A Growing Hybrid-Model-Movement Ripe for Political Consolidation
By Michael Peck
In America, the world of work has already changed beyond conventional wisdom sense perceptions and the willpower capacity of elected politicians to understand and embrace it. This workplace relationship tsunami, “a historic shift that rivals the transition from farms to factories,” calls out the anachronistic redlining between company and society, employee or independent contractor, worker versus manager, part-time as opposed to full-time, blue or white collar, as well as unions or work councils.
Today’s wrenching workplace issues — wage theft, eligibility for overtime pay, equalizing and standardizing worker classification, elevating minimum wage standards including the federal minimum wage, overtime protection, facilitating employees of contractors and franchise operations to achieve a collective bargaining agreement — constitute many of the most necessary but still wholly insufficient solutions to the problems at hand. The existential dilemma facing the world of work is that these problems together with traditional remedies have lost their time-space moorings. Continue reading Pope Francis & the Moral Right to “Own Our Labor & Rent Our Capital”
On March 30th, the Murphy Institute hosted “Building a Worker Coop Ecosystem: Mondragon Meets the Five Boroughs,” a public conversation featuring Frederick Freundlich of Mondragon University and moderated by Stephanie Guico.
The conversation began with an explanation by Freudlich of the Mondragon network of worker coops in the Basque region of Spain. The network includes approximately 120 cooperatives and 130 affiliates or subsidiaries, all working across four broad areas — manufacturing, retail, finance, knowledge — and creating a livelihood for approximately 74,000 people. Freundlich discussed the history of the Mondragon system, tracing its origins back to the Spanish Civil War and describing the emergence of ancillary institutions, such as the cooperative bank, that have provided resources and support to the cooperative network throughout its development. Continue reading Coop Event at Murphy Draws Large Crowd
By Liam K. Lynch
In a city becoming increasingly unaffordable and out of touch with the needs of city workers, and an urban society based in consumption, hyper-gentrification, luxury, commercial and tourist real estate, the need for economic alternatives and an offensive strategy to combat unsustainable practices looms large.
A study published earlier this year by the Center for Economic Opportunity revealed that almost half of New York City’s population is living near poverty. Moreover, City Comptroller Scott Stringer reported that over a period of 12 years between 2000-2012, rents increased by over 67%, while real median income dropped by almost 5%. With these numbers playing a real role in the lives of many here in the city, something needs to be done.
Worker-owned cooperatives may be an answer. Continue reading Worker Coops and Labor, Past and Future