Workplace Democracy

This is the second in a series of videos recorded during the fall of 2015 at a grantee gathering held by the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC) in Greensboro NC.

The theme of the gathering was Big Ideas That Guide Our Work. In this video Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Member of Grassroots Economic Organizing Collective and author of Collective Courage, talks about how she came to understand the key role economic justice plays in broader social justice movements and communities.

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cross-posted from YES! Magazine

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Victims of labor trafficking are finding new dignity and safety in their work - through Damayan Cleaning Cooperative. The first Filipina migrant worker-owned cooperative in the US recently opened in New York. [For more about Damayan Cleaning Cooperative, see the article Filipina Trafficking Survivors Launch a Co-op -ed.]

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In early December of 2015, the CHS Foundation funded a $30,000 one-year planning grant for developing a Cooperative Education Hub and Online Community.

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Richard Wolff, a leading economist, and I talked about some realities about worker co-ops yesterday in my book Building Co-operative Power on his weekly radio/television show.

The TV version will appear in NYC on public access television this Tue

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].

See more videos from Dave Lippman

 

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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 to

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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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