KEY POINTS of the CAMPAIGN:

  • This economy isn’t working. We need a just economy that allows people to reach their full potential.
  • We are fighting for the economy that we deserve and that meets our needs.
  • This effort is for the community, by the community.
  • New business models that works for the people doing the work.
  • Green jobs: We’re starting small businesses that use environmentally just practices and that are accountable to the community.
  • This work goes hand-in-hand with youth development. Our youth need good jobs.
  • We are tackling unemployment by creating jobs and creating community wealth!
  • Worker cooperatives help build resilient local communities.
  • Through join education and action, we are raising the visibility of cooperatives in Worcester, increasing understanding about co-ops and showing why they have value. Co-ops are working together to build the cooperative movement.
  • It’s about creating democracy in where we work (not just ballot box).

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MEDIA COVERAGE of the CAMPAIGN:

OVERVIEW:

Labor and community activists are tackling root causes of the unjust economy by building worker cooperatives that create dignified jobs and shift power to worker and community-owned enterprises. Over 8 cooperatives are starting in Worcester, and working with community members to win purchasing agreements with anchor institutions through community benefits agreements or direct accords. For example, WorX Printing Co-op is partnered with United Steel Workers to create living wages with full benefits while printing ethical garments. Purchase agreements with local anchor institutions would help them create more wealth-creating jobs. Learning from successful co-op anchor institution campaigns in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Springfield and elsewhere, this campaign hopes for a first big win by Spring 2016.

More about how unions and co-ops can work together: http://prezi.com/glcng4bpkhkq/unions-and-co-ops-unite/

Draft language around Community Benefit Agreements campaign with the Worcester Community Labor Coalition:
Potential Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs):
This campaign would continue to focus on anchor institutions in the City that aren’t going anywhere. These could be with a big business but most likely in Worcester would be with a non-profit like the colleges, hospitals, arts institutions, etc. A CBA could have a mix of labor and community demands and would be negotiated directly with that institution usually without the City’s engagement. Generally, CBAs are negotiated when an institution has an upcoming project which needs community or city support. The pressure of a public fight around that project is usually what brings the institution to negotiate. However, a new project is not always needed to institute a CBA campaign. Addressing the issue of payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) can be cause to propose a CBA. Ideally a CBA campaign brings pressure from multiple directions while attempting to negotiate a CBA. Demands could include construction standards, local hiring (construction & permanent), affordable housing, open space, environmental justice issues, community access to their facilities…

A component of the campaign could be a We Own It / Union Cooperative. This would be modeled after work done in other cities (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Springfield) creating co-op anchor institution campaigns. Labor and community activists are tackling root causes of the unjust economy by building worker cooperatives that create dignified jobs and shift power to worker and community-owned enterprises. Over 8 cooperatives are starting in Worcester, and working with community members to win purchasing agreements with anchor institutions through community benefits agreements or direct accords. For example, WorX Printing Co-op is partnered with United Steel Workers to create living wages with full benefits while printing ethical garments. Purchase agreements with local anchor institutions would help them create more wealth-creating jobs.

Fundraising:

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