WorX Printing Coop
Founded in 2014, USW members at WorX Printing Cooperative provide USA and Union made and printed textile products including custom printed T-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts, hats, bags and more. WorX utilizes state of the art direct to textile digital printing technology to improve efficiency and better replicate complex graphics.
Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative (CUCI)
CUCI launched in 2010 with activists coming together from Cincinnati area local unions, social justice organizations and other community groups. CUCI has successfully launched and incubated a number of diverse worker-owned co-ops, including Our Harvest, a farming and wholesaling worker-owned co-op launched in 2012 with the support of UFCW Local 75. Another co-op, Sustainergy, was launched in 2013 to preform energy efficiency analyses and retrofits of commercial, residential, and institutional buildings within the City of Cincinnati. Sustainergy workers are members of IBEW Local 212 and Pipefitters Local 392. CUCI is currently working on launching several other co-ops. Structured as a “co-op of co-ops”, CUCI aims to create a support network of its member co-ops similar to the Mondragon model.
New Era Windows
New Era Windows is a worker-owned windows manufacturer based in Chicago. With decades of experience manufacturing windows, in 2012 we decided to buy the factory for ourselves and fire the boss. We now own the plant together and run it democratically. Today, New Era Windows provides professional-grade energy-efficient windows at a revolutionary price point.
Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA)
CHCA is the largest unionized, worker-owned business in the U.S., with over 2,000 workers providing in-home care in the Bronx area (New York). Initially created in 1985 as a co-op, CHCA workers joined 1199SEIU in 2003 to gain a stronger voice in the state’s administration of Medicaid benefits. A slide show outlining the initial tensions and ongoing collaboration is available at http://www.slideserve.com/beata/chca-1199seiu
Union Taxi (Denver)
Union Taxi, a co-op owned by its 262 taxi drivers, started operations in 2009 after partnering with CWA Local 7777 in a 3 year effort to get a license from the Colorado Public Utility Commission (PUC), which drew significant opposition from the 3 existing taxi cab companies. With Union Taxi limited to its 262 licenses granted by the PUC, over 800 other taxi drivers have since sought out CWA Local 7777’s help in establishing another co-op. While the drivers of Union Taxi remain essentially independent contractors, they co-operatively own shared services such as dispatch, and have signed a membership agreement with CWA Local 7777. The union is working with the new group of drivers to explore developing the next co-op as fully owned co-op where the drivers become worker-owners instead of independent contractors, similar to Union Cab in Wisconsin. (Although Union Cab does not actually have a Union affiliation.)
Pittsburgh Clean & Green Laundry Co-op
The Steel Valley Authority has been working with IUOE Local 95 and the USW to launch a new, environmentally friendly industrial laundry in the City of Pittsburgh. The proposed laundry would be significantly bigger than the Evergreen Laundry in Cleveland in order to generate sufficient volume to make per-piece pricing highly competitive.
Other Co-op Examples
Evergreen Cooperatives (Cleveland)
Originally launched in 2008 with the support of the Cleveland Foundation, several area anchor institutions (Cleveland Clinic, University Hospital, and Case Western Reserve University), the City government, and with the assistance of the Democracy Collaborative and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, the Evergreen Cooperatives are a group of interconnected co-ops created for the purpose of providing good jobs to low-income neighborhoods. By identifying streams of money spent by area anchor institutions, Evergreen co-ops aim to tap into those streams, on a competitive basis, so that more money is spent locally and creates good jobs. Currently, there are 3 co-ops: Evergreen Laundry, Evergreen Energy Solutions, and Green City Growers. The Evergreen Cooperative Cooperation is actually a non-profit holding company for these for-profit companies while workers increase their ownership equity.
Links to recent articles on the Evergreen Cooperatives: