Last edited: July 25, 2022
Leading global proxy advisory firms, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis, are urging Tesla investors to vote for a shareholder proposal regarding the right of employees to form a labour union. The recommendations come alongside additional recommendations to vote against the re-election of board members Ira Ehrenpreis and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson.
SHARE’s proposal calls for the adoption of a freedom of association and collective bargaining policy at the auto and tech corporation. Domini Impact Investment and SOC Investments have co-filed the proposal.
As a leading electric vehicle manufacturer, Tesla plays a critical role in accelerating the global transition to a low-carbon economy. However, environmental sustainability cannot come at the expense of fundamental labour rights. In order to contribute to a just transition, the company must address its social impact in the context of workers’ rights.
The ISS and Glass Lewis recommendations provide a significant signal that investors are raising expectations of companies on fundamental labour rights. With these recommendations in support of the proposal, we expect to see strong investor backing of the proposal. Earlier this voting season, the advisory firms also backed a SHARE-filed proposal at Amazon regarding workers’ rights and freedom of association, the first of its kind at the e-commerce giant. The vote at Amazon received 47% of the independent vote, a historic feat indicating a growing demand for and awareness of fundamental labour rights.
The Global Unions Committee on Workers’ Capital recently released their “Baseline Expectations for Asset Managers on Fundamental Labour Rights,” providing a practical roadmap for asset owners and managers to uphold fundamental rights, including frameworks on advocacy efforts and proxy voting.