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Schroders to oppose Amazon, Meta, Alphabet over worker, digital rights

Stock Markets May 18, 2022 15:31
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the logo of investment management company Schroders at a branch in Zurich, Swtzerland November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

By Simon Jessop

LONDON (Reuters) - Schroders (LON:SDR), Britain's biggest listed asset manager, said on Wednesday it would back a swathe of shareholder resolutions at Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Meta and Google-owner Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) concerning workers' and digital rights.

Schroders, which manages around 730 billion pounds ($905.64 billion), said it was declaring its intention to vote against management on the issues as an escalation measure following talks with the companies.

While any move to declare voting plans is still relatively rare among asset managers, more are starting to do so as part of efforts to accelerate change on environmental, social and governance-related issues such as climate change.

In total, Schroders said it would vote against 11 resolutions across the three companies at their annual general meetings, scheduled for next week.

The money manager said its engagement with Amazon had centred on supporting workers' rights, specifically improving staff pay and benefits, the health and wellbeing of workers and worker representation within the company.

At Meta and Alphabet, Schorders said it would vote in favour of improving their approach to digital rights, including the management of exploitative content, misinformation and privacy.

"These issues are growing in importance for our clients who are pressing us to do more to ensure the companies that we invest in are acting responsibly," said Kate Rogers, Head of Sustainability, Schroders Wealth Management.

"By voting against the management at Alphabet and Meta we are signalling the importance of big technology companies acting to avoid harm and tackling misinformation on their platforms. At Amazon, we stand with the workers, seeking more disclosure on working conditions and their treatment."

Schroders added that it was still considering and would likely vote against other agenda items at the companies' AGMs.

($1 = 0.8061 pounds)

Schroders to oppose Amazon, Meta, Alphabet over worker, digital rights
 

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