Saturday, October 31, 2015

And the Looney Just Keeps on Coming: Further Pop Kafkaist Adventures in Honest Weight Land

The Honest Weight Food Corporation has to be one of the looniest places I have ever encountered during my sixty years of life.

Exhibit A: Those opposed to the Board's decision to unilaterally end the member programme have gathered enough signatures to call a special member meeting to recall Board members and members of the Leadership Team. In response one of the members of the LT has apparently started her own petition to ask for time at the beginning of this meeting in order to explain the Board's side of the issue. Why is this so looney? Because the Board has held ten or eleven meetings over the last month to explain their side of the issue. How much more time do they need to explain why they issued a diktat to end the member programme at the Corporation?

Exhibit B: Some Board members claim that not only is the member programme illegal despite there have been on court decisions on this issue, but that the Corporation could be ordered to pay back wages to member workers bankrupting the Corporation again without any legal precedent. Why is this so looney? Because apparently a coop in New Mexico was ordered to do this by the Department of Labour but they choose not fight this in court making this issue an open one. Honesty one would think would requires that this information be disseminated to the Corporation's membership if they are expected to make an intelligent decision about whether or not to end the membership programme

Exhibit C: Some on the Board and members of the LT claim that an order forcing the Corporation to pay back wages to member workers would be devastating. And I suppose it would. But the Board and LT fail to point out their role in undermining the Corporations financial solvency. It was the mistakes of the Board and LT that led to a million dollar overrun on the cost of the new store. It was the LT and certain members of the Board who claimed that increased amounts of meat would solve our financial problems. It hasn't. It was the LT who uses coupons to bring customers into the store but there is no way of actually verifying that they are doing this. Who or what are the real threats to the Corporation?

Exhibit D: The petition by a member of the LT to present the Board's position at the special meeting is interesting in several ways. First, it reveals that the LT appears to support the Board's decision to end the membership programme. Second, it reveals the inability of the Board and the LT to put the honest in Honest Weight since, they fail to note that not every member of the Board supported the decision to end the membership programme and that the vote was a majority rule vote. Third, the Board members who support the ending of the member worker programme fail to note that there are other options that the Corporation can take rather than ending the member worker programme. For instance, the Corporation can return to what it used to be, namely a worker coop akin to Park Slope. The Corporation can, as one member suggests, create hundreds of committees on which the thousands of members can serve earning, in the process, store discounts. I would like to see every member get a discount of 34%, the once upon a time discount for working members at the Corporation.

Exhibit E: The Corporation's lawyers, who are paid by the LT, have apparently concluded that the Corporation's member worker programme is illegal. The LT and those members of the Board who support the ending of the member worker programme, however, fail to point out that not all lawyers nor every judge concurs with this decision, including lawyers at Park Slope in Brooklyn, and remember since there is no case law on this issue the question of whether the member programme is legal or not is an open one.

Exhibit F: If the Corporation's member worker programme is illegal why hasn't the federal or state Department of Labour come after Honest Weight since the Corporation has had a member programme for some fifty years or so and has been a corporation for years? Could it be that it isn't illegal? Could it be that they could care less about a small fish in a small pond and they have bigger fish to fry and always will?

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