Friday, May 1, 2009

Board Elections 2009 - My Candidacy

I will be standing for the position of Worker Director in the Weaver Street Market Co-operative Board Elections of 2009.

We are one of the very few (if not the only) worker-consumer food co-operatives in the United States. Co-operators around the nation look to us to see how the model works.

It is no secret that many wonder if we can truly reflect the full spirit of co-operation in our business if the authority for making decisions in our co-op is split between consumers and workers.

The thinking goes that, in this situation, it may well be management that ends up calling the tune. And there may be some in this co-op who feel that is exactly what has happened. And that it has not been in the best interests of the co-op.

Workers have been called on, by management, to make many sacrifices in this past year. Without being offered very much in return. Or being offered any meaningful opportunity to have a real voice in the affairs of this worker's co-operative.

I believe that, in return for our many sacrifices, that should now change.

I am standing in the Board Election 2009 too allow workers to have a real voice on their Board. To assist the Board in returning our co-operative to being the best co-operative and business it can be.

In that regard, and believing that we workers should be a more vocal element in co-op decision-making, because we are the ones at the sharp end of producing the profit, I will be making the primary plank of my candidacy the proposal that, in all Worker Director elections, every single worker (not just Worker-Owners) should be allowed to vote for their Worker Directors on the Board.

I do not believe that the right to vote for a representative should be dependent on our having $500 to pay for that right. Not in this economic climate. Not when so many of us have seen our paychecks reduced by management in this past year.

No worker in a co-operative should have to pay for the right to be heard. The reward for paying for a Worker-Owner share should be financial, not electoral.

It is important to me that the voice that is heard on the Board reflects the very real concerns of the workforce. I want to know what you are thinking. Please do not hesitate to contact me at: About anything.