regulators decided to side with Amazon, and exclude nine of these proposals that fall under this category. But because of this Amazon has received a lot of backlash from the public. Still, Amazon continues trying to deny shareholder proposals, because the outcome of them being implemented will not economically benefit the corporation.
With that being said, is it ethical for Amazon to block their shareholder’s proposals, despite pledging that they are the priority?
For one, the shareholders are the primary investors. Therefore, they should have a stronger say in what goes on within the corporation. Not to mention shareholders obtain Legal Rights and Safeguards. Amazon’s interference disables them from being able to fully execute their Shareholder Rights. Overall, the corporation represents the shareholders, not vice versa. And if the shareholders have little control over how the corporation is being run, then they are being poorly represented.
What do you think, is Amazon doing the right thing by blocking these shareholders’ proposals?
Or is this a violation of shareholders’ legal rights and safeguards, therefore, unethical on Amazon’s part?