Wednesday, October 28, 2015

WCHL Commentary: Co-op Employee Democracy

So, my Commentary on the proposed changes to WSM Board Policy 'Treatment of Staff' hit the airwaves on WCHL this past Monday (October 26). Please act (workers and consumers alike), and help your friendly workers at The Weave.

In the meantime, Charles Traitor, the newly-elected WSM Worker-Owner Director, has himself taken to the intra-WSM social media (Slack), and posted his opposition to the proposed changes to 'Treatment of Staff.' Opposition which is much in line with mine and other employees.

I trust that Charles will be allowed to voice that opposition at the WSM Board Meeting on November 4, and that he will have effect. Don't, however, take that for granted. If you are free that evening, please find the time to attend the Board Meeting, and show your support for Charles and those he represents.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Treatment of Staff: Chapel Hill News

As promised, article on page 10A of The Chapel Hill News section of The News&Observer. Little tucked away. But it's there.

Now. As I urged yesterday. Please put a copy up on your breakroom noticeboard. You are entitled. It is your noticeboard too. This is your news. We are still allowed ethical comment. And your fellow workers deserve to know what is happening on their behalf - the good as well as the bad. They deserve to know that voting works, protesting works. In our co-op.

But don't stop there. As the article makes clear, the WSM Board will be reconsidering the Board Policy 'Treatment of Staff' at its Board Meeting on November 4.

Please write (all of you, consumer and worker) to them ( and tell them that we workers do not want any changes to that Board Policy. We want to continue to have our rights to be involved in decision-making within WSM (even if that doesn't happen at the moment!), ethically to dissent and to take our grievances to the WSM Board.

If you feel so inclined, go one further. Ask the WSM Board now to demand of the WSM General Manager that he immediately hold a full consultative exercise (just as he did to try to push through the proposed changes to WSM Employee Policy), to allow workers to design the process by which, going forward, we will be involved fully and properly in WSM decision-making, in line with the document produced in 2007.

We won a step. Now, we need to continue down the Yellow Brick Road, all the way to the Emerald City. That would be the sustainable, walkable, bikeable, authentic, locally-grown and organic Emerald City, by the way ...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Treatment Of Staff: Partial Victory For WSM Employees

I do not often toot my own horn - unless it is about my book or Pop Voxx / Geoff Gilson. But you will know that I responded ... um ... aggressively to the proposed changes to the WSM Board Policy 'Treatment of Staff,' notice of which we were given only last Friday, with feedback supposed to be in this coming Monday.

People wonder why I care. Why I go out on a limb. Well. Because I don't like seeing my friends hurting. I am not a brave person. I am terrified every time I take on WSM management. I have bills, too. But, sod it. Friends come first.

So, I posted on Facebook. Tagged the world. Put up a post on OrangePolitics. Recorded a Commentary to go out on WCHL on Monday. Spent two hours yesterday with a local newspaper. Their journalist spoke at length with the WSM General Manager.

Five minutes ago before I left for work this morning. Fifteen minutes before I was due to have a private meeting with the WSM Human Resources Manager. The newspaper in question received a letter from the WSM Board, saying they are withdrawing the changes, and are going to re-consider, due to employee feedback.

You guys responded. And it worked. I hope I played some small part in triggering the employee and consumer feedback. Now. Follow through. Demand the changes to 'Treatment of Staff' are simply binned. Permanently.

Now. This is only the first step. Second step is for the WSM Board to act further. As I set out in the e-mail I sent to them today:

"I have just heard that the WSM Board sent to The Chapel Hill News a letter stating that the Board would be reconsidering the proposed changes to its policy 'Treatment of Staff.'

We have had only a very short period to consider those proposed changes. It has taken me a while fully to grasp their impact. Time, I would add, which has all been off-the-clock. Those proposing the changes are paid when they produce their paperwork. I do it on my own time.

In any event, I now formally request of the WSM Board that they leave the policy 'Treatment of Staff' intact, in its entirety.

Rather I request that they ask the WSM General Manager immediately to hold a consultative exercise with WSM employees to design a process fully and properly to implement the said policy.

I have spent much time over the years discussing with former Board members why the policy that exists does exist. 'Treatment of Staff' was not a whim. It was a carefully-considered response to the special worker-consumer hybrid that is WSM.

It is no good saying the proposed changes are merely bringing WSM into line with other co-ops. Other co-ops are not worker-consumer hybrids.

There is a need to ensure parity between worker and consumer agendas. That is achieved on the Board.

There is also a need to ensure protection for the work conditions and for the return on the very considerable investment ($500) that workers-owners make, within the workplace itself, so as to be sure that managers do not impinge upon those conditions and that return.

Hence 'Treatment of Staff.'

The proposed changes would take away completely the right of workers to be involved in decisions made by managers that affect their workplace. Those changes should not be made. Seeking worker opinion is not sufficient safeguard against management. However irritating that safeguard may be to management.

The proposed changes also remove from Board protection the worker right to dissent ethically (to complain about overbearing management, and therefore to protect work conditions and return on worker investment), and the right to take grievance about breach of Board policy by management to the Board.

It has, quite rightly, been pointed out that the right to dissent ethically and to take grievance about breach of Board policy is contained elsewhere in WSM Employee Policy. But that's the point. That is not Board policy. Protected by the Board.

If 'Treatment of Staff' is altered, the right ethically to dissent will, henceforth, only be guaranteed by the General Manager, not his boss. Bit of a problem if it's the General Manager you're ethically dissenting against.

Same thing with appeal to the Board. It follows that appeal from the General Manager to the Board has to be guaranteed by the Board, not by the General Manager.

So. Bottom line? Unless there is really good reason. Which to date I have not heard. Then please leave the existing 'Treatment of Staff' completely alone.

But. It goes further than that. I have been campaigning for three years now to get the terms of 'Treatment of Staff' which relate to including employees in decision-making fully and properly implemented. Without success.

Please now take this opportunity to stop leaving those terms dormant. In 2007, a consultation exercise was held among workers in WSM to determine which decisions should get covered by those terms. A document was produced. If you ask the General Manager, he will produce it.

What I would wish now, on behalf of all the workers of WSM, is for a new consultation exercise to be held, which would design how we could successfully implement the policy calling for employees to be included in decision-making, in a way that fully meets the terms of the policy, without overbearingly interfering with day-to-day operations.

Therefore, I formally request with this e-mail that the WSM Board do so make request of the WSM General Manager, as expeditiously as possible, but certainly before the end of 2016, that he conduct a full consultation exercise with all WSM employees, to allow them the opportunity to help design a process for fully and properly including them in the making of the decisions outlined in the said 2007 document.

I wish this e-mail to be forwarded to all members of the WSM Board, including the two members just elected.

Yours truly,

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Proposed Changes To WSM Board Policy - Treatment Of Staff

In the most recent WSM Worker-Owner Director election, 95 Weaver Street Market Co-operative worker-owners (out of a total of 220) voted to protect and enhance the democratic rights of employees within our co-op.

This past Friday, we WSM employees received in our WSM employee mailboxes a lengthy document from senior WSM management detailing proposed changes to WSM Employee Policy. Including a draconian proposed change to the WSM Board Policy ‘Treatment of Staff.’

Workers of The Weave. If you do nothing else, please read the very specific proposed changes to ‘Treatment of Staff.’ Those changes are the very opposite of what Caitlyn was proposing when she called for more conversation within our co-op. The very antithesis of what Charles wanted, when he campaigned to create more space for workers to be heard within The Weave.

The changes to the existing ‘Treatment of Staff’ policy would take away the policy I’ve been campaigning about these past three years. That would be the one where it states that employees should be included in decision-making which affects their workplace. In its stead, WSM senior management want a weakly-worded clause saying that the WSM General Manager only has to seek our opinion. Not the same.

In addition, that same management, in the same section on ‘Treatment of Staff,’ appear to want to remove the right of employees to appeal to the WSM Board when management is in breach of co-op policy, as I have undertaken on no less than three occasions in the past three years.

Yup. You’re reading this right. After three years of my campaigning on this issue (namely, the co-op policy that demands that WSM management include WSM employees in decision-making), the response of WSM management is now to attempt to have the WSM Board simply erase the policy, and remove the right to complain about it.

We can do something about it. But only together. We can make a difference. We just did. We elected a Worker-Owner Director who says he cares about workers having a voice in The Weave. So, let’s keep up the pressure.

First, speak to your manager. Tell them you totally oppose any changes to the WSM Board Policy ‘Treatment of Staff’ which dilute the right of employees to be included in decision-making. Any changes.

Secondly, write to the WSM Board ( and to Ruffin Slater, the WSM General Manager (, and tell them the same thing: you do not want any changes to the WSM Board Policy ‘Treatment of Staff’ which diminish the right of WSM workers to be included in decision-making.

Finally, please do me a favor. I have no contact details for Charles Trainer, the recently elected WSM Worker-Owner Director. If you work with him, please, on my behalf, remind him he was elected on a platform for creating space for workers to be heard, and that the proposed changes to WSM Board Policy ‘Treatment of Staff’ represent a curtailment on the space that already exists. Ask him to fight tooth and nail to stop the WSM Board doing this. Ask him please to contact me if he doesn’t understand (

Now, if you want to know what I have already written to Ruffin and the WSM Board, have a look below. But. They will not listen to me, if it is me alone. We all need to register our concern. And if you are one who voted for either Caitlyn or Charles, you should be concerned.

We only have until October 26 to complain. One week. Make your voice heard today. Please. While we still can!

E-mail to Ruffin, WSM Management and the WSM Board:

"Dear Ruffin, WSM Management and WSM Board,

I have for almost three years been campaigning to have implemented the section of the WSM Board Policy 'Treatment of Staff' which declares quite clearly that WSM employees should be included in operational decision-making within WSM which affects their workplace. I direct you to my most recent blog post on the subject, here.

I have not sought an extension of the policy, nor even a clarification, but merely its proper implementation. I take the view that, if we are to avoid the perception of double standards in our co-op, where all are equal, then it is incumbent on all employees, managers as well as workers, to comply with all co-op policies equally. There is no given right to managers to ignore those policies they find inconvenient.

There was a consultative exercise in 2007 which determined which decisions within WSM would be covered by the policy in question. What was required was a further consultative exercise to decide how to implement the policy. Such an exercise was interrupted by the Great Recession of 2009.

I have these past three years been pressing senior management within WSM to conduct that consultation exercise. Their response is now evident in the document which was posted in all employee mailboxes on October 16, dealing with proposed changes to WSM Employee Policy, and including draconian changes to the WSM Board Policy, 'Treatment of Staff.'

WSM senior management have decided to recommend to the WSM Board simply to do away with the policy relating to inclusion of employees within decision-making. Frankly, when you change a policy from one requiring inclusion of employees in decision-making to a weakly worded alternative inviting opinion, you have effectively done away with the original policy.

On no less than three occasions, I have filed formal complaint against the senior management of WSM for making important decisions without including employees in the decision-making process. On one occasion, I went as far as appealing to the Board. Which is completely appropriate. The rights under 'Treatment of Staff' are guaranteed by the WSM Board. There should naturally be a right of appeal to the Board.

The proposed changes to the WSM Board Policy 'Treatment of Staff' appear to include a provision that employees will no longer have the right to appeal to the WSM Board perceived breaches of this Board Policy by WSM management.

In case you are in any doubt, I strenuously object to these changes. There are other proposed changes. But these are the two which exercise me the most, along with one other. WSM senior management wish to remove from the existing WSM Board Policy on 'Treatment of Staff' the word "Co-operative." We are a co-operative. why remove reference to that fact?

In compliance with WSM Employee Policy, I will not disseminate the document setting out the proposed changes to WSM Board Policy. But I give notice that, under the WSM Employee Policy allowing for ethical dissent, and bearing in mind that the proposed changes identified above are to Board Policy, and therefore affect all owners, consumer as well as worker, I will be making known widely and publicly my opposition to these proposed Board Policy changes.

WSM management has at its disposal the bi-weekly WSM employee Market Messenger to promulgate its views. Along with the mailbox of each and every employee. I do not have equal access. Communication among workers within WSM has been so reduced that the only way I am able to communicate with my peers is by means of vehicles outside of WSM, including my blog, my Facebook account, local news outlets and local forums.

With this e-mail, I am letting the WSM Human Resources Manager know that I do indeed want a meeting with her to discuss these proposed changes. Perhaps she could liaise with my Department Manager for a suitable time?

I am also asking the WSM Owner Services Co-ordinator please to forward this e-mail to all WSM Board members, including those recently elected. I have no contact details for Charles Traitor, other than by this means. I have comment to direct to him, but it applies to all Board members:

Charles received 62 votes (out of some 220 WSM worker-owners) standing on a platform promising to create the space to allow workers to be heard within our co-op. Another candidate (out of three) stood on a platform calling for more conversation within WSM. A total of some 95 worker-owners calling for more democracy for workers within WSM.

The proposed changes to 'Treatment of Staff' considerably reduce the opportunity for workers to impact decision-making which affects them. And to engage in conversation. These proposed changes would almost halve the space afforded to employees to have their voices heard.

Let's be quite clear. This is not some armchair philosophical musing about utopian ideals. This is the sharp end of co-operative democracy, business model and operational efficiency.

A decision was taken last year to double the size of the buffet hot bar. There was no meaningful discussion with employees, let alone any kind of process to include us in the original decision-making.

As part of being a co-operative, we subscribe to the triple bottom line. The social bottom line is not about our financial contribution to the community. It is about tempering financial decisions with consideration of their social impact. In this case, the impact upon workers.

There was no such consideration. Because those employees who were to be impacted were not included in the decision-making. As a consequence, when decisions were made about staff levels following the doubling of the size of the hot bar, the only criterion considered was sales per labor hour. No discussion about the physical or emotional impact upon employees.

In my ten years with the Southern Village outlet of WSM, I have never heard of any WSM employee requesting a move due to physical or emotional hardship arising from a change in work practices. In the space of three months this past summer, three employees requested a move from the SV kitchen precisely for such reasons, and due to the doubling of the size of the hot bar.

In other words, failure to comply with the policy in question resulted not merely in a loss of democracy to workers, but in deleterious impact upon the smooth running of the kitchen. This is precisely why we have the policy. And now, instead of seeing it properly implemented, the WSM Board are being asked by the WSM General Manager simply to do away with it.

I urge the WSM Board to reject all of the changes being proposed to the existing Board Policy 'Treatment of Staff.' Whatever else those changes are supposed to be achieving, they absolutely should not be diminishing the co-operative and economic rights of WSM employees.

Yours truly,

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Legitimate Authority

I know that some of my pronouncements about our very favorite grocery co-op are a tad esoteric at the moment. But suffice to say, there's some stuff going on.

It has to do with double standards, anger in the workplace, the work experience being fulfilling and legitimate authority.

I'm going to have to invite you to wander back through the last couple of days to get the context. More than that is going to stay private for the moment, in the hopes we may achieve meaningful resolution.

But I'm going to throw out one more thought for those who are able so far to make any sense of what this is all about - most likely only fellow workers at The Weave. And it is this.

Authority is not automatically granted simply because someone says it is so, especially in a co-op, where all are equal. It arises from the consistent, fair and legitimate application of rules and policy, properly arrived at, transparent and clear.

If rules and policy are arrived at by a process that is not legitimate, they lose authority, if they had any in the first place. If they are applied unfairly and/or inconsistently, then ditto.

And, um. That will do for the moment ...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fulfilling Work Experience

Oh. And on the subjects of social justice and angry workers at our favorite grocery co-op, I'd just like to remind folks of the clause in the Weaver Street Market Co-operative Mission Statement that demands that WSM provide a fulfilling shopping experience, along with a fulfilling work experience ...

Columbus Day

Columbus Day. An excellent moment to remind ourselves that nation-building, invasion, occupation, racial and social cleansing, the obliteration of homelands at the end of a gun, these are not concepts that were invented in the 21st Century.

Neither was the reaction of: well, I’m ok, so who cares? Nor its alter ego: I’m not ok, please find me someone to blame.

What is new is the ADD, remote control, virtual reality notion that if we switch onto Facebook, post a rant (like this one) and photoshop a meme, we have made a contribution to justice. No we haven’t. Grow up.

You only make change when, well, you make change. Which generally involves a lot of hard work. Away from the cameras. And away from people ready to hit the Like button.

We are none of us self-sufficient islands. Whether or not we choose to notice or believe it, we are dependent on other people. And more likely than not, somewhere down the chain, there is injustice supporting our chosen way of life. If we have a beating heart, we should find that injustice and fight it.

Injustice in our company, fight it. Injustice next door, fight it. On our street, fight it. In our community, fight it. In our country, our state, our nation, the world, fight it. Not on Facebook. But where it will actually make a difference. Never stop fighting. While the injustice exists. Never get complacent. Never mistake ranting for effective campaigning. And never, ever just walk away.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Post annual review season, post annual dividend, I found myself this morning writing three e-mails to senior management within the Weaver Street Market Co-operative about double standards, and the angst this is causing within our co-op.

I'm not going to go into details at this stage. Save to say this. To the WSM corporate office.

Last year, nineteen worker-owners expressed their displeasure with the way things were going in our co-op, by voting for the democracy candidate.

This year, ninety-five worker-owners felt the need to demonstrate their concern, by voting for the two democracy candidates.

Again, 95 of the 220 registered worker-owners voted against the incumbent Worker-Owner Director, who received only 22 votes.

For the first time in years, both the incumbent Consumer-Owner Director and the incumbent Worker-Owner Director were deposed, each coming last out of three candidates.

People in the WSM corporate office, wake up. There is a lot of anger in our co-op. If you don't start including, that anger is going to start expressing itself in unhealthy ways.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

*UPDATE* 3rd Carrboro Community Forum on Policing

Just heard from Carrboro, NC Alderman Damon Seils, via Carrboro Police Chief Horton, that the third Carrboro Community Forum on Policing will, in fact, on this occasion, be held in the OWASA community room. Beginning at 7.00pm, on Wednesday, October 28th. See you there!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

How To Piss Off An Israeli Intelligence Officer ...

I'm not always the brightest bulb on the Christmas Tree. But I get there in the end. Even if it takes me 27 years.

Those of you who have read my book (Maggie's Hammer), will know that there is an intimate connection between Ari Ben-Menashe, his book (Profits of War - just reprinted by my publisher, courtesy of my intro) and my book. Indeed, it is why I made contact with Ari in the first place.

It was back in 1992. I was trying to make some sense of what it was my friend, Hugh Simmonds CBE, had been involved in. What arms dealing, with which country, on behalf of whom?

I found myself in Atlanta, Georgia in 1992. Working with my brother. But, as co-incidence would have it (or was it co-incidence (?) - another book, for another time). There was a major court case coming to a head in Atlanta. Concerning the illegal provision of loans by a bank called BNL to US and UK companies attempting to sell arms to Iraq in contravention of a UN arms embargo.

So, my attention was on Iraq. Ari first published his book that year. I bought it, as I had bought hundreds of others, hoping to find some set of circumstances that might fit Hugh's activities and death.

In his book, Ari described how, among many other adventures, while Counter-Terrorism Adviser to Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, he had been tasked by Shamir, in about 1986, with stopping the illegal trade in arms being engaged in by the West (primarily Great Britain) with Iraq.

As part of this task, Ari detailed an Israeli operation to send assassins into Europe in November of 1988, to take out the primary protagonists in this illegal trade of arms with Iraq.

I wrote to Ari, out of the blue, asking him if he knew Hugh. Amazingly enough, he called me 24 hours later to say that he had Hugh's name on a list of people of interest. According to that list, Hugh had been arranging a deal to sell GEC (UK) engines to Iraq, in order to extend the range of their SCUD-B missiles. An extension which would have put Israel in range. And Hugh had died as a result of being on that list.

I met with Ari twice, and spoke with him on and off between 1993 and 1996. I liked him. I like rogues. He was very generous with his time and his information. He was good company. And I'm happy that my publisher has agreed to reprint his book.

All of this within certain boundaries. My British Intelligence source once told me, 'once a boy scout, always a boy scout.' Ari is a controversial figure. But, he is alive. Which means he is a former nothing. And is likely being used by the Israelis to undertake stuff they can't be openly associated with.

I have never been clear why Ari spoke, and still speaks, with me. He could simply have ignored me. Did he want to know what I knew? Was I useful to him? Was I being fed false information, to deflect? If so, whom and from what?

All I know is that he did speak with me. And, bless him, he lied on occasions. And I have had, and still have, to sort out the truth from the chaff.

For the period 1993-1995, Ari's line was, Hugh is a name on a list. 'We' are interested in him because we now believe that he was a primary component in the pipeline of arms to Iraq, and the flow of illegal arms kickbacks to senior politicians within Great Britain, both Labour and Conservative, and including the Thatcher family.

It follows as night follow days that, if indeed Ari is correct, and Hugh was that important component, then the Israelis would have liked to have known about Hugh in the Eighties, because Shamir had tasked Ari with stopping the pipeline of arms to Iraq.

I met Ari for the second time in Montreal, in 1995. In a small hotel room. Eight storeys up. I know. I counted. It was at this meeting that I told Ari that he was lying. Cf. Counting storeys.

Ari went silent, and very frosty. Frosty looks from Israeli Intelligence officers are right up there at the top of the list of Tums moments. 'Why would you say that?' Because you keep pretending Hugh is a name on a list. You can't know what you keep telling me you know unless you knew Hugh.


Got from 1-6 counting storeys before Ari spoke again. 'Yes,' he said with a smile, 'but he wasn't using that name.'

Bathroom break.

The last time I spoke with Ari was in 1996, after Hugh's British Intelligence partner, Reggie von Zugbach de Sugg (I am honestly making up none of this), told me that Hugh had been trained to kill.

I had a fairly blunt conversation with Ari. In which he denied that the Israelis had taken out Hugh ('we wouldn't take out someone like that'), and merely posited that Hugh had got into such a tangle with so many different agencies that he was going to have 'to go' sooner or later. In some fashion.

For years, that is where I left it. Until these past two weeks. I told you. My brain is not always the fastest.

At the beginning of this year, Ari very kindly agreed to put an up-to-date quote on the back of my book. Confirming that Hugh had been part of the team that had laundered proceeds back from illegal arms deals with Iraq in the Eighties.

At the end of August, I began my series of interviews with radio programs around the US. It was during one of those that a penny finally dropped.

Ari was tasked with stopping the Iraq arms pipeline. He knew Hugh. He knew what Hugh was doing. He told me. In glorious detail. SCUD-B missiles. Israel. Hugh wasn't a name on a list. He was a living human being. Right in front of Ari.

If Ari didn't take steps to stop what Hugh was doing, it begs the question, why didn't he?

The team of Israeli assassins was sent to Europe in November of 1988. Hugh died on November 15, 1988.

My publisher wants Ari and I to appear on a radio show together. I'm game.

I'm not angry. 27 years is too long to stay angry. But not too long to remain determined. The soul-destroying eyes of an 11 year old girl, desperately trying to understand why her father has left her alone, will do that to a person's determination.

And I am now determined to ask Ari if the Israelis were responsible for halting Hugh's activities, and if that 'halting' included his death. Live. On air. For the world to hear.

If he refuses the interview, I will write him an open letter.

If he refuses to answer, then I will write formally to the Israeli and British Prime Ministers.

I have always known that there was something deep and mysterious at the heart of Hugh's death, which did not make sense. Even more dark and mysterious than illegal arms deals, slush funds, kickbacks to senior politicians, and strange covert arrangements between the US and the UK.

What if the Israeli's took out someone they did not realize was close to Margaret Thatcher? Did not realize was a senior British Intelligence officer? Did not realize was an MI6 contract assassin? And did not realize would make front page news?

Actually, more to the point, even if it sounds banal, what if the Israelis took out a rising British politician, without knowing it?

And what if both countries decided it was simply too embarrassing to acknowledge?

Now, would that meet the criterion of uber-dark and mysterious? Would that be something so extraordinarily career-destroying (i.e. its cover-up) that two British Prime Ministers would go to unbelievable lengths (unbelievable, but true, and in Maggie's Hammer) to avoid even discussing the name, Hugh Simmonds?

Now, I only mention all of this because I have done so in my past two radio interviews. And it occurs to me that maybe I should let a few folks know.

And yes. I will be checking under my car the next few days ...

[Oh. By the by (or, BTB), I attach a link to an article stating that Russia is not bombing ISIS, only because I want a note of the article somewhere!]

Board Election Results 2015

I attach the full results of the Worker-Owner Director Election here. And by the way, we are getting the full results because I asked for them.

Congratulations to Charles. My commiserations to Caitlyn. And my thanks to Curt for his six year's of service.

Comment time.

Please note that the incumbent Worker-Owner Director and the incumbent Consumer-Owner Director were both replaced.

WSM corporate office take note. The natives are restless. We don't like being shut out of decision-making. And we're flexing our muscles. At last.

Worker-owners take note. Charles promised to create the space for all workers to be heard on our Board. Hold him to his promise. Don't let him rest. Get his contact details, and chase him all the time.

And. Next year. Do the same again. Vote for the candidate who talks about democracy in our democratic co-op.

Consumer-owners take note. Stop voting for candidates who think that we're a co-op because we stock local food, drink craft beer and dance on a bloody lawn.

We are a co-op because we are supposed to subscribe to the notion that, as part of economic democracy, we prevent corporatism, by supporting a system where the owners democratically control our co-op, not a small group of self-appointed corporatists in Hillsborough.

So. Please find candidates next year who include the word 'democracy' in their election addresses at least as many times as they mention the word 'lawn.'

In that way, in less than two years, we can have on our Board of seven people at least four people who actually want WSM to act like a co-op.

The power lies in our hands. That is what these election results tell us. And yes, this is a shout-out to the likes of Neil Shock, Albert Huey, Daniel Edward Duffy, Gabriele Pelli and Elizabeth Du Bosc, among others.

One more comment. I don't say this to gloat. But to comment. I've been on the receiving end of seven election losses in my life. I know what it is like.

But Curt received 22 votes. The WSM management bloc vote has always been a steady 35-40 votes. This year, that bloc vote splintered.

I do not believe it was judgment on Curt. Look, Curt has always known I've thought he was a management stooge. No surprise there. But, he was a good management stooge. So, why ditch him?

I think the WSM corporate office voted for Curt, along with some personal votes and certain senior outpost managers. But I think the middle and lower-level managers, in the outposts, I think they are restless too.

I think they are as pissed as we workers at not being involved in decision-making. Pissed at the over-centralization of power. Pissed at ever-increasing demands for a vision of which they are not a part.

Um. Welcome to our world, guys and gals. Maybe now, in addition to voting for a non-management stooge, you'd like to get behind my campaign to have all workers involved in major decision-making?

Or. Sigh. Does your being pissed off only extend to your not being included? Are we mere grunts still too stupid to be involved as well?

Ah well. Yay for today. Yay for our co-op. Yay for democracy. Charles, I'll be haunting you ...