The coalition of community groups that met with New Seasons Market corporate executives last month has issued a public response to the company regarding its expansion plans in the Central District:
“On Friday, New Seasons Market HQ sent a response to our community coalition’s proposals. We had asked them to commit to real changes in the areas of workers’ rights, gentrification and displacement, and their financial ties with the Murdock Trust.
Unfortunately, while they said they plan to “explore” some of our ideas around affordability and inclusion, they gave no indication the company is committed to change. In fact, they had nothing new to say in response to our proposals around respecting workers’ rights, and no response to our call to cut ties with the Murdock Trust, a major donor to hate groups that fight our community’s values.
Let’s be clear: hearing from a corporation that they’re willing to consider adopting restorative justice practices, advocating for affordable housing and tenant protections, and accepting Fresh Bucks in their stores is a huge win. When we come together to hold companies accountable, we can have an impact. But all we have from New Seasons at this point are words. The company has yet to make concrete commitments in any of these areas.
We can’t wait around while New Seasons’ corporate leadership thinks a little more about respecting our community’s values, and we’re not going to stop calling on them to respect workers’ rights. Respect for workers is central to respect for our community. We offered concrete solutions such as bringing in the organizations the City of Seattle funds to do workers’ rights trainings, and remaining neutral when employees want to organize for better working conditions.
Instead, we got boilerplate language from their PR materials about how friendly they are. That’s not good enough. We’re not going away, and we call on other community members to join us—after all, we live here.”