A Machine fed with People
Ars Technica, December 22, 2021:
The Securities and Exchange Commission has rejected Apple’s petition to block three shareholder proposals from going to a vote at its next annual meeting—a win for activists that signals trouble for other US companies hoping the regulator will allow them to fend off unwanted attention.
The resolutions call for detailed reports regarding allegations of forced labor in Apple’s supply chain, explanations of why certain apps are deleted from the App Store in China, and a public report of what risks the iPhone maker could face by allegedly using nondisclosure agreements in the context of workplace harassment and discrimination.
Cher Scarlett, December 22, 2021:
I'm currently unemployed. Apple is threatening to sue me and I have $92,000 in attorneys fees I have no way to pay. I gave up my severance and COBRA.
I did this to hold Apple accountable.
If you are an Apple shareholder, please vote to audit the use of concealment clauses.
Cher has since, happily, been employed, but her story about some recent events is harrowing and hard to boil down to one or a set of quotes.
Contrary to what regular readers may believe, I am an Apple shareholder. I don't own many of them and I am not located in the US, but ever since I read this, I have been fighting windmills trying to find a way that I can register for the meeting and place votes. It seems like most financial institutions here are only interested in the stock market insofar as to give easy marks a way to bet on the stock ticker casino, and are not quite so enamored with details like consequences, accountability and ethics, or at least not with letting the people without supercars have anything to do with it. (My bank told me it would be happy to sign me up for the meeting at a price that would amount to more than half of the shares' value; my broker, through which I hold the shares, just plain "doesn't offer the service".)
If you own Apple stock, please hold Apple accountable by voting at the upcoming shareholder meeting. Please confront the company, whose valuation you are helping inflate to ridiculous proportions, with the consequences of their actions. Please ensure that the self-perpetuating, reality-distancing bubble of innocence through excellence does not see challenges to live up to its own ethical self-image as reasons to throw employees in the corporate wood chipper. There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for Apple's behavior; those who are breaking out "cultural fit" would go into a different kind of fit if it happened to them, or at any other company.
If corporations are indeed people, they are sociopaths with bastard sprinkles. At their best, they are upside down pyramids, and keeping true and fair and reasonable and not throwing customers or "human resources" to the hounds is only maintainable by constantly trying to tilt them upright.