For the first time, some Apple shareholders are proposing a call for a review of Cupertino’s civil rights rights following controversy with employees last year, as well as its “slow progress” in workforce diversification.
How exclusive transmissions MarketWatch, this proposal comes shortly after Apple is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor for employee complaints.
The groups of shareholders who submitted the proposal say that the company allegedly closed the employee surveys on the fairness of salaries, and also mentioned the employment (and subsequent dismissal after the employee protest) of a manager who had a “history of misogynistic and racist comments”. In addition, the Alliance of Three Shareholders says that with all of Apple’s public commitment to racial justice and fairness – including $ 100 million for the Racial Justice Initiative following the Black Lives Matter 2020 protest – the company’s progress in diversifying its ranks has been negligible.
“It is unclear how Apple plans to address racial inequality in its workforce,” the proposal, which was shared exclusively for MarketWatch, said. “Apple currently has no Hispanics and only one black member on its executive team.”
According to Apple’s Diversity Report, little was done from 2014 to 2020 as the company’s leadership was 3% black and 6% Hispanic, and now 4% are black and 8% Hispanic.
SOC Investment Group has partnered with the International Union of Officials and Trillium Asset Management on a proposal; the group submitted its proposal in the fall, but only recently learned it would actually be on a proxy. SEIU’s pension fund ownership includes Apple, while SOC owns 21.9 million shares of the company, and Trillium said it owns more than a million shares of Apple by the end of the third quarter.
“They spend money on racial and mostly philanthropic initiatives and are not really involved in company policy,” Dieter Waizenegger, CEO of SOC, told MarketWatch. “The director general for diversity is not in the C-suite, and the company has a really low percentage of black employees. Whatever the company does, there seems to be a gap. ”
Although Apple declined to comment on MarketWatch’s story, Reuters reported today that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected Apple’s “offer to exclude a shareholder proposal that would require the company to inform investors about the use of non-disclosure agreements and other concealment clauses.” “You can find out more about it here.
Although this controversy with former Apple employees began a few months ago, things became even more serious when the US Department of Labor decided to take action. It began when Ashley Gjøvik, senior manager of the engineering program, implied that Apple had responded to her accusations of sexism by putting her on administrative leave.
Gjøvik filed the lawsuit on Aug. 26, followed by Apple engineer Cher Scarlett, who conducted an internal survey to determine if there was a share-sharing payroll problem within the company. Then, on Sept. 1, Scarlett also filed a lawsuit saying Apple was “engaging in coercive and repressive activities that allowed abuse and harassment of the organizers of the protected concerted activity.”
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