By Rebecca Lurie
Last year, the Community and Worker Ownership Project and John Mollenkopf at the Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center were pleased to host Professor Sofia Arana Landin for research on cooperative economics in New York City. Her work was extensive in building foundational thought for a comparative study of cooperative enterprises’ success and challenges in the US as compared to other countries, especially in the European Union.
Professor Arana teaches taxation law and cooperatives at the public university in San Sebastian, Spain. Arriving to the states shortly after the inauguration of the 45th president for this research, the juxtaposition of opportunities and constraints was almost too much to bear. Nevertheless, she persisted.
Cooperative businesses, being a hybrid of “for profit” and “social” purposes, have a mission broader than that of a traditional business. Continue reading The Scarcity of Worker Cooperatives in the USA: Enquiring into Possible Causes
By Rebecca Lurie
This month was the bi-annual Labor Notes Conference of the “International Troublemakers and Boat-Rockers Union.” Those who have never been before can imagine it as the place where grassroots union and worker organizers meet union leadership on their terms, led by those previously left out of leadership in our unions. Youth, women and people of color speak, lead and shine.
At this year’s event in Chicago, Verizon workers and teachers led the day. With 3,000 attendees, the conference had workshops and panels celebrating and teaching the hard-learned ways to organize for deepening democracy and justice at work. Continue reading Dispatch from the Labor Notes Conference
By Rebecca Lurie
María Pilar Alguacil Marí, Professor of Financial and Tax Law at the University of Valencia, recently spent time at the Murphy Institute for Labor and Urban Studies/CUNY, where she has carried out various academic activities and taught two seminars.
The first seminar, “Academic Study of Cooperative Economics,” was held on April 2nd and dealt with the different methodological concepts around social economy and cooperatives, such as the nonprofit, or “third sector” approaches, as well as other emerging concepts: social enterprises, collaborative economy, and more. The relevance that these subjects have in the university studies in Spain and Europe was also explored. The seminar ended with a debate among the attendees, who described the situation around cooperative economic education at CUNY, and expressed the need to increase university training in cooperatives. Continue reading Comparative Studies in Cooperative Economies – EU and USA
In 2007, the UnionCo-ops Committee was conceptualized at the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD) in Asheville, North Carolina where Lynn Williams (USW) was keynote speaker. The council then became part of the U.S. Federation of Worker Co-ops and has met monthly since, helping building local and national connections between worker co-ops and labor unions.
Watch this 8 minute videos about Union Co-ops and the council’s 10th Anniversary:
See the full video playlist here.
- Full Version (35 mins)
- Anniversary Video (8 minute, fully captioned)
- Video Specific to Union Co-op Council (2:30)
- Video Union Co-ops in general (6 mins)
The Murphy Institute is proud to have been affiliated with the great work of the cooperative network of NYC. With the support of the NY City Council, the City’s Small Business Services and the Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative (WCBDI) we celebrate over 180 business entities helped through this initiative. With 13 local community based or business development organizations giving services, the Murphy Institute has become a partner where training is hosted and meetings are held.
Read the third annual report here.
School bus maintenance and driving has long been a tricky business in New York City. In the face of mounting maintenance costs, excessive emissions and flatlining wages, the Transit Workers Union (TWU) has proposed a novel — and potentially transformative — solution for the city’s school buses.
This week, TWU international president John Samuelsen and Manhattan New York City Council member Daniel Garodnick outlined the plan in the New York Daily News:
Here’s our plan. Let’s establish a unionized, worker-owned cooperative to transport students in non-polluting (and air-conditioned) electric school buses. For the pilot, we envision the worker cooperative entering into a contract with the Board of Education to provide service on approximately 15 existing routes that are not permanently assigned to any private company. Continue reading TWU Proposes School Bus Coop