Central Co-op members vote to reshape ownership model to include workers

By Bryan Cohen, Capital Hill Seattle Blog

Members of Capitol Hill’s cooperative grocery store, Central Co-op, will have their final chance Monday night to vote on a proposed merger with Tacoma Food Co-op and changes to the co-op’s ownership structure.

The Seattle co-op board announced the proposed merger last month, which would keep both stores open in their current locations, along with a plan to shift the ownership model to give workers a greater stake in the company. Currently, consumer-members own 100% of the 16th and E Madison co-op. Under the “solidarity co-op” model, consumer-members would own half of the co-op and worker-members would own the other half.

UPDATE: Voting members passed both proposals by overwhelming majorities following Monday night’s final vote, according to Central Co-op marketing director Susanna Schultz. 93.2% voted in favor of the merger and 89.5% voted in favor of the ownership structure change. The board still has to adopt the changes.

“People really understand that worker ownership is a very powerful way to combat some of the problems we see manifest in our economy,” said Central Co-op general manager, Dan Arnett. “This is the kind of move that presents a longterm solution.” Read Full Story Here…