MEC Members Oppose Sale of Co-op to U.S. Firm
On September 14, news dropped that stunned members of Mountain Equipment Co-op; the assets of Canada’s largest consumer co-op will be sold to U.S.-based Kingswood Capital Management. MEC’s Board of Directors made the decision without consulting members, who are also voting shareholders. Today, two petitions began circulating to halt the sale and review MEC’s election practices, the same practices that elected the current board.
“There may be legal challenges to the deal,” says MEC member Steve Jones who adds he is trying to stay focused on maintaining a co-operative institution. A statement from both the BC Co-op Association and Co-ops and Mutuals Canada decried the move by MEC’s board. John Kay, Chair of CMC’s Board and Vice-Chair of the BCCA board said “co-operatives and mutuals have been our most resilient business model for over a century because of their value, democratic control by members and focus on sustainable development of their communities.”
The statement was released on The International Day of Democracy. Modo, the car-share co-op added, “we need to focus on co-op principle #2 – democratic control by members” on this day.
It seems to MEC members this principle was cast aside by the board of directors with news of the co-ops’ sale without member consultation.