Thursday, August 14, 2014

Democratic Decision-Making - Victory #4

On the subject of democratic inclusion of employees in decision-making within Weaver Street Market Co-operative; using the system, rather than just whining; and even small victories being worthy of celebration ... I would like to direct all WSM employees to the post in the bottom right-hand corner of this week's employee Market Messenger, which I know few of you ever actually read (!).

Last year, I began a general campaign, which still continues, to 'encourage' management within WSM to comply with the co-op policy which demands that workers be involved in major decisions which affect their workplace within WSM.

One of the specific targets was the decision which had been taken, without worker inclusion, to end paper paychecks. I wrote to the HR Manager requesting that there be proper process, inviting feedback. And she complied.

I do not know what other feedback there was. But I do know that I wrote vehemently opposing such a move. I have and had no problem with folks choosing to go paperless - if that is their voluntary choice. I do and did mind the choice being made for me and for us.

The post in today's MM announces that, although you may opt for paperless if you wish, paper checks will remain an available alternative. Yay for democracy. Yay for the system working. Yay for managers understanding that co-op policy applies to them, as much as it does to shopfloor workers.

There is still a long way to go before management are fully and properly in compliance with the totality of this co-op policy. For example, I will be battling away at the Southern Village store meeting and beyond for workers to be involved in the setting of the worker-owner dividend. But a victory is still a victory.

If you want to see more democratic inclusion of employees in WSM decision-making, then be sure to vote for Byron Wall in the 2014 Election of a WSM Worker-Owner Director, ballot papers in your mailbox as of August 22 (next Friday).

If you want to vote for more democratic inclusion of employees in WSM decision-making, but are not yet a WSM worker-owner, there is still time. Contact Brenda Camp, WSM Owner Services Co-ordinator at,
 or talk with your manager.

It's really easy to become a worker-owner right now, and then you too can be a part of a democratic system that works - if you use it! And you can use it right away, by voting in this year's Worker-Owner Director Election.