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Isn’t my “membership” at Co-op more like a Starbucks card?

No, your membership at Co-op is not like a corporate loyalty card, like Air Miles or Starbucks or PC Points. Co-op membership pays dividends, but your Co-op membership really is supposed to give you input into meaningful aspects of the board’s decision-making.

This FAQ page published by Co-op explains the various ways the membership democratically controls Co-op, and how Co-op is answerable to members.

Here is just one answer that Co-op provides about the content of Co-op membership:

Who controls the co-op? 

  • Co-ops are democratically controlled using a system of “one member one vote”.
  • “One member one vote” ensures that the co-op acts for the common good and not just for a few individuals.
  • Members control the co-op through a locally elected Board of Directors.
  • A member can become a Director of the co-op by allowing their name to stand at an annual election.
  • Members can also exercise control by attending annual meetings, by proposing or voting on resolutions, or by offering suggestions to co-op management and directors.
  • Decisions affecting the co-op are made locally in the best interests of the members and the community, and not in remote head offices.

Co-op has been run less and less like this in recent years. And so it is up to us to reclaim Co-op and make its management subordinate to the decisions of the board, who will be guided by membership’s democratic deliberation and voting.

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