Proposal for Independent Civil Rights Audit Passes at WM Shareholder Meeting
(WASHINGTON) – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters won a crucial vote at Waste Management’s (NYSE: WM) annual shareholders’ meeting this morning. A majority of shareholders voted in support of the Teamsters’ proposal for an independent civil rights audit following years of complaints by workers of colors in the private waste industry.
“Companies like Waste Management have been quick to make bold statements on matters of race, but we don’t see them backed up when frontline workers—over half of which are minorities—are facing all the risks, especially during the pandemic,” said Chuck Stiles, Director of the Teamsters Solid Waste and Recycling Division. “When you look at executives at Waste Management, you will see a lot lower proportion when it comes to people of color. Until now, no one has investigated why that’s the case. This proposal will ensure that Waste Management lives up to their word.”
WMI released statements against racism following racial justice protests in 2020, but the Teamsters argued that the company had not done enough to back up its initial statement in the two years that followed. The civil rights audit seeks to address inequalities at the company. The proposal stated that only 11 percent of high-level employees are people of color or considered ethnically diverse.
Despite the board’s recommendation that WMI shareholders vote against the proposal, the majority of stakeholders voted in favor of the independent audit to ensure accountability.
“The Teamsters have made it a priority to hold companies accountable for how they manage civil rights, gender and racial equity issues,” said Sean M. O’Brien, Teamsters General President. “I want to applaud the shareholders for voting in favor of the Teamsters’ proposal this morning. With your support, we will continue to hold these multi-billion-dollar companies to their word.”
The Teamsters are also calling for an overall independent civil rights audit at Republic Services and Stericycle later this month.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.