Tag Archives: history

PT Shipwrights: They Saw, They Conquered

Just a short write up today to acknowledge one of the oldest functioning worker co-ops in Washington: The Port Townsend Shipwrights Cooperative. They started out this journey (or voyage) in 1981 with 8 shipwrights and a ship’s saw. The Co-op … Continue reading

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Blue Scorcher: Bread and Circles

The Blue Scorcher Bakery and Café in Astoria, Oregon is a very unique worker co-op. This worker co-op started out as The Bread Collective, a small group of bread bakers. As the collective grew in reputation, production, and staff, a … Continue reading

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My Home in the PNW

I started this challenge to myself to get me back into the practice of writing down my thoughts on the co-op world. When I writing and editing my thesis, I felt too guilty writing anything except the dissertation. That said, … Continue reading

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Worker Co-ops and the American Dream, part 3

In many ways, the labor movement of the fin de siècle period (1880-1914) resembles the labor movement of today. Skilled craft labor unions found limited success, but mainly in areas where its leader, Samuel Gompers, could make deals (much in the manner of the strategy of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) today). Social movements by the unorganized pressed for political change such as the eight-hour day (compared to today’s $15 per hour movement), and workers might still form cooperatives to meet their needs (such as the Union Fishermen’s Cannery in Astoria, OR). Continue reading

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Worker Co-ops and the American Dream, part 2

Foundations of the American Dream
The term, The American Dream, was coined by James Truslow Adams in 1931 in his work, The Epic of America (Adams, 1959; Gupte, 2011; Rank, Hirschl, & Foster, 2014). Adams’ coinage was, perhaps, an attempt to … Continue reading

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Worker Co-ops and The American Dream, part 1

The American Dream

The logic of collective action suggests that workers, acting in their self-interest, should work together to achieve greater wealth. This materialistic concept establishes the role of labor unions towards helping workers gain a “piece of the pie” of … Continue reading

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Labor Unions and Co-ops, part 4

The New* Worker Co-operatives
Worker owned businesses have always existed in the in the United States. They may be as small as a single proprietorship or as large as Google. Depending on the definition of worker ownership, organizations such as Google … Continue reading

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Labor Unions and Co-ops, part 3

A Labor Movement for the New Guilded Age
When Ronald Reagan stood before the Brandenburg Gate on June 12, 1987, he not only invoked the rising supremacy of the United States by demanding “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”, he ushered … Continue reading

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Labor and Co-ops: Beginnings

part 2 of a series
Early Unionist Movement and Co-operatives
The first inception of the labor movement in the United States looked little like today’s organizations. The National Labor Union and the Knights of Labor did not seek to engage in contractual … Continue reading

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Labor Unions and Worker Co-ops: Today and Yesterday

Note: the post in this series resulted from work towards a larger research project that has since been abandoned. I will be turning two of those chapters into posts that will run on Tuesdays for the next several weeks under … Continue reading

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