Friday, November 6, 2015

Durham Co-op, Worker-Owners, Bylaws, Continuing ...

The article about Durham Co-operative Market (DCM) seeking to do away with worker-ownership is now up on Bull City Rising (BCR). I am quoted (with no explanation as to who I am -- oops). But, I prefer this part:

"After the Durham Co-op opened, though, the board began honing and reviewing governing documents, including grievance policies. It was after conferring with CDS and Weaver Street general manager Ruffin Slater, that Durham board suggested striking the language about worker shares, subject to a vote of the membership. “They [CDS] said ‘Nobody does this,’” says Frank Stasio, board president.

Stasio says that Slater also advised against a worker-owner component because "it’s very difficult, especially for a start-up.""


Next up. The Annual Meeting itself this coming Sunday (November 8), at 6.00pm, in the DCM store. What I didn't know was that voting has been underway for two weeks already. However, it continues until the Meeting itself, and I believe is permitted at the Meeting as well. We'll see.

In the meantime, BCR has a Facebook Page, and comments are going up on the post there.

[For the sake of complying with WSM Employee Policy, I posted the following comment to both the original BCR article, and to their post on their Facebook Page:

"I am the 'Geoff Gilson' quoted in the article. Although no description is given of me.

I am a worker-owner advocate with Weaver Street Market Co-op. I was approached for my thoughts. And the comments I make are made in a personal capacity only.

It's a difficult thing. I believe that co-op's work best as a bulwark against speculative and corporate capitalism if they are truly democratic, and remain under the control of their community, free from outside interference.

By definition, not being a member of the Durham Market Co-op, and living one town over (in Carrboro), I am 'outside interference.' So, I commented with care.

That said, my experience has given me a universal interest in worker rights. And I felt compelled to say something, however carefully."]

Oops. There's more. I have now discovered an online notice for the DCM Annual Meeting, which notice has the wording of the proposed change to the Articles of Incorporation, and indicates that voting may take place up to and including November 13. So, one can vote at the Annual Meeting this coming Sunday (November 8), and a bit beyond. The Annual Meeting and all voting takes place in the store itself. And yes, I'm up at 5 o'clock in the morning. I've made the point before, and I'll make it again. I don't get to do any of this on anyone's clock but my own.