Immigrant Justice

Low-income workers in Seattle are getting another economic boost. Five months after the local government became the first in the country to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15—making it the highest in the country—the Federal government's Small Business Administration has funded a local business support group to help train disadvantaged Seattle workers to develop worker cooperatives and home-based or cottage businesses.

 

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Following the first four encuentros internacionales (international gatherings) of the “Workers’ Economy,” held in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, from 2007 to 2013, and after the first Regional Gathering of Europe and the Mediterranean, in Marseille, France in January 2014, it is now proposed to conduct Regional Gatherings in every even-numbered year and Internat

On June 21, 2014, the New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives (NYC NOWC) hosted the first annual NYC Conference on Worker Cooperatives (videos of most of the conference sessions are posted here.) Two hundred people gathered at the CUNY Law School in Queens.

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Editor's note: Today we present the testimony of more worker-owners, delivered this past February at a hearing convened by the New York City Council Community Development committee.  Read more hearing testimony from co-op practicioners here.  Read about the end results of the hearing here.  Complete written testimony from the hearing is embedded below this article.

 

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Editor's introduction: Today we present testimony from four worker-owners, delivered at the the New York City Council Committee on Community Development hearing this past February.  the hearing was to consider a proposal for a city budget line devoted to cooperative development.  Given that we don't often get to hear directly from worker-owners, we've rescued this important documentation from the bowels of the NYC Council website

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From California to Maine, over the last 15 years low-wage workers have steadily organized employee-owned small businesses
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From grocery stores and bakeries to bike shops and day care centers, worker-owned cooperatives are gaining popularity across the country. How are they faring in the recession? What solutions do co-ops offer for today’s recession/depression? If they gain even more popularity, could they transform the economy and the way we think it should work?

Guests include Dan Thomases, a founding member of Box Dog Bikes co-op, John Kusakabe of the Arizmendi Bakery co-op, and Hilary Abell of Women's Action to Gain Economic Security (WAGES).

 

 


 

 

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WAGES is being used as a model by Mexican and Central American immigrants to create their own jobs. Minsun Ji, El Centro Humanitario's executive director in Denver, CO, said when they contacted WAGES to be able to adapt the WAGES strategy locally: "We were so desperate. There were no jobs. We were really, really desperate."

Anti-Racism in the Workplace two-day training, August 9th & 10th, 2010, UC Berkeley.

The U.S. Federation for Worker Cooperatives has organized an intensive 2-day workshop as part of the conference.  Here's how conference co-organizer, kiran nigam, bills it:    

By Joel Schoening

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By the Center for Family Life

The Challenge

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Green economics and racial justice
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By Len Krimerman

Every year the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation honors one of its members with the "Worker Co-op Merit Award"--an idea we might well want to consider for our own USA Federation. This year they selected Edmonton-based MCHB, a truly remarkable venture which is addressing, in a very special way, the otherwise unmet needs of that city's "immigrant and refugee" communities.

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