Proposals pressure Walmart on social issues
Walmart shareholders will vote Wednesday on eight proposals — from normal corporate housekeeping to social issues and transparency.
- These expectations have risen over the past several years, but were accelerated by the pandemic as trust in government declined.
Why it matters: Employees look to their company leaders for cues on how to behave at work and in their daily lives.
- Walmart, which employs 2.3 million people globally and close to 1.6 million in the U.S., has the power of influence.
The backdrop: The following proposals are up for vote during next week's annual meeting:
- No. 4 — Report on refrigerants released from operations
- No. 5 — Report on lobbying disclosures
- No. 6 — Report on alignment of racial justice goals and starting wages
- No. 7 — Create a pandemic workforce advisory council
- No. 8 — Report on company's involvement with Business Roundtable
The bottom line: These proposals will likely be voted down.
- Walmart's board of directors recommended shareholders vote against all five, giving detailed reasoning in its Proxy statement.
Yes, but: Walmart's cadre of corporate social responsibility programs have become a more central part of its company narrative in recent years. Think: Sustainability, community relations, diversity and inclusion.
- Through its Walmart Foundation, the company donated $1.4 billion to many of those causes in fiscal 2020.
- The company and foundation committed $100 million to create a new center on racial equity last year.
- Walmart also told Axios it works with a variety of third-party advisory councils for outside opinions on issues, such as their human rights statement.
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