Monday, August 25, 2014

I Voted For Byron Wall

In the 2014 Election for a Worker-Owner Board Director of the Weaver Street Market Co-operative (voting taking place now; voting papers in your workplace mailbox), there is a vividly stark choice between the two candidates, summed up by two short excerpts from their election messages:

Byron Wall (video - "I am dedicated to representing workers' perspectives on the operation of our co-op to the board at large - and believe this would be my primary responsibility as a worker-owner representative to the Board of Directors."

Jon McDonald: " ... it's such a privilege to work for a company that invites us to the decision-making table."

Jon is one of the nicest people working in WSM. But Jon, we are officially a worker-consumer co-op. Even our General Manager, Ruffin Slater, publicly declares that we are a unique institution, precisely because we are half-owned by our workers.

Being at the decision-making table is not a privilege, for which we should await invitation. It is our right.

This is not merely hot air. It is decided co-op policy. The Board Policy 'Treatment of Staff' baldly states that all workers should be involved in major-decision-making. At the moment we are not. As you are about to find out at the much-dissipated annual unit meetings.

If we workers want that to change, we will not achieve it by voting for the nicest person in the co-op, who is waiting to be invited for his input. It will be accomplished by the candidate who states that he's going to have a suggestions box for workers in every unit, and he's then going to every Board Meeting to tell 'em what workers want.

And that's why I voted for Byron Wall last Friday.

If you are not yet a worker-owner, and you want to become one, and vote for Byron too, write to Brenda Camp, WSM Owner Services Co-ordinator, (, or talk with your manager.

[I know Byron will taunt me mercilessly for the pic of him I lifted from Facebook. But I prefer it!]