London, 06.03.2023. Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI), one of the world’s leading active investment managers, has announced today that it intends to support proposal 8 at Starbucks’Annual General Meeting. This shareholder resolution concerns the issue of human rights, in this case, assessment of workers’ rights commitments to freedom of association and bargaining rights.
Matt Christensen, Global Head of Sustainable and Impact Investing at AllianzGI, commented:
“Ahead of the coming annual general meeting of the shareholders of Starbucks Corporation, we plan to cast our proxy vote in support of the shareholder resolution regarding an assessment of workers’ rights commitments at the company. The resolution urges the Board of Directors to commission and oversee an independent, third-party assessment of Starbucks’ adherence to its stated commitment to workers’ freedom of association and collective bargaining rights as contained in the International Labour Organization’s Core Labour Standards and as explicitly referenced in the company’s Global Human Rights Statement. The assessment should be made public on the company’s website.
AllianzGI believe that employee rights are material to the long-term success of companies, especially those such as Starbucks , that are critically dependent on their ability to be attractive to large number of high-performing employees to deliver quality products and service. We are concerned about the level of controversy reported around these issues because in our view this may have long lasting impact on how the brand is perceived. As long-term shareholders, we have concluded that a third-party assessment is in our interest, to ensure there is no gap between the company’s own commitment and actual practice.
AllianzGI just recently published its annual analysis of how it voted at AGMs in 2022 around the globe, based on its participation in 10,205 shareholder meetings and voting in more than 100,000 shareholder and management proposals. AllianzGI voted against, withheld or abstained from at least one agenda item at 69% (2021: 68%) of all meetings globally. It opposed 16% of capital-related proposals, 23% of director-related proposals and 43% of remuneration-related proposals globally.
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