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River Valley Co-op is a great place to shop. But for workers, it's a different story.

We can be proud of Northampton's co-op in many ways. At the same time, it faces serious challenges and is falling short on values that owners and community members expect it to uphold. The most pressing problem is how our co-op treats its workers, who are struggling for fair compensation, a safe and respectful workplace, and a living wage. For owner-members especially, this is both a disappointment and a call to action. We’ve enjoyed the privileges of shopping at River Valley Co-op since 2008. Now we are reminded of the responsibilities. Let’s make sure it matures into the store — and the workplace — it was founded to be.

New petition: Tell management to give us a clean shuttle settlement

Following a public campaign by workers and owners, management agreed to pay workers for their shuttle time and raise wages. Unfortunately, these gains are undermined by the conditions management attached to them. There is a strong appearance of retaliation against the shuttle driver who was a leader of the campaign, and management seems intent on preventing workers on the sales floor from discussing their working conditions with owners and other shoppers.
Learn more and sign the petition for a clean settlement.

Why didn’t management give us a clean shuttle settlement?

Co-op management agreed to pay our workers for their shuttle time and even raise the lowest wages. But it’s far from a clean settlement. Indeed, rather than improve labor relations, the agreement has in many ways reinforced workers’ mistrust of management and launched a whole new round of discord and confusion.

Exploring our co-op’s transparency: round 2

Does the board maintain that the co-op should be only as transparent as required by Massachusetts corporate laws? The board recently denied a request for figures on managers’ salaries, and we’re still trying to understand why. Here’s the latest follow-up request, submitted by nine owners.

Most workers agree: we have a problem

River Valley Co-op’s management and board of directors often seem intent on minimizing the unrest among the staff, usually referring to “some” employees.” But in May of 2016, 77 bargaining unit workers signed an internal petition to the board of directors outlining multiple concerns about working conditions and the management of the store.

RVC is a great place to shop. Let's make it
a great place to work!

Petition for a clean settlement

Tell the board and the general manager you want a clean settlement to the shuttle issue: NO to retaliation, NO to “reassignment,” NO to silencing our workers. Petition

Tell the board what you think

Attend the next board meeting: Wednesday, Oct. 11, 6:30, upstairs at the co-op. It starts with a comment period. Or contact individual board members or the general manager. Contact

Leave a comment at the store

When you're at the store to shop, you can always leave a comment in the box at the customer service desk. Include your member-owner number if you have one. Management does read these!
  • "Half the trouble in life is caused by pretending there isn't any."
    Edith Wharton
  • “If you’re trying to create a high-trust organization, an organization where people are all-for-one and one-for-all, you can’t have secrets.”
    Whole Foods CEO John MacKey