We are standing at a pivotal time for the political and economic future of the country, but rather than continue with business-as-usual, it’s time we look for solutions. Worker cooperatives provide an answer to many of country’s issues. As businesses owned and governed by their employees, co-ops represent an opportunity to build good jobs, strengthen the community, and empower workers.
But you already know this.
It’s time we ask: how do we scale the co-op movement? How has the movement grown and where are we going? How do they fit into the larger fight against economic inequality?
- The worker co-op movement’s development over the last few years,
- Newly-released data on successes and growth in employee ownership,
- How the worker cooperative movement is raising money for the people and by the people, and
- Exciting policy developments in the last year.
Moderated by John Duda, Director of Communications for the Democracy Collaborative, this interview-style event will go beyond theory basics and into the tangible, rapidly growing efforts to grow worker cooperatives across the United States.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Esteban Kelly, US Federation of Worker Cooperatives
- Kate Khatib, The Working World National Peer Network
- John O’Neill, American Sustainable Business Council
- Molly Hemstreet, Opportunity Threads
We can’t wait to see you there!
New book on the struggle in Jackson, MS, where grassroots activists have adopted a cooperative economy agenda, among other efforts. Please note that book authors are scheduling speaking events.
First, want to thank you all for your support of our efforts.
Second, we wanted to let you know that the "Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, MS" is finally out. You can purchase copies at the following sources:
1. Cooperation Jackson http://www.cooperationjackson.org/announcementsblog/2017/10/15/new-jackson-rising-book-arrives-published-and-now-available
2. Daraja Press https://darajapress.com/catalog/jackson-rising-the-struggle-for-economic-democracy-and-self-determination-in-jackson-mississippi
3. Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076DNN8BY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1508078214&sr=8-2&keywords=jackson+rising
For everyone BCC’d here who was asked and who already wrote a review for Amazon, please submit your review ASAP. This will help with the placement of the book on Amazon and ultimately help with book sales, which in this case is critical, cause the proceeds from the sale of the book are being used to finance our ongoing work. For those on this list who have not written a review, want to strongly encourage you to write and submit one to support the cause.
If there is anyone here who would like help us with promotions in general, or with setting up speaking events, radio shows, etc., please contact me directly at this email KaliAkuno. Just to note, either myself or someone else from Cooperation Jackson can be available for radio interviews starting the 16th of October. We will be available for events, TV shows, etc., in November. So, please spread the word, and if you would like to organize an interview or event yourself, hit us up!!!
Enjoy the Book. And thank you for all your support!!
A loan helps us purchase a used forklift to increase our production and efficiency. This way we can recycle more tires, make more products, and hire more people.
My mother, and her mother before her, started their own small businesses, auto-repair & hairdressing shops, here in Los Angeles – I come from a strong line of women entrepreneurs and community activists. After school I worked in corporate positions but always knew I wanted to build businesses to impact my community: a brick-and-mortar business, with an environmental mission, that created good blue collar jobs for my friends and neighbors. We knew from the start that we would ban the box, unionize our shop, and offer a decent and dignified workplace. Our next mission is to leave the company to the incredible people who have built it — Rco will become a 100% worker owned cooperative, offering its staff the opportunity to fire the boss (thats me) and own their own jobs.
Your Meetup has been scheduled!
LAWORCS:LA Worker Ownership Resources & Cooperative Services
|Wednesday, October 25, 2017
at 7:00 PM
3229 Helms Ave
Please donate to Coo-Pera Project on Kickstarter
Community transformation through a cooperative business that resources locally grown organic produce and sells at accessible prices.
I wanted to let you know about our meetup. Wednesday September 27th at 7 PM
at Father’s Office 3229 Helms Ave Culver City CA 90034
We will be discussing a new business model: worker cooperatives.
Our guest speaker is Niki Okuk:
Here is the link to her TED Talk now on the national site Ted.com
Another economic reality is possible — one that values community, sustainability and resiliency instead of profit by any means necessary. Niki Okuk shares her case for cooperative economics and a vision for how working-class people can organize and own the businesses they work for, making decisions for themselves and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxCrenshaw, an independent event. TED editors featured it among our selections on the home page.
The owners of the Vermont Gage Carwash celebrate the anniversary of their joint entrepreneurial initiative.PHOTO: AURELIA VENTURA / THE OPINION
BY:JACQUELINE GARCÍAFEBRUARY 22, 2017
After a battle to get unionized, the Vermont Gage Car Wash was one of 16 businesses that did it in 2014. But before enjoying the benefits of the union, the workers had to face a crisis.
Miguel Cruz was one of the 13 unionized workers of the car wash who already enjoyed worker protections. In 2015, the 31-year-old Mexican, who lived near work, saw one night that they were getting things out of business.
” The owner closed the business without telling us anything, ” recalls Cruz.
The next day the employees came to work and the car wash service did not open nor did the owner appear.
“We were waiting three days for answers and for our check and she told us that she had already given it to the union,” said Cruz, saying it was a lie.
Miguel Cruz at the Vermont Gage Carwash Anniversary Celebration (Photo: Aurelia Ventura / La Opinión)
They form a cooperative
The disappointment of losing their job, instead of cowing them, strengthened the 13 workers who decided to start the business themselves . With the help of their union United Steelworkers Local 675 and the Los Angeles Union Cooperative (LUCI) they began to raise funds.
The group registered the business again but this time as a workers’ cooperative . In this case the business is controlled by the workers who have invested some money. The profits of the business are equitable and the board of directors of the cooperative is in charge of voting in the decisions. Workers continue to benefit from their union and LUCI advises them on business development.
Union representative Manuel Ramirez said United Steelworkers Local 675 represents about 30 car wash businesses ranging from San Diego to Pasadena.
” We strive for workers to have safe drinking water, on-time breaks, overtime paid, contracts with a percentage above the minimum wage, and we also negotiate holidays and get paid for sick days that they do not use ,” Ramirez said.
Most important, in this case, is that workers now feel they have a voice and feel they are being heard, the representative added.
The 13 workers who decided to join and form a cooperative celebrate the anniversary of their business (Photo: Aurelia Ventura / La Opinión)
José Manuel Zúñiga, 56 and part of the group of 13 carwashers that make up the cooperative said that when he saw the strength of his colleagues to fight for the business he decided to join. Zuniga had a little fear of losing his job, but he did not lose faith.
” I am happy to be part of this group because now I know it is a very strong obligation ,” he added.
Rusty Hicks, executive director of the Los Angeles County Labor Federation (AFL-CIO), who was present at the car wash celebration said that this group of employees is a role model.
The community participated in the celebration, which included music by Los Jorneros del Norte among other attractions (Photo: Aurelia Ventura / La Opinión)
” The fight for workers to have a better life began in this same place four or five years ago and now we are back where the employees have advanced and they have shown us that if you want something done right you have to do it yourself ” , Hicks said congratulating them on having the courage to continue the business under his command.
LUCI Member , Niki Okuk, gives a TED talk at TEDx Crenshaw October 2016. Today it was released to the public.
Title of Talk: Business/Entrepreneurship
How does this fit in with our theme: This years TedxCrenshaw is about taking stock and getting a clear view of our community’s strengths and weaknesses. Our economy is owned by people that do not live in our communities, such as stock market investors and CEO’s of major corporations. Corporate employment pushes down wages and externalizes cost to achieve ever increasing profits. Those profits go out of our community to share holders and CEO’s that live all around the world, robbing our local tax pool as well as impoverishing our workers. Corporate employment is pumping wealth out of our communities. To affect real change to the social problems in our communities, we need a fundamental shift in the business paradigm.
Quoted from TEDxCrenshaw: http://www.tedxcrenshaw.com/speaks/niki-okuk/