Vision and Mission
Vision: The Union Co-ops Council of the US Federation of Worker Co-ops has a vision of a worker-driven, cooperative economy with shared wealth through workplace and economic democracy for all workers.
Mission: We are building bridges between worker cooperatives and organized labor, promoting sovereignty of labor and subordination of capital, by harnessing the power of collective action to democratize enterprise.
Goals of the Union Co-op Council of the USFWC
To accomplish our mission, we must move the conversation through organized labor and union supporters by:
- building a network of unions, unionized worker cooperatives, and supporters;
- documenting case studies of union worker cooperatives past and present;
- facilitating union locals in the incubation, conversion, or development of worker cooperatives;
- organizing union members to propose resolutions for support of worker cooperatives to their unions, their AFL-CIO County Federations of Labor, and their national union conferences;
- coordinating worker advocacy with the labor movement, including advocating strategic concepts and language such as labor neutrality agreements for cooperatives, and right of first refusal language for union contracts;
- developing research, curricula, and resource materials for presentations and educational programs; and
- planning and presenting at conference events, workshops, and trainings.
Strategies and Tactics:
1. Building a network of unions, union worker cooperatives, and supporters by
- encouraging unions, union members, labor organizations, and unionized worker cooperatives to participate in the national Union Co-ops Council group calls;
- compiling and sharing a national and international database of people interested in this work;
- developing a network of presenters and liaisons for outreach to the labor movement and the worker cooperative community;
- Develop a web site with contact information and resources to support our mission and goals.
2. Documenting case studies of union worker cooperatives, past and present:
- organizing a UCC Case Studies Task Force
- gathering existing case studies of unionized worker co-ops (see note 1 below)
- identifying unionized worker co-ops that don’t have case studies yet (see note 2 below)
- identifying unionized worker co-op projects in formation (see note 3 below)
- identifying unionized worker co-ops no longer in business or no longer union
- prioritizing case studies to undertake
- gathering and adapting several case study formats into a customized case study format for our purposes
- identifying and engaging case study researchers / writers
- raising grant funding for case study researchers / writers
- post completed case studies to the council web site.
3. Facilitating union locals in the incubation, conversion, or development of worker cooperatives
- Working with the AFL-CIO to create presentations, workshops, and task forces to train local staff on how to identify opportunities for conversion of existing bargaining units undergoing change in ownership;
- Creating local task forces within the local AFL-CIO on democratic worker ownership as a strategy for the labor movement to expand membership by taking back agency for job creation through worker cooperative incubation and development.
- Facilitating and assisting in the engagement of appropriate technical support from the worker cooperative community to assist in creating union worker cooperatives.
- Organize union members to support democratic worker ownership by proposing resolutions for support of worker cooperatives to their unions, their county feds AFL-CIO, and also their unions’ national conferences.
- Expand understanding of democratic worker ownership models by passing resolutions supporting democratic worker ownership at union locals.
- Further the process of passing supporting resolutions to the county AFL-CIO and then to national union conventions.
4. Coordinate worker advocacy with the labor movement, including advocating strategic concepts and language, such as labor neutrality agreements for cooperatives, and first right of refusal language for union contracts
- coordinate advocacy for worker cooperatives and democratic worker ownership undertaken in the worker cooperative community with the labor movement;
- advocate for labor neutrality agreements among cooperatives as a means of building solidarity with the labor movement;
- advocate among union locals to incorporate first right of refusal language in all future contracts so workers would have the right to buy any companies in case of the sale.
- advocate among unions to coordinate a campaign to adopt a law fashioned on the model of the Marcora Law in Italy, as well as other methods of getting funding for worker cooperatives.
5. Developing research and educational materials, presentations, and curricula; and planning and presenting conference events, workshops, and trainings.
- organizing union members to engage their unions in an educational process about worker co-ops;
- inviting interested people to attend conferences, workshops, and training on this topic;
- creating presentations and curricula appropriate to the labor movement and making them available on our web page.