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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

A workers’ co-op rises from the remains of a Colorado mushroom farm

Alece Montez, co-executive director of the AJL Foundation, which came to the aid of the mushroom workers after they were forced out of work, said Nanda compounded his former employees’ problems by being “very elusive about the farm actually being bankrupt” in September and October of 2022.  

By then it was closed and the workers weren’t getting their final paychecks, she said. Flora Archuleta, the executive director of the San Luis Valley Immigrant Resource Center, reported some were “sitting on three or four checks” they weren’t able to cash. Others were owed vacation time and one $10,000 in unpaid wages.

But Montez said some workers didn’t want to open unemployment cases, because they feared being deported or blocked from working for Nanda again should the mushroom farm, where portobello, crimini and button mushrooms were grown, ever reopen. As time passed and the situation became dire, they needed help.

Read the rest at the Colorado Sun


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