Workplace Democracy

After Judith Daluz escaped from an abusive employer and reunited with her children, she struggled to make ends meet. So she started a cleaning business with other Filipinas, where she’s her own boss.
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Cuba is decentralizing its economy, offloading state enterprises to private enterprise, but more importantly, to cooperatives, in the hope that these will become the locus of socialism and a driver of the economy. We visited ten of them in January [2015].

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Cuba’s renovation of its socialism is opening space for an expanding non-state sector of its economy. The growth of small private businesses and of cooperatives is invigorating Cuba’s civil society. Whether this will be a socialist civil society depends on whether socialist cooperatives or the non-socialist private businesses predominate.
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On June 25, 2015 I visited a cooperative network in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is named Unisol, which stands for Union of Cooperatives and Solidarity Enterprises. Unisol was an offshoot of the labor union movement and progressive political movement. It was started by the metal workers’ union of the Labor Party (PT).

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Unions met with worker cooperatives November 13th and 14th to consider how the two can work together to build an economy balancing profits with wider ownership, higher labor standards, environmental conservation, and community well-being. The Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative (CUCI) organized the symposium connecting varied unions with worker co-ops or planned co-ops across the country.

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After our article Crowdfunding Worker Co-ops: 15 Examples came out, Anton from dna merch in Berlin, Germany contacted us via email about their current crowdfunding campaign to "support workers in Croatia and South Asia with limited band t-shirts".  Supporters purchase t-shirts from their favorite bands, a worker co-op makes the shirts, and a portion of the proceeds go t

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[Editor's note: for background information about SolidarityNYC's #SolidiarityCities project, see the first article in the series here.]

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[Editor's note: for background information about SolidarityNYC's #SolidiarityCities project, see the first article in the series here.]

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[Editor's note: the following data on worker co-op crowdfunding campaigns was compiled by Jessie Myszka for the Democracy at Work Network (DAWN) from publicly available information.]

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In October of 2014, the First South American Regional Meeting on “The Worker Economy” was held in the town of Pigüé. More than two hundred workers, cooperators, and university students from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil participated in this meeting. The intent was to create a space for debate, reflection, and coordination between self-managed workers, different kinds of cooperative experiences, unions, and social movements related to the working class and economic debate, together with social and political activists, intellectuals, and academics committed to these struggles and processes. This article explores the genesis and development of this experience that, together with the European Meeting in Gémenos, close to Marseilles, and the Meeting of North and Central America in Mexico City, consolidated the preparation for the Fifth International Meeting in Punto Fijo, Venezuela, in July of 2015.
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cross-posted from Shareable

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The US economy is known for its powerful banks and transnational corporations, but behind the scenes an alternative economy based on cooperatives, worker ownership and solidarity is thriving. Laura Flanders, host of a TV show shares stories of this new economy and how the Next System Project is seeking to analyse and learn from these experiences in order to put forward systemic alternative policies that can deliver a more just and sustainable society.

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As worker-owners, we’re used to doing things ourselves. We start businesses, figure out democratic decision-making, and confront systemic issues that deny wealth to communities. We’re tenacious and self-governing, so why limit our influence to our workplaces? As our movement grows—and it is, rapidly—we’re innovating faster than the law can keep up, often operating in gray areas that can be as uncertain as they are productive.

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[Editor's note: the three interviews below were recorded during the 2015 Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD).  Armando, Joe and Labbe talk about their respective co-ops and their experiences as worker-owners.  Be sure to watch our other interviews from ECWD and GEO's own conference (ADWC 3) here and here.]

 

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[Editor's note: below are notes taken at our Advancing the Development of Worker Cooperatives 3 conference.  This interactive one-day event was centered around the topic of regional cooperative/solidarity economy organizing, with a group conversation broken into four sessions - each addressi

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[Editor's note: this is the fourth installment of GEO founding-member Len Krimerman's new memoir. You can read the preface and introduction and the first two chapters here, here, and here. Look for chapter four next Monday.]

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[Editor's note: below are two brief interviews with worker-owners from two Little Rock, AR catering cooperatives: Solfood Catering and Box Populi.  Butterfly and Kenny discuss the innovative plans for their respective businesses, both of which aim to integrate food production, delivery and consumption in a sustainable, cooperative manner.  We'll have more interviews with worker-owners from the

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Two brief interviews with participants in GEO's 2015 Advancing the Development of Worker Cooperatives conference. The theme of the conference was "Regional Cooperative/Solidarity Economy Organizing."

Asar Amen-Ra from Detroit, MI and Georgia Julius from Troy, NY talk about why they came to the conference and developments in their local communities.

 

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