Bloomberg Law
Feb. 7, 2023, 5:36 PMUpdated: Feb. 7, 2023, 9:45 PM

NY Urges Netflix, DoorDash, Walmart to Lift Workers’ Rights (2)

Keshia Clukey
Keshia Clukey

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli called on shareholders of Netflix Inc., DoorDash Inc., Walmart Inc., CVS Pharmacy Inc., and Gannett Co. to adopt better workers’ rights policies that respect the right to organize and collectively bargain.

DiNapoli, trustee of the state’s approximately $233.2 billion pension fund, on Tuesday announced a series of proposals his office filed with the companies, saying they need to rethink their approaches toward their workforces.

“Freedom of association and collective bargaining are fundamental human rights,” DiNapoli said. “The right to join unions, without interference, and collectively bargain can help improve workers’ health and safety, as well as increase their training, skills and productivity. It’s in the companies’ own interests, and in the long-term interests of shareholders, to ensure workers are treated fairly.”

He noted that each company has faced multiple labor and workers’ rights controversies in recent years.

“We publish our response to shareholder proposals in our Proxy Statement, and we’ll address proposals that appear in our filing at that time,” Walmart said in an emailed statement.

A spokesperson for DoorDash said by email that the company received the proposal and will work with the comptroller’s office. “Ensuring that everyone in the DoorDash community—including employees and Dashers alike—has an opportunity to make their voice heard is critically important to us,” they said. Netflix, CVS Pharmacy, and Gannett didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

All the proposals, with the exception of Gannett’s, were co-filed with New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, on behalf of the New York City Retirement Systems.

Labor Controversies

DiNapoli wants the board of directors for Walmart and CVS to commission and oversee an assessment conducted by a third party of the company’s adherence to its commitment to workers’ freedom of association and collective bargaining rights—a commitment written in each company’s human rights statement.

The National Labor Relations Board has received about 250 complaints filed by Walmart employees alleging the company used disciplinary actions, retaliation, and coercive actions to stop employees from unionizing, according to the DiNapoli’s office.

Similarly, CVS has been accused of attempting to undermine election results at a Brooklyn store in 2018, and interfering in union elections in California in 2022, according to DiNapoli’s office. The comptroller’s office asked the boards of Netflix, DoorDash, and Gannett to adopt and publicly disclose policy on their “commitment to respect their employees’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining in their operations,” according to the release.

Doordash has been criticized for workforce practices and the ability of its workers to negotiate for rates, tips, and in the case of independent contractors, benefits and compensation, according to the comptroller’s office.

Netflix workers have protested, staged walkouts and demanded change to the company’s culture, DiNapoli’s office said. And Gannett has been accused of stalling bargaining with unionized newsrooms, and threatening to lay off workers who have considered unionizing.

The estimated value for the New York State Common Retirement Fund—one of the largest public pension funds in the United States—was $233.2 billion as of Sept. 30, according to the most recent report from the state comptroller’s office. The fund holds and invests the assets of more than 1 million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries.

(Updated with comment from DoorDash in 6th paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Keshia Clukey in Albany, N.Y. at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeff Harrington at; Fawn Johnson at

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