Make Total Democracy! Support the Alberta St. Co-op Workers!

Friends,

We encourage you to join the Alberta Street Co-op and vote in the upcoming special election.  Several bylaws changes will appear on the ballot, including bylaws supporting transparency, fair working conditions, pay equity, and collective management!

If you already know about this campaign (see link) or are already convinced, read no further!  The first paragraph says it all.

Here is how you can help:

  • Join ACG for just $15 to start.  Member investments are now 100% refundable (no more $10 “administrative fee”)!
  • Join before November 5th in order to be eligible to vote on special ballot measures.  When you join, ask for a mail-in ballot.  Ballots will be mailed out this week, so brand new members might need to ask for them specifically.

Don’t be shy!  The person at the register is probably stoked.

Please note that up to 2 people can share a membership.  However, only one of you (the “primary member on the account” can vote).

  • Attend the special meeting on November 13th at 2 pm at Holy Redeemer Church.  This meeting is just for discussion – ballots  should be returned beforehand.

For more background information, please read on.

The ACG staff overwhelmingly voted to work toward a collective management structure long ago.  For about 3 years, workers researched the inner workings of collectively-managed grocery co-ops and developed a detailed proposal.  These efforts were supported by expert staffers at People’s Co-op, a successful collectively-managed grocery co-op in Southeast Portland.

The ACG staff pursued this dream despite mixed (and eventually hostile) reactions from an ever-changing crew of managers.  At one point, store managers attempted to prevent workers from discussing collectivization in meetings, e-mails, the staff log, and even inside or near the shop.  Staff meetings were discontinued.  Workers were unfairly disciplined, pressured to resign, and even fired.

The Board of Directors has been divided on this issue, and has been unwilling or unable to hear grievances and proposals from the staff.  Member input has also gone unheard.

Recently, a group of concerned members successfully petitioned to hold a special vote.  This is great news!  In some ways, however, the deck is still stacked against them.

Their announcements, editorials, and even posts on the co-op bulletin board have been censored since the beginning of this campaign.  They are not allowed to reach members through the mailing list or co-op newsletter.  And yet, opposing viewpoints have been published.

Still, we believe that most co-op members support a fair and empowering work environment.  A couple dozen votes could tip the scales and transform working conditions for the people who provide our food!

Please spread the word!

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