2016 Worker Cooperative National Conference

News and updates from Democracy at Work Institute
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Join us for our Worker Cooperative National Conference, July 29th – July 31st in
Austin, Texas!

400+ inspired participants building a new economy based on shared ownership and real democracy. Hundreds of democratic workplaces in all stages from concept, to conversion, to growth. The U.S.’s leading lenders, funders, educators and advocacy organizations supporting the cooperative economy. International guests bringing their wisdom and perspectives. And you.

We all need more opportunities to share ideas, tools and inspirations that will lead to creating a new economy. This biennial conference is just the place to re-energize our friendships, our collective work, and our mission to transform our communities. Most important, it brings us together to strengthen the relationships that will build the power and reach of the worker cooperative movement.

Registration opens in mid-February. In the meantime, take a look at our conference website for lots of information!

This year the conference will draw a wide range of attendees and speakers, providing you a diverse audience to interact with your table, materials and personnel. This is a real opportunity for you to have access to a true cross-section of the worker-ownership and cooperative community. Our sponsors will be showered with dazzling smiles and effusive thanks, in print, in person, online, and through our new conference app!

We have many sponsorship packages designed to meet your needs and budget. Contact Roodline Volcy at rvolcy [at] institute [dot] coop to discuss how you can be front and center as a key supporter of our growing community and get your name in front of hundreds of attendees.

Registration will open mid-February on our conference website.

We will open a call for workshop proposals in mid-February.

We will offer Spanish-English simultaneous interpretation.

We will provide childcare on-site for all conference events. Please request childcare in advance when you register. If you are interested in volunteering for our childcare rooms, please let us know.
We are busy planning tours of Austin, it’s hidden histories and cooperative economies. Tour info will be available on our conference website as it becomes available.


“This is a special moment. Many people are open to re-designing the economic system to be more fair and inclusive. Now is the time to learn lessons and create worker coop models that are broadly accessible to large numbers of workers, so that worker coops will represent a meaningful and politically significant part of the U.S. economy.”

Richard Wolff : Is Economic Collapse Inevitable?

There’s no question that Los Angeles is a city of cultural diversity and eclectic industry. But one doesn’t have to drive too far beyond the patchwork of mansions and high-rises to find encampments under freeways – revealing a city of gross inequality.

In L.A. today, a person needs to earn $34 an hour to afford an average apartment, yet the state’s minimum wage in most places is $10. Meanwhile, $26 million is stolen from the pockets of the lowest wage workers every week. Our system is in crisis. We need system change.

Hear economist Richard Wolff address the critical question:

"Is Economic Collapse Inevitable?"
Friday, February 5, 7:00 p.m.

Occidental College
Choi Auditorium
1600 Campus Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041

Wolff returns to L.A. to discuss the mounting global turmoil as capitalism relocates from old centers in Western Europe, North America and Japan to new ones in China, Brazil, India and elsewhere in what used to be called the "Third World."

How will these global trends play out locally in L.A., as homelessness jumps and safety nets shred, while prison and jail spending is prioritized over poverty-solving programs?

Join the conversation co-sponsored by ACLU SoCal, L.A. Progressive, Democracy at Work and Occidental College of Community Engagement, and learn how you can get involved in our economic justice advocacy work.

Purchase your tickets on Eventbrite (General admission is $12.50; ACLU members, $7.50; Oxy students, free).

unioncoops How NYC;s worker coop initiative is going

NYC’s Small Business Administration issued a report on how the city’s investment into worker coops is going:

Article in Next City:

Worker Owned Recycling makes recycling more viable

Employee-owned Recology in San Francisco also educates residents about recycling and employs hundreds of people to sort the materials coming into their recycling facility. As a result, while Recology, which saves 92 percent of San Francisco’s trash from the landfill, isn’t seeing Wall-Street-level profits, it isn’t experiencing a crisis either. As Collins points out, when commodity prices are down, the the highest quality bales are sold first, rewarding operations doing the best job recycling.

Scholarships available for Mondragón Tour in MAY 2016 – Please spread the word – MAY 22 – 28, 2016

Please see this notice about Peace Praxis Institute’s ‘Mondragon Seminar & Tour – May 2016’

There are two full scholarships available for folks interested in visiting and learning from the largest worker cooperative in the world (

Scholarship deadline, Feb 1, 2016

Tour is May 20 – 28, 2016.

Learn more: Please direct all questions to Peace Praxis Institute.

Hope 2016 is off to a great start!

Union Co-op Symposium Filling Up Fast, News & Events


Quick Update

So many exciting things! The Union Co-op Symposium is shaping up to be a historic gathering of people from across the country and from Mondragon, Spain. Registration is filling up fast. If you would like to attend, be sure to register before October 14th (that is the last day for the hotel rate and early bird ticket rate. Hotel rates double after that date.) For more details about this event, see below.

Also, check out the exciting news about Apple Street Market! Expected opening: Summer 2016

Finally, Cincinnati is alive with activity around promoting an economy that works for all. Check out the upcoming events!

2015 National Union Co-op Symposium
Register Now
What to expect:
Full schedule here
-Opportunities to learn first hand from Mondragon’s 60 years of experience-Key insights on managing union co-ops

-Practical resources for building union co-ops and regional union co-op initiatives (education, culture, financial resources, templates, by-laws and more)

-Chance to develop deeper relationships with people in the union co-op movement across the country

-Chance to discover some pragmatic ways of approaching the manufacturing sector

-High level of interaction, participation, and fun!

-Tour of local union co-ops

For full schedule click and registration, click here.

Apple Street Market is on a roll. Apple Street surpassed it’s community ownership goal and now has 1052 community owners! Blueprints for the store’s leasehold improvements are being reviewed by the city. An experienced general manager has been hired to oversee the final fundraising for the store as well as the build out. Locals can get a chance to meet the new General Manager while roasting marshmallows, sipping cider, & playing or enjoying music at the Apple Street Jamboree on Oct 17 from 5-10pm in the Apple Street parking lot.
Upcoming Events
Oct 11 – Our Harvest at Second Sunday on Main’s Food Finale.

Oct 17 – Apple Street Jamboree 5-10pm

Oct 24 – Our Harvest Fall Potluck on the Farm 11am-1pm

Oct 25 – Local Loans for Local Foods: Slow Money event from 2-5pm at Peterloon.

Nov 12 – The Cooperative Economy: A Panel on How Cooperatives are Shaping the New Economy – 7pm at Xavier University, Cintas Center

Nov 13-14 – Union Co-op Symposium

Nov 13 – Creating an Economy That Works for All Party 6-8:30 pm at Letter Carrier’s Hall

Nov 17-18 – Neighborhood Economics Conference
how to accelerate the flow of capital to neighborhoods

Copyright © 2015 Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this message because you were interested in this endeavor and requested more information.Our mailing address is:
Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative4122 Langland St.
Cincinnati, OH 45223


We’re All Just Getting Started…

Dear CoFED Community,

Millions of college students will graduate this year, and take with them the hope for a more resilient, thriving, and equitable future.

CoFED provides tools and trainings for campus communities to develop strong food businesses that increase access to healthy food, build community and create economic solutions through the cooperative business model.

Through our work we have the honor of witnessing the power of students, teachers, staff, and community members coming together and creating entrepreneurial solutions to the food system. They bring fresh, nutritious, delicious and affordable food to their communities by being at the forefront of driving collective solutions.

All this good work is catching on.

As of Summer 2015, we have worked with 60 schools nationwide. We are connected to an amazing set of community colleges, tribal colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and hispanic-serving colleges and universities in rural, suburban and urban areas. We supported teams, like the Raddish Co-op to launch and saw teams like the Berkeley Student Food Collective look into expansion. Previous students from the CoFED network have become leaders in the growing food and co-op fields to grow the knowledge and efficacy of healthy communities. Their growth is our growth, and we are excited for what’s ahead!

Looking for inspiration? Read more detailed updates below.

Wishing you a summer full of hope,


The Cheese Board collective is looking for new members.

The Cheese Board collective is looking for new members.


The Cheese Board Collective is a worker-owned Cooperative. Our Cheese and Bread division is looking for new members to share our business with.

Candidates must complete a six-month candidacy period before being considered for membership. We are looking for a long-term commitment, preferably five years or more.

If you are interested in applying please join us at our Open House (1512 Shattuck Ave) on either Sunday June 28 or Monday, June 29th from 12-3:00 p.m. to meet our hiring committee. There will be a short tour of the store. No interviews will be conducted at the Open Houses.

Please bring the following with you to the Open House:

We will only accept applications during the open houses. If you cannot make it to one of the open houses we will not be able to accept your application at this time.

We encourage people of color, women, queer and trans-identified folks to apply. We are striving towards a diverse, supportive, community and do not discriminate in our hiring based on race, gender or sex, religion, size, age, sexual orientation, marital status, economic background or educational history.

Work Description

Members work together in a close-knit environment and are involved in every aspect of operating the business. Everyone is given the opportunity to learn every aspect of the business. It is a privilege and responsibility of membership to work towards the successful continued operation and growth of our collective. All candidate members are required to attend business meetings where the group makes decisions using a modified consensus process.

All workers (including candidates) are paid a living wage, $21 per hour. In addition, members receive a share of the profits based on the number of hours worked. We offer full medical benefits, plus a host of other benefits, including dental and retirement plans to members.


Work Description:

Candidates will be working 6-8 hour days, up to 40 hours per week during candidacy. We require that members be flexible and available to work all shifts during all production hours 4:00AM-7:30 PM Monday through Saturday. Full time work at the Bakery and Cheese Division usually means working 4 shifts and being available to substitute on a fifth day. Candidates usually start with 3 to 4 shifts. Business meetings are generally held monthly on a Monday.

Some of our tasks include waiting on customers with a strong emphasis on great customer service, selling cheeses, working the express line, making coffee drinks, cashiering, organizational duties outside of shifts, ordering, keeping up with new information re: new cheeses, preparing ingredients, making dough, and baking breads. We all share in the considerable amount of clean up work.

Work Expectations and Requirements of New Candidate Members

  • Must have a love of food
  • Enthusiastic about working in a democratically managed workplace
  • Food handling experience is preferred
  • Ability to work weekends and cover shifts—often on short notice
  • Working hard and being punctual are essential
  • Must be able to work shifts that start at 6am or that end at 9pm at the pizzeria
  • Must be able to work shifts that start at 4am or that end at 7:30pm at the bakery/cheese shop
  • Great customer skills are required
  • Enthusiasm for interacting with the public
  • Candidates and members are expected to attend all business meetings (Candidates will be paid)
  • Must be available to work during the holiday season
  • Scheduling for members is dynamic and we can’t guarantee a set number of hours per week, initially.

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