New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is using the strength of the state’s pension fund to push for racial justice at Amazon.
The state’s pension fund holds significant shares in the growing company, and DiNapoli is asking that Amazon conduct an independent review of its impacts on civil rights, equity, diversity and inclusion, and the effects of those issues on its business.
He said Amazon’s online ordering and delivery services have grown during the COVID-19 pandemic, and there have been numerous complaints and lawsuits over alleged discriminatory wage practices, the selling of products that foster racial biases, and accusations that the company failed to create an inclusive workplace.
The murder of George Floyd and the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement have intensified calls for change at Amazon.
“The leadership at Amazon has said they support issues related to racial justice in the aftermath of the Floyd killing,” DiNapoli said. “But we think their actions, from a corporate leadership perspective, have not matched their words.”
DiNapoli also reported a record return of 33.55% on the state’s pension fund investments, a result of the past year’s booming stock market. But he warned that the markets “remain volatile and as unpredictable as ever.” Last year, the rate of return was down from the previous year by almost 3%.