PCC’s corporate-dominated board and CEO are doing everything they can to put heavy thumbs on the scales and prevent us from joining them in the co-op boardroom.
About 90,000 PCC co-op members are able to vote now through May 3, and for the first time in recent history, two of the five candidates for the board are PCC member-workers.
Many of our member-customers are surprised to hear it’s been more than two decades since PCC member-workers had a voice on the co-op’s board. Other co-ops, like Seattle’s Central Co-op, guarantee workers a say in board decisions, utilizing their knowledge and direct experience with customers to deliver better service and products.
During this campaign, we’ve faced obstacle after obstacle. First PCC’s board refused to nominate any workers for the board, choosing to keep itself filled with corporate CEOs and managers. Then PCC called the police and private security to try to prevent us from collecting nomination petition signatures from PCC members — signatures required by PCC’s own bylaws.
But with the help of thousands of PCC members who petitioned to put us on the ballot, we are now up for election to the board. Still PCC has tried to interfere, failing to tell members about us in election emails, keeping our names off in-store signs, and even excluding us from a PCC candidate forum.
We’re not sure why. We think PCC would be a better co-op for members, customers, workers and the community with both of us on the board.
Between the two of us, we have more than 50 years of customer service experience, including 13 years combined at PCC. Working at PCC means more than paychecks to us. We’re deeply committed to co-op’s mission and values, and our co-workers and customers are part of our families. Literally. Donna’s two teenage sons and partner also work here. And Laurae’s family members were part of PCC’s porch drop-off network way back in the 1950s.
PCC has been expanding so fast recently, focusing on opening new stores and big remodels. That’s great; we’re happy for us to grow. But we need people with direct PCC retail experience on the board to protect the core mission of the co-op and make sure PCC steps up on racial equity, LGBTQ inclusion and justice for workers all along the supply chain, including those in our own stores.
We’re the ones working in these stores day in and day out. With a member-worker voice on the board, the decisions that steer the future of our co-op can be informed by the people interacting one-on-one with our customers and working with the beautiful food our farmers grow. We’re ready to provide our expertise in shaping the values and direction of this community.
That means connecting authentically with the communities we’re moving into as we open new stores. It means making sure PCC workers can afford to shop at our stores and live in our communities. When PCC takes care of its frontline staff, we can better take care of our customers. It also means continuing to support our small farmers and local vendors, even if they can’t produce enough to get their product in every one of our expanding locations. After all, as co-op with community in our name, our stores should be a reflection of our communities.
We’re proud to be endorsed by community groups like OneAmerica, Faith Action Network, Unite Here Local 8, SEIU 775, Pride at Work, Community Alliance for Global Justice, Got Green, Puget Sound Sage, Transit Riders Union, A. Philip Randolph Institute Seattle, LELO-Legacy of Equality Leadership and Organizing, 350.org Seattle and, of course our own union, UFCW 21.
We trust our fellow members, just as they trust us, to put PCC’s core mission and values first and elect us to the board.
Members can get the link to vote at https://pccvoterguide.org.
Donna Rasmussen worked at the Edmonds PCC, and is now at the View Ridge PCC. Laurae McIntyre works at the Fremont PCC.
Read more of the Apr. 21-27, 2021 issue.