Tag Archives: labor movement

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 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 5

There and Back Again: Unions and Worker Co-operatives
In October 2009, the United Steelworkers and Mondragón Co-operative held a joint press conference to announce a partnership to create worker-owned unionized factories in the United States (Witherell, 2013). This marked the first … 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 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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Our Worker Co-ops Have a Unique Role to Play

We are living in very interesting times.
It can be difficult to figure out a coherent strategy with which to negotiate the next 1,237 days (or more). We almost need an individualized strategic plan to manage all of the areas of … Continue reading

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The “We” Generation

Here we are.
The next two years will seem to bring to life the ancient curse, “May you live in interesting times.”
The need for mutual self-help and self-reliance along with solidarity will be at the forefront for many of our cooperatives … Continue reading

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We Need to Reclaim “The Sharing Economy”

There has been a lot of discussion of late regarding the so-called “sharing economy”. This phrase refers, generally, to organizations such as Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, and others that provide an on-line broker service so that people can monetize practically everything … Continue reading

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Welcome to the Discussion

There is a new blog about worker cooperatives entitled “Owning a Better Future”.  The focus of this blog, judging from the first couple of posts, will center on the growing “union coop” model. This model engages both traditional labor unions … Continue reading

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