News & Blog

Research|Action Publishes Updated Union Coops Pamphlet

Unions and cooperatives are part of one big movement but we don’t always know it. That’s why Research|Action has been working with the Union Cooperatives Council and other groups over the past few years to help educate the labor movement and cooperative world about how we can work better together.

In Madison, WI, that meant the local federation of labor backed a new municipal project to train and support worker cooperatives. In Denver, it means a major taxi cooperative is a “union coop” — a member of Communication Workers of America. Unions can play a supportive role in converting existing businesses to worker cooperatives, as SEIU is actively doing in NYC. More workers in food cooperatives, which are generally only owned by their shoppers, are organizing unions, as in Bloomington, Indiana or western Massachusetts. In the past, unions used their pension funds to invest in cooperative housing.

Research|Action crafted a pamphlet for the Union Cooperative Council to use in education two years ago but a lot has changed and grown in the movement. So we updated our brochure this fall.

To increase worker power and build a better world, these movements need each other!  Feel free to contact us for more information.

News & Blog

Strategic Corporate Research Trainings Available

Union or community organizing campaigns may find it essential to undertake comprehensive corporate research. This helps us better understand a company where workers are trying to organize or when community members are fighting for a community benefits agreement or other policy.

Research|Action has members experienced in this research and has put together a training on the fundamentals of corporate research, based on the AFL-CIO and Cornell University Worker Institute research training framework.

We can offer a one hour webinar or more in-depth half day or day long trainings, which would also include organizing and campaign strategy training and discussions. Contact us for more information!

News & Blog

Unions and Worker Co-ops, Old Allies, Are Joining Forces Again

In the 1800s unions and cooperatives were part of the same movement. Today once again, unions are collaborating with cooperatives to save jobs, create new ones, and organize new members.

From the early days of the labor movement, as John Curl makes clear in his excellent book For All the People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America, union members saw cooperatives as vital to their struggle. Unions and cooperatives were part of a growing labor movement that also included myriad political parties, mutual aid societies, fraternal organizations, and secret worker associations.

Read article.


News & Blog

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

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

News & Blog

Can the ‘new economy’ and labor movements come together again?

Activists in Oakland have been campaigning for new city policies that would assist worker cooperative development. After successfully winning passage of a city resolution in support of cooperatives last fall, they are now pushing for a new law, the Oakland Worker Cooperative Incentives for Growth Ordinance. Supporters will speak in support at the upcoming hearing at City Hall on September 27, and the ordinance is likely to pass in October. It would grant a variety of benefits for registered worker cooperatives including procurement preferences, development funding, tax incentives, streamlined permitting and promotion of business conversion to cooperatives. The Sustainable Economies Law Center, one of the key promoters of the ordinance, says that it will be the first of its kind to offer this level of assistance for cooperatives.

This campaign is one part of a vibrant, growing movement advancing community-oriented, alternative ways of economic development. This includes cooperatives and credit unions, community land trusts, municipal participatory budgeting, local renewable energy and various community organizing initiatives to build local power, all within a grassroots, intersectional and anti-oppression political framework. This kind of work is often referred to as the “new economy” or “solidarity economy.”

Read article.

News & Blog Publications

The Crisis in Our Schools: A Report on Working and Learning Conditions in NYC Public Schools

Authors: Movement of Rank and File Educators in collaboration with Solidarity Research Center

Date: May 2016

The Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) recently conducted a survey of United Federation of Teachers (UFT) members to find out more about their working conditions and students’ learning conditions. The findings of this survey indicate that the decay of the New York City schools has reached crisis levels under the leadership of the Unity Caucus, the incumbents in the current elections for leadership of the UFT. Change is urgently needed.

Read the report.

Media coverage:

Note: this report was written by Research|Action members when they were part of the Solidarity Research Center.