Weaver Street Market

The Weave: Diminishing Worker Democracy

I try now to write sparingly in OP about matters pertaining to our local grocery co-op, Weaver Street Market, where I attempt to be an active worker-owner.

But the WSM management are currently proposing changes to the WSM Board Policy ‘Treatment of Staff’ which dramatically diminish the few remaining co-operative and economic rights WSM employees still retain, and we workers need the support of the some 18,000 WSM consumer-owners in rejecting these changes.

We workers learned of the proposed changes only this past Friday (October 16), and we have until October 26 to register objection.

WSM Employee Policy (as of two years ago) now prevents me reproducing the text of the proposed changes publicly. In what one local newspaper editor has described as an anti-whistleblower whistleblower policy.

On Panzanella Closing and The Responsibility of Community-Owned Businesses

Panzanella RestaurantLate this afternoon, via social media linked to a News and Observer article, came the gut punch news that beloved local restaurant Panzanella is closing.  On a personal level, this is just very, very sad.  Since my wife and I got married over a decade ago, we have celebrated all sorts of major life events, and perhaps most of them– graduations, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, rare visits from cherished friends, you name it – at Panzanella.  With such good food, valuable relationships with local farmers, brewers, and other food producers, not to mention what has always been consistently a warm and friendly staff– this is a big surprise that nobody saw coming.

Weaver Street Market Annual Meeting

Anyone else going to this tonight?

Annual Meeting: September 9, 2013Annual-Meeting-graphic-2013.png

Owners: if you didn't RSVP you can still come to tonight's meeting. It might be standing room only. (We'll find seats for those who need them.) 

We are excited to have Gar Alperovitz speak at this year’s Annual Meeting. Gar is a leading thinker about developing a new economy based on community enterprise. In his latest book, What Then Must We Do?, Gar speaks directly to the reader about where we find ourselves in history, why the time is right for a new-economy movement to coalesce, what it means to build a new system to replace the crumbling one, and how we might begin. He proposes a possible next system that is not corporate capitalism, not state socialism, but something else entirely—and something entirely American.

Date: 

Monday, September 9, 2013 -
6:30pm to 8:30pm

Location: 

Century Center, Carrboro

Weaver Street Market Co-operative Planning More Stores

Weaver Street Market Co-operative still has $8 million in loans to repay from its last failed expansion project in 2007/2008. Yet, it is now planning, in its '2022 Vision', to build at least three more stores over the next decade.

I’m sorry. I misspoke. A few of the self-selected upper management in the corporate office in Hillsborough, NC are making these plans.  And, to date, have shared them only with other managers.

Owners and workers in this worker-consumer co-op, where all are supposed to be equal, are not deemed equal enough to be consulted on the planning. Notwithstanding the fact that Board Policy and Employee Policy both demand that workers be meaningfully involved in major decisions that affect their workplace.

Which is a good spot for a little history for newcomers to the Family of Weave.

A Song of Solidarity (Red, White & Blue)

This is a bit of a stretch for an Orange County blog. But not much of one. All around America, progressives are concerned at the civil rights of ordinary workers, and the plight of those most at risk in society. Not least with the effect at every level of government of the new austerity - whether natural or Republican-driven. And that goes for Orange County too.

Sometimes a song can have more immediate effect than a thousand speeches. So I wrote a song. Inspired by the fight for rights by workers both here in Orange County and all around America.

I had become tired of tax-cutters, tax-dodgers and war-mongers claiming to themselves the mantle of patriot. When it is ordinary working Americans and those who fight every day to make ours a better county, state and country, it is we who are the true patriots. Not those who would run down government and destroy the safety net.

So, a warm and generous patriotic song for progressive Orange County and progressive America. Oh. And one with an uptempo beat. So that when it comes time to protest, we can all shake more than our fists ... !!

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