Friday, October 11, 2013

Easier Worker-Ownership ...

So. I read in this week's Weaver Street Market Co-operative employee Market Messenger that the sole candidate in the annual Worker-Owner Board Director election [Curt Brinkmeyer] was ... elected.

As I have stated elsewhere, this is no sign of a healthy democracy, or an indication of all workers being whoop-di-whoop with Curt's tenure.

Rather it is clear evidence of the fact that the WSM corporate office management team are succeeding in suppressing democracy among workers within a co-op which they boast is half-owned by its workers.

But. Let's leave all that on one side. It ain't why I'm penning this little ditty today. The Market Messenger goes on to claim that Curt was instrumental in making it easier for workers to become worker-owners.

Ouch. That's sort of like saying that Jesse Helms was 'instrumental' in getting the US Senate to approve a federal holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. (even though Jesse tried to filibuster against it), just because he happened to be in the Senate at the time.

The truth about the path to easier worker-ownership is more along the lines to be found in this blog post.

In short. I campaigned vigorously for easier worker-ownership for five years. Put it forward as a proposal while serving on the WSM Elections Task Force. Ran for the Board (for my third of four attempts) in 2009 on the single issue platform of giving the vote to ALL workers, not just worker-owners (we shouldn't have to pay to vote).

At which point the WSM corporate office management team ran Curt against me, on a wishy-washy pledge to do something about worker-ownership. Which pledge was only then eventually acted upon because I badgered the Board (and Curt) for a further three years on the subject.

Now. I'm not concerned about not being offered credit. I'm not even worried that Curt makes claims for himself. Every election candidate presents themselves in the best possible light.

But I do mind that WSM, as an institution, engages in a recreation of history. So. I post to get the story right ...