Panel at ECWD2017: Renewing the Alliance: Unions and Co-ops Fight for Worker Power in NY, Cincinnati, and Beyond

At the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, held in New York City this weekend, there was a great panel on how unions and cooperatives are increasingly working together and forming union cooperatives. From the panel description:

Under fierce attack from the corporate sector, labor unions are exploring worker co-ops as a way to organize new members, save members’ jobs, create new jobs, and build community alliances. Presenters from NYC, Cincinnati and beyond will share their unions’ experiences with these experiments. Through panels, small group discussions and networking opportunities participants will explore how the co-op business model can help to strengthen and expand our unions.

Speakers included:

  • Ellen Vera – National Manufacturing Organizing Coordinator, IUE-CWA; cofounder, Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative
  • Mary Hoyer – cochair, UnionCo-ops Council of US Federation of Worker Co-ops
  • David Hammer – ICA Group, consultants to unions on business conversions
  • Keith Joseph – 1199SEIU representative for Cooperative Home Care Associates, the U.S.’s largest worker coop
  • Arturo Archila – United Steel Workers NYC, helped launch a unionized coop
  • Roger Green, director, Bunche-DuBois Center for Public Policy Research, Medgar Evers College

The panel was sponsored by the Union Co-ops Council of the US Federation of Worker Coops, Murphy Institute for Worker Education & Labor Studies-CUNY, NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives, FPWA and 1Worker1Vote.org.

Research|Action helped plan the session and created the informational brochure on union-coops.

Eric Dirnbach

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