23 February 2011.
Steve Jobs has not said when, or if, he will return to the helm at Apple.
Apple has made no efforts to reveal succession plans for the time when Steve Jobs is no longer in charge of the company.
The proposal was made by the Central Laborers Fund during the company's annual shareholder meeting.
Steve Jobs, who is on his third medical leave of absence, did not attend the event at Apple's headquarters in California.
Apple, a notoriously secretive company, fought the proposal from the beginning.
A preliminary report count on the controversial measure suggested the fund proposal had been defeated.
It was a move that disappointed Jennifer O'Dell who made the proposal on behalf of the fund which represents 500,000 construction workers across the US and Canada.
"We want Steve Jobs to come back to work yesterday," Ms O'Dell told BBC News.
"We want him to be here every day. We want him to live forever.
"That is not realistic and that is why they need to have a plan. And if they have a plan, and I am sure they do, what is wrong with a little transparency?"
Apple until now has said such a revelation would give competitors an "unfair advantage" by publicizing the company's confidential objectives and plans.
Despite the defeat, Ms O'Dell said this was not the end of their efforts.
The fund holds nearly 11,500 Apple shares, worth around $4m (£2.4m).
"If the board continues to not want to listen to long term shareholders, to talk about this issue seriously, we can take a second step and hold the board of directors directly accountable and we could withdraw our votes from the members of the board."
She said while Apple provided hundreds of thousands of labourers with security for retirement the firm could not be run by just one person dictating the role of the company.
In Mr Job's absence, the company is being run by chief operating officer, Tim Cook.
During the hour long meeting, no shareholders asked questions about Mr Job's health, although a number wished him well for the future.
Outside the firm's headquarters, most of the opinion backed Apple's decision to keep its cards about succession close to its chest.
"I feel making such a plan public is unnecessary," said Pam Pallakoff, a shareholder for 20 years.
"Mr Jobs, whether he is here or not here... the company will complete his vision. At least for the next five years everything is set on a good path."
Analysts have long agreed with this view, that Apple has a long history of products and a deep management with a wealth of experience. But they said to find a charismatic leader as Steve Jobs will be a real challenge, since the names Apple and Steve Jobs are interconnected and inseparable.
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