Apple Will Oppose Human Rights Committee at Shareholder Meeting

Posted by at 10:36 am on December 27, 2012

Apple will host its 2013 shareholders meeting on February 27th, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. A number of items should be on the agenda, among these whether to re-elect the current board of directors: Tim Cook, Arthur Levinson, Al Gore, William Campbell, Millard Drexler, Robert Iger, Andrea Jung, and Ronald Sugar. Controversially, however, Apple is recommending that shareholders vote against a measure that would see the company institute a Human Rights committee.

The measure is being proposed by stock owner John Harrington, and would create a separate board body to “review the implications of company policies, above and beyond matters of legal compliance, for the human rights of individuals in the US and worldwide.” The Apple board insists that a Human Rights committee isn’t necessary because the company is “committed to the highest standards of social responsibility and human rights wherever we do business.”

Critics and activist organizations have complained that despite changes instituted by Apple, the company’s suppliers are still sometimes demanding extreme amounts of overtime from workers for little pay, and/or taking a lax approach to safety, pollution, and the use of child labor. A Human Rights committee could theoretically push Apple towards exercising a stronger arm with its partners.

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