Petition Tag - cooperatives

1. Support Green Grocer Co-operatives

Would you shop at a consumer owned co-op (Community owned business)?

2. Don't Squander the Legacy of the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society

On June 29, 2014, Jim Kenyon of the Valley News published a column in which he accused the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society of firing two employees because they were talking with their colleagues about forming a union. If true, this would be a violation of federal labor law. However, the Kenyon column cited no evidence beyond the two employees' claim that they were fired for this reason. According to all of the accounts in circulation, the two employees were simply escorted out of the Lebanon Co-op Food Store on June 13 without any explanation of why they were being fired after 11 years with the Co-op.

There is a grassroots campaign aimed at pressuring the Co-op to give them their jobs back. The campaign has created a facebook page, a blog, and an online petition to demand that the two former employees be reinstated with back pay and that the Co-op "Work with staff to reevaluate current labor practices, including adopting a policy requiring just cause for dismissal."

[Note: I have amended the previous paragraph to reflect that I don't know who started the grassroots campaign. I had originally stated that it was the two former employees themselves.]

The purpose of the petition below is to give members of the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society and others who disagree with the reinstatement petition an opportunity to express a countervailing view.

3. Hands off our Coops! - they compete fairly!

The complaints against French, Spanish and Italian cooperatives that are being looked at by the European Commission are made by large shareholding companies. They are trying to get changes to the national tax rules for co-operatives. Any changes to these rules would reduce competition and would steal the coops' business. The Commission's decisions on the complaints may not just concern a few large co-operatives but they could also badly effect all coops across Europe.

Cooperatives are specifically written about in the EU treaties. Twenty five European Union countries have their own laws for co-operatives. Co-operatives are a different kind of business. Cooperative businesses rely on the principles of democratic control, self-responsibility, equity and solidarity. Co-ops have a unique legal and financial structure that needs to be recognised. The Commission cannot be allowed to pretend that they are comparing the same things when they compare co-ops with private sector businesses.

If you believe that attention has to be paid to the social and human dimension in economic activities and that a strong political message needs to be given to the European Commission, please sign the following petition.

You can read the Petition text HERE in EN/DE/ES/FR/IT and PL

News Update: There is also circulating in Europe a paper version of the petition (using the same text as below). As of 30 September 08 over 88000 signatures on-line and on paper have been collected by cooperatives and their members. The Petition will remain open until further notice.

For a statistical analysis of signers by region, click here.