Case Studies

  • New Era Windows and Doors / United Electrical / Chicago, IL
  • Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative/United Food and Commerical Workers / Cincinnati, OH
  • Mayland Brush Company / Baltimore, MD
  • Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) / Kansas City, KA
  • Cooperative Home Care Associates / NY, NY
  • Arizmendi Bakeries / San Francisco, CA
  • Lusty Lady / San Francisco, CA
  • Artists’ Palette Co-op / Manitowash, WI
  • Collective CopIes / Amherst, MA
  • Data Sysems / Burlington, VT
  • Big Timberworks / Gallatin Gateway, MT
  • South Mountain Company / West Tisbury, MA
  • Pelham Auto Service / Belchertown, MA
  • Morning Star Food Processing / Woodland, CA



New Era Windows and Doors / United Electrical / Chicago, IL

New Era’s story:


Information from the UFCW union initiative in Cincinnati from Dennis Olson (natl) and Ellen Vera (local)

Cincinnati Union Coop Initiative Rationale for Core Change

Cincinnati Union Coop Initiative – Our Three Initiatives: 1. Cincinnati …

Background – Cincinnati Union Coop Initiative

Contact Us – Cincinnati Union Coop Initiative


Information on Maryland Brush Company, a longstanding and successful example of a unionized, one vote per person, worker-owned company from Deb Olson:



Information on the Associated Wholsesale Grocers employee buyout in Kansas City, KA, from Deb Olson:

Associated Wholesale Grocers Sells Stores to Employees – Industry Intelligence – Supermarket Chain |Grocery Chain | Grocery Store Chain | Supermarket News


Cooperative Home Care Associates / 1199 Collaboration:

Profiling an Effective Partnership


In 2003, 1199SEIU organized CHCA’s home care workers, as part of a broader effort to unionize all home health aides in New York City. By developing an effective partnership, CHCA and 1199SEIU have created new opportunities for home heath aides to develop critical leadership skills and continue their educations while collaborating to enhance the quality of their jobs.


Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) is a home health care services agency licensed by the New York State Department of Health to provide paraprofessional services for elders and individuals living with physical disabilities in New York City. CHCA is currently the nation’s largest worker-cooperative and works to improve the quality of jobs for its 1,600 home care workers—98 percent of whom are Latina or African-American women.

1199SEIU is the world’s largest union local, which represents more than 300,000 health care workers in New York State, Maryland, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia. 1199SEIU advocates for its members to receive higher wages and improved working conditions; educates and empowers workers to seek social and economic justice; and encourages members to acquire greater knowledge and skill in the health care sector.

Motivations to Collaborate: CHCA witnessed the success of 1199SEIU in securing significant funding from the State of New York to increase the hourly wage of home attendants (a specific category of home care workers employed in New York City). To increase the wages earned by its home health aides, CHCA realized the importance of working more closely with 1199SEIU, given their successful advocacy with key public officials on behalf of their members.

In turn, although 1199SEIU had represented home attendants in New York City for decades, they did not begin to organize home health aides until 1997. Thus, 1199SEIU was interested in organizing CHCA’s home health aides as an initial step toward organizing that segment of the home care industry.

Leadership Development: 1199SEIU currently offers nine home care workers the opportunity to serve as delegates, who help negotiate the union’s collective bargaining agreement with CHCA as well as provide feedback and recommendations directly to CHCA’s President. By creating these delegate positions, 1199SEIU has effectively doubled the number of leadership opportunities available to home care workers, by complementing the eight elected to serve on CHCA’s Board of Directors.

Our LMC currently includes four key workgroups, which address the topics summarized below, with support from the Praxis Consulting Group.

· Communications, which improves the process by which CHCA disseminates essential financial information and policies to its home care workers. Notably, this workgroup re-structured CHCA’s quarterly off-site Regional Meetings into high-successful on-site Information Fairs, which have tripled the number of home care workers who received critical information from CHCA and its partners.

· Service Delivery, which improves relationships between coordinators and home care workers in order to provide quality care for elders and individuals living with physical disabilities. Notably, this workgroup has arranged for coordinators to sit with our union organizer from 1199SEIU and hear complaints about schedules and client-assignments, directly from home care workers.

· Health Care, which works to improve the health of our workforce, by promoting opportunities to receive free health screenings (including mammograms) on-site at CHCA’s office as well as explaining key aspects of their health and dental insurance benefits.

· Employee Morale, which has begun to create new opportunities for small groups of randomly-selected home care workers to communicate key concerns directly with CHCA’s President, over breakfast, while learning more information about key company initiatives.

At least once every two months, these workgroups request feedback about their ideas from all LMC members. Recommendations supported by the LMC are then presented to its Leadership Team — which includes key senior executives from CHCA and 1199SEIU — for approval,.

Additional Benefits: As union members, CHCA’s home care workers have access to 1199SEIU’s Member Assistance Fund, which offers bereavement counseling as well as support in resolving alcohol or substance abuse addictions, landlord/tenant disputes, or parenting challenges. CHCA also contributes to 1199SEIU’s Education Fund, so its home care workers can receive tuition-free access to many continuing education classes, including: English-as-a-Second Language, General Equivalency Diploma, computer skills, and nursing courses offered by the City University of New York.

Conclusion: In creating an effective partnership, CHCA and 1199SEIU have recognized each other’s motivation for collaboration and together have developed new structures for discussing key organizational challenges, among worker-owners, managers, and union representatives.





      • Artists’ Palette Co-op / Manitowash, WI
      • Collective CopIes / Amherst, MA
      • Data Sysems / Burlington, VT
      • Big Timberworks / Gallatin Gateway, MT
      • South Mountain Company / West Tisbury, MA
      • Pelham Auto Service / Belchertown, MA






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