The Mountain Equipment Co-Op is considering an Israel boycott

The resolution to boycott Israeli products at Mountain Equipment Co-op is expected to be proposed at the April 30 annual meeting. It is expected that members from British Vancouver Teachers for Peace and Global Education will introduce the motion.
The co-op screens the products that they sell to make sure that the workers are treated ethically.

B’nai Brith Canada expressed concern over reports of the motion, and said it was encouraged by the company’s official position that it does “not divide its supply chain along political lines” and will “not take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” according to a news release.

The Calgary Herald reports:

“We just don’t think(MountainEquipmentCo-op)should be doing business with Israel until it changes its behaviour,” said Patrik Parkes, a spokes-man for BC Teachers for Peace and Global Education.

“Many of us are MEC members, and because MEC promotes itself as an ethical company, we believe their actions need to reflect that.”

On the MEC blog a posting deals with the fact that the company is being labeled a hypocrite for buying from China, Taiwan, US, India, Sri Lanka and just about everywhere else outside of Canada.

The company points out that the resolution to boycott Israeli suppliers is not being put forward by MEC or MEC employees. The resolution was table by members of MEC and will be voted on at the annual meeting.

Because the company is a co-op it must protect the right of members to participate in the co-op and allow for their views to be heard.

The company’s position is as follows:

MEC is a Co-op retailer with a mandate to get Canadians outdoor by selling them the right gear and giving them the relevant technical insight. MEC is neither a political activist group nor a human rights body. Nonetheless, we believe business can and should improve the human condition behind manufacturing. To this end, MEC takes a Canadian and international view of our global supply chain. Just as creed and country are not barriers to being an MEC member, we do not divide our supply chain along political lines. In short, we will not take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our human rights efforts are squarely focused on our supply chain—on working to improve the factory conditions and treatment of the workers that make MEC-brand products. As much as this is cowardice to some or a sell out to others, it is our conviction and our intent is to not veer from this belief.

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