The following is from the Northwest Accountability Project:
PORTLAND, Ore. (March 7, 2018) — The Northwest Accountability Project was joined by workers, community members and faith leaders Tuesday to announce a campaign, including a national petition, calling on New Seasons Market to cut ties with the Murdock Trust because of its anti-worker and anti-LGBTQ contributions. Advocates petitioned outside of more than a dozen New Seasons stores in Oregon and Washington and will continue petitioning until New Seasons severs its ties with the Murdock Trust.
“The Murdock Charitable Trust funds a wide array of groups that seek to bring hate and division to our communities. This includes the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, the anti-worker Freedom Foundation, and even an organization that practiced gay conversion therapy,” said Peter Starzynski, Executive Director of the Northwest Accountability Project. “We think it’s important the community knows that profits from New Seasons’ growth will go to the Murdock Trust.”
New Seasons is majority-owned by funds managed by Endeavour Capital. Since 2000, the Murdock Charitable Trust has invested millions in Endeavor Capital funds, including the funds which reportedly own New Seasons. The Vancouver, Wash.-based Murdock Trust has come under fire from the Northwest Accountability Project and community members because of their funding of extremist causes that harm LGBTQ+ people, women, workers, and the environment.
“New Seasons claims to care about equality and inclusion but their relationship to the Murdock Trust shows otherwise,” Starzynski said. “Our hope is that this petition drive makes them do the right thing and sever their relationship to Murdock.”
Maren Stjarne, a queer identified New Seasons employee, said: “I find it deeply disturbing that the profits of the people I work for goes to a foundation that supports organizations that are very clear about hating me and my community.”
The Northwest Accountability Project also filed a complaint against New Seasons with B-Lab, challenging the company’s “B Corp” status because of their ties to Murdock. B Corps are for-profit companies that have been certified by B Lab as meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.