June 28, 2018

A few thoughts for labor unions

Sam Smith -Now that the Supreme Court has screwed you with its Janus decision,  it's a good time for you to redefine what you're up to. Here one idea:
The News.Coop - The Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative is a no-profit union co-op incubator founded in 2009. It develops union co-ops – a hybrid business combining elements of the democratic worker ownership of a single co-op business with the principle of workers’ solidarity. As in a worker co-op, worker-owners in a union co-op own and democratically run their business on the principle of one worker, one vote. And as in a unionized business, worker-owners are members of a union and elect a union committee to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement. The union also promotes and instills solidarity between workers in different businesses, industries and countries.
It’s a model with a long history in the USA, proving popular in the years after the Civil War; historians have estimated that the movement had 750,000 members and 185-200 co-ops in 1886. Since then the model has adapted to suit the times, in recent years drawing on the work of Mondragon, a federation of worker co-ops in Spain.

In 2009, Mondragon and the United Steelworkers union began a collaboration to create a template for union co-ops in the US. The USW-Mondragon union co-op template replaces Mondragon’s social council with a union committee to engage in collective bargaining. The union committee is designed to improve conditions for employees and aid communication within the business as it grows. The union also facilitates mutual assistance and understanding of workers’ struggles around the world.
There are other possibilities. The AARP is a good example of how you can build an organization by providing ancillary services for your members. Or create a secondary organization that provides services to places that don't yet have a union but which your youj'd like to organize. 

The old union model is not failing, but it's hurting. It's time to think of new ways to organize so they are pro labor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The AARP is a TERRIBLE example of anything except exploitation! Cheese Louise, Sam!