Tag Archives: worker cooperatives

Event: Putting Democracy to Work: How Women Lead Worker Cooperatives (7/24)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019: 6:30-8:00 PM
CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
25 W. 43rd Street, Room 18A-B
New York, NY 10036

Featuring:

  • Adria Powell, CEO and President, Cooperative Home Care Associates
  • Maru Bautista, Director of the Cooperative Development Project, Center of Family Life
  • Rebecca Lurie, CUNY SLU Professor, Moderator

Join us for a presentation in connection with the SLU summer course “Theory, Practice and Principles of Cooperative Enterprise Management.” Over the past eight weeks, 25 SLU students engaged in learning and experiencing cooperative management techniques and approaches for bringing the change we want to see in the world.

This special final session will feature guest speakers from two of the largest organizations involved in worker co-ops in New York City. Adria Powell, CEO and President of Cooperative Home Care Associates in the Bronx, represents the cooperative with more than 2,000 workers who are members of 1199SEIU-United Healthcare Workers East. Maru Bautista, Director of the Cooperative Development Project at the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, serves the immigrant communities with start-up support and sector-based cooperative economic development. Both women serve on the board of Democracy At Work Institute (DAWI), and both are members of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives. SLU Professor Rebecca Lurie will host the conversation and moderate a discussion with the audience.

No RSVP necessary. Doors open at 6 PM. Light refreshments will be served.

Announcing: the Murphy Institute Community and Worker Ownership Project

The Murphy Institute has a strong history of helping students and workers understand how to improve their lives at work and in their communities. To that end, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new project at CUNY at the Murphy Institute, Community and Worker Ownership Project (CWOP).

In this age of burgeoning inequality and pervasive challenges to political and workplace democracy, this project seeks to support undertakings in worker-owned cooperatives and worker participation and control, as well as grassroots leadership in community development.

Help us create a program that meets the needs of our community by participating in the CWOP Engagement Survey.

The CWOP intends to serve in these five areas:

Training and workshops

Bring non-credit courses and workshops to CUNY sites for existing and potential cooperative worker/owners

College degrees and certifications

Design credit courses, certificates and degree programs with scholars to expand education options for economic democracy and cooperative ownership

Business conversions and start-up

Support expansion of coop businesses with organized labor, worker centers, community based organizations and industry sectors

Public programming

Host and sponsor forums and conferences or serve as a speaker

Research

Initiate or share in research to evaluate economic and social justice impact of cooperative ownership and democratic engagement

Get involved!

You may be interested in learning more or participating in developing the work with us. You may have ideas or interests that can help grow the movement for economic democracy in your sphere of influence and impact and we can help. We want to hear from you!

Want to make the program as effective and useful as possible? Fill out our survey today to help shape the CWOP!

Email Rebecca Lurie at Rebecca<dot>Lurie<at>cuny<dot>edu to share your thoughts or ideas or to express your interest in this project.

Photo: Sergey Galyonkin CC-BY-SA

Damayan Cleaning Cooperative: From Labor Trafficking to Worker Ownership

On the Laura Flanders Show this week, Damayan Cleaning Cooperative, the first Filipina migrant worker-cooperative in the United States had a chance to tell their story. Comprised primarily of survivors of labor trafficking, these cooperative members have created dignified, democratic livelihoods for themselves by starting a cleaning cooperative.

This work connects to Damayan Migrant Workers Association‘s work resisting labor trafficking. Learn more about this inspiring work in the short video below.

Video via Laura Flanders Show used via Creative Commons license

Event: Solidarity Economies & Worker Coops (12/4)

December 4, 8:30 -10:30am
The Murphy Institute
25 W. 43 Street, 18 Floor

The local movement of worker cooperatives, supported by the City Council, has increasingly caught the imagination of workers and organizers.  What is the potential and what are the limitations of worker co-ops in building a movement for economic and social justice? To what extent does the co-op model enable working people to create secure jobs with decent pay and dignity, and, in doing so, begin to envision a new economy?  What is the nature of organized labor’s role in this new movement?

Speakers:

  • Amy B Dean, Editorial Board Member, New Labor Forum; Fellow, The Century Foundation; Co-author, A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement
  • Roger Green, Director, Dubois-Bunche Center on Public Policy, Medgar Evers College; collaborating on a conversion of hospitals to cooperative ownership models
  • Adria Powell, Executive Vice President, Cooperative Home Care Associates
  • Melissa Risser, Attorney, Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project; co-founder of 1worker1vote.org

What is Worker Cooperative Development?

Want more on worker cooperatives, solidarity economies, and the role of organized labor? Join us at the Murphy Institute on December 4th for our upcoming Labor Breakfast Forum, Solidarity Economies: Worker Coops.

This article originally appeared at Grassroots Economic Organizing.

By Christopher Michael

In the 1980s, the British government supported a comprehensive system of local worker cooperative support organizations (CSOs). The first CSO was formed in Scotland in 1976. By 1986, approximately 100 CSOs spotted the country — with higher concentrations in urban areas. About 80 of these CSOs were funded — mostly by local municipalities — with full-time staff at an average of three employees. In tandem, Parliament chartered a national “Co-operative Development Agency” with a 1978 bill — which aided the growth of local CSOs, served as a “safety net” for regions without CSOs, collected statistics, and acted as government liaison with regard to new legislation.

These government-funded support organizations engaged primarily with low-income, ethnic minority, and female entrepreneurs. CSO staff members provided training courses on worker cooperatives, direct technical assistance, and also loan financing at an average of $50,000 (current U.S. dollars) per worker cooperative. This ten-year experiment produced approximately 2,000 new worker cooperatives — and almost none exist today. Continue reading What is Worker Cooperative Development?

Why America Needs Worker Co-Ops More Than Ever

Featured photo credit: USDA Photo by Lance Cheung, via Flickr CC

This article originally appeared at Triple Pundit.

By Daniel Faris

America is no longer a representative democracy—a fact underscored by decades of grotesque and steadily worsening economic inequality and an election process that depends more on wealthy donors than on an informed electorate.

Case in point: the middle class has been shrinking for decades and is now in the process of disappearing altogether. Since 1979, 90 percent of the economically-challenged have lost money each year, while the wealthiest 10 percent have posted huge gains, according to Forbes (and any reputable economist). The American dream is all but dead for the vast majority of us, with 1% of the population controlling 43% of the nation’s wealth.

Self-determination in the workplace could be one of the keys we need to empower and grow the working class in our nation and re-igniting the American dream. And worker-owned cooperatives could be the match that lights that flame. Continue reading Why America Needs Worker Co-Ops More Than Ever