Economic Justice

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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This video from the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) looks at two methods of worker co-op development. Keywords: coops, cooperatives, economic development, business incubation, consulting, business development
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New Era Windows Cooperative, the Chicago organization of workers which took over their company to form a successful workers' cooperative, was recognized for th

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cross-posted from matslats.net

Having kept an eye on the altcoins for a good while I wasn't initially impressed by the claims of Faircoin.

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Higher education is disintegrating under misguided neo-liberal reforms. Co-operative universities, member-run and member-led, are a solution. Educators, students and support staff would run this open, democratic educational commons. Keywords: co-operative, education, university, co-ops, multi-stakeholder co-ops
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[Editor's note: this is the second "Walk on the Bright Side" column by GEO founding member Len Krimerman.  The first one can be found here.]

More people are choosing the cooperative model to express their entrepreneurial spirit in the Northwest. The success of a co-op depends on many people and their efforts. Keywords: resident-owned communities, manufactured homes, worker coops
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Worker assistance programs and government funded co-op incubators have a poor track record for creating worker co-ops. More effective methods of creating worker cooperatives include converting existing businesses to worker co-ops and leveraging the institutional capacity of already existing co-ops to create new worker-owned businesses. Keywords: ESOP, conversion, worker assistance, economic democracy
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Let's try to get both a firm grasp and a large perspective on "regional co-operative/solidarity economic development," and what it has to do with “advancing the development of worker co-operatives.”

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Many people, including those in the labor and worker co-op movements, think that unions and co-ops are singularly mismatched.  Logic has it that worker co-ops don’t need to be unionized since workers own and manage their businesses, and that workers in labor unions just naturally aren’t entrepreneurial but rather are used to resisting “the boss.”  In addition, people may be familiar with large agricultural co-ops in the Midwest that fight with unionized workers, or with food co-ops that resist worker unionization.  

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Since 2011, we’ve been steadily growing the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance. We’ve been developing as an organization, establishing programs and services, and building connections among cooperatives and credit unions. In this article, I will discuss our evolution and speak to our successes and challenges with an eye towards helping other cooperative alliances in their own formation.

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Uber and other so-called sharing economy companies are nothing more than fronts for wealthy capitalists to make money by exploiting workers and avoiding regulations. Worker-owned cooperatives like Madison, WI's Union Cab offer a better alternative that protects workers and customers and helps build wealth within communities.
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Cooperative organizing, development, and technical assistance services are needed in upstate New York.  This void has been slowly—very slowly—shrinking for decades.  It is hoped that the creation and evolution of the New York Cooperative Network between 2011

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Movement building happens face to face. Groups of people meet, build common visions, and organize to change the world. So what does data, such an impersonal and abstract figment of bits and bytes, have to do with regional movement building? Quite a lot!

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In order to create a fully cooperative society, co-ops of all varieties need to reach out to other, similarly-aligned groups, such as racial, social and climate justice movements. Groups such as Solidarity NYC and the Southern Grassroots Economies Progect (SGEP) are already working along these lines. Len Krimerman suggests adopting an 8th co-operative principle to address this reality. Keywords: solidarity economy, co-ops, regional development, social development
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In Ferguson and St. Louis, solidarity economy activists are coming together with social justice advocates to create innovative ways of fighting for justice in their communities. Keywords: MORE, Decarcerate St. Louis, cooperatives, poverty, #BlackLivesMatter
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