Gleanings

Electric cooperatives were so successful in electrifying rural America that in 1949, the REA was authorized to fund cooperatives for telephone services. Or, as we would call the service today, “telecommunications.”

And it’s on that peg that leaders of the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC), based in the Nelson County community of Arrington, believe they’ve found a way to address the biggest challenge facing rural America in 2018: the unavailability of access to broadband internet services.

In homecare, building a family-like culture is undoubtedly more challenging. Due to the nature of the work, caregivers are more isolated and have fewer opportunities to connect with owners and co-workers. This is one of the many reasons that turnover is so high in the homecare industry. A small but growing sector of cooperatively-owned homecare agencies has hit on a model that overcomes these challenges and presents a promising path for workers and retiring owners.

A new report by Co-op Culture, a co-operative development co-op, has found that the key issues with which worker co-operatives need support are finance and starting up.

Released in January, the report is based on two workshops by Co-op Culture with support from SolidFund, the worker co-op solidarity fund.

Worker cooperators, unions, developers, allies, funders, investors, and visionaries — join us this September!

This moment in U.S. history is pivotal — we are taking this opportunity to catalyze workers across the country, joining with the larger cooperative and economic justice movements to create and maintain stable, empowering jobs through employee ownership.

Elvy del Bianco, program manager for co-operative partnerships at Vancity Credit Union, believes the growth in B.C.’s co-operative business sector is driven in part by a desire for good jobs. The province, he said, is still suffering from the economic shock of the 2008 financial crisis.

“Job security is a thing of the past. Access to good, stable, well paying jobs is being overtaken by the gig economy,” he said. “People are seeing that it’s not a very friendly economy out there.”

A Cooperation Jackson dialogue with Ercan Ayboga, Co-Author of "Revolution in Rojava", an activist of the Mesopotamian Ecologist Movement

The co-op had already been actively working and had incorporated as an organization and was aiming to get enough members to begin a real estate search. Cooperatives were something that was new and interesting to me personally and I decided to become a member-owner. It seemed like a really great way to get involved with my neighbors, so I decided to get more involved.

LeClair, now the 116-unit neighborhood's maintenance manager, explained the cost-benefit math. 

In the late 1990s ICOM (the former worker cooperative federation) did a cluster analysis of location of worker coops and CDAs (cooperative development agencies) in the UK.  It was very clear that existing worker coops clustered around long standing CDAs. There were few where there had not been a CDA. With some odd exceptions eg Suma Wholefoods, the largest 70s worker coop, in Leeds and Halifax.  

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