We are supporting workers' rights at Amazon

June 13, 2024

Jesuits in Britain are one of 50 investors in Amazon who have signed a letter expressing concerns regarding the company's allegedly negative response to trade union affiliation at its Coventry-based warehouse.

We are demanding that Amazon offers shareholders proof that it is adhering to its own Global Human Rights Principles. This comes after the GMB union claimed that Amazon management officials had criticised unions during long meetings with employees.

Commenting on this, Br Stephen Power SJ, Jesuit trustee with particular concern for responsible investment, said:

"The major tech company, Amazon, occupies an important part in the investment portfolios of many church bodies and charities, including that of the Jesuits in Britain.  CCLA, one of our investment managers, joined global institutional investors in filing a shareholder resolution at Amazon’s 2024 AGM. This called for Amazon to appoint a reputable third-party to produce a gap analysis of their practice versus their labour standards policy. The resolution got a very significant vote of about a third of shareholders. The letter of CCLA, that Jesuits in Britain has supported, calls for normalisation of relations between Amazon and the unions, with a specific example here in England. Amazon has some good policies on human rights, but it has proved itself weak in applying some labour relations standards."

You can read the CCLA press release about this here.

We continue to take our work in responsible investment very seriously. Last month, a coalition of shareholders in HSBC, including Jesuits in Britain, asked the bank to explicitly set out how they intend to use the money they have dedicated to sustainable finance and demand they set a funding target for renewable energy, critical for the net zero transition. You can find out more about that here.

Banner photo by ANIRUDH on Unsplash

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