May 27, 2014
Seward Community Co-op
2823 E. Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Attn: Sean Doyle, General Manager and
Seward Co-op Board of Directors
Dear Mr. Doyle and Seward Co-op Board of Directors:
As you are aware, the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) is interested in negotiating a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Seward Co-op regarding the operation of its new Friendship store currently being built in the Central and Bryant neighborhoods.
Various members of CANDO have met separately with General Manager Sean Doyle in an attempt to begin the discussion and negotiation of a CBA, however, such attempts have been unsuccessful. Now, based on a letter dated May 26, 2015 posted on Seward’s website, Seward Co-op will not discuss a CBA or any other agreement until after the Friendship store is open.
According to Doyle’s letter, the co-op leadership needs to focus on “getting the building built and equipped and ensuring we have the right product mix in the store.” In addition, the co-op leadership wants to focus on hiring and training of staff. Thus, no conversations regarding a CBA will be held until Spring 2016.
CANDO urges Seward Co-op Board of Directors and Seward leadership to not wait until after the Friendship store is open to begin discussion and negotiation of a CBA. The issues addressed by a CBA are the same issues that Seward Co-op is presently focused on: products, hiring and training. CANDO feels it is important that these issues and others be discussed, and the community have input before the store is opened.
In addition, there has been a lot of misinformation and misperceptions regarding the proposed CBA and CANDO. Thus, to open a dialogue with the Board of Directors and Seward leadership, CANDO requests to either attend the June 2015 Board meeting, or to meet at another time in June that is more convenient.
Enclosed for your review and consideration is the draft proposed Community Benefits Agreement that Central neighborhood residents, community members and CANDO members drafted. The proposed CBA is intended to be a starting point to begin the conversation. All terms are open to negotiation.
In conclusion, CANDO is requesting that the Board begin discussion and negotiation of a CBA with CANDO; and allow CANDO to attend and speak at Seward Co-op’s June 2015 meeting and/or an alternative meeting in June 2015 with Board members and Seward leadership.
In an effort to address this matter prior to the Friendship store hiring in July and opening in October, CANDO would like a written response by June 5, 2015. Such response can be directed to CANDO Executive Director, Henry Jimenez.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.
Henry Jimenez Taylor Shevey Executive Director Executive Board President
cc: CANDO Board of Directors