Shareholders challenging Apple on unions & alleged slave labor

Apple investors are concerned

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Well in advance of the annual shareholders' meeting, Apple investors have filed challenges that the board must address, such as the company's stance on unions and human rights in China.

Trillium Asset Management filed a union proposal, asking Apple's board to improve its oversight of how the company's management has handled recent unionizing. Trillium also mentioned how employees had allegedly accused Apple of intimidation tactics to deter employees from organizing.

Advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services also plans to consider recommending against board members at companies that fail to act on shareholder proposals that have won majority support.

Another proposal, by activist group SumOfUs, calls for Apple to create a "phaseout transition plan" to stop the company's supply chain from using labor from Uyghur forced labor programs. Apple had also been challenged on that topic in 2021.

Apple faces two other proposals that call on the board of directors to examine the company's remote work policies on employee retention and competitiveness, according to the Financial Times.

In August, the UN published a report that accused China of "serious human rights violations" regarding Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Apple told the SEC that there was "no evidence that any of its suppliers were located" in the Xinjiang region, home to the Uyghurs.

Apple isn't fighting the union proposal but does plan to challenge the others because they involve internal business decisions that don't pertain to outsiders.