SHIFT CHANGE: PUTTING DEMOCRACY TO WORK!
My name is Elizabeth Zurita, This year I am a participant in the Summer of Solutions program that LETS Go Chicago runs every summer. I am from very small town south Venezuela. As a person that comes from an undeveloped country I know how important is to work for the less privileged communities finding the way to empower them with more dignifying and democratic workplaces.
To achieve a better living standard does not have to be an unreachable dream for all those that find themselves in the need to so. This is why I want to dedicate this week’s post to let you know about the benefits of worker owned cooperatives.
What are worker owned cooperatives?
Worker cooperatives are businesses that are owned and democratically governed by their employees. They operate in numerous industries, including childcare, commercial and residential cleaning, food service, healthcare, technology, consumer retail and services, manufacturing, wholesaling and many others. Some 300 worker co-ops throughout the U.S. provide their employees with both jobs and ownership, returning profits to their worker-owners in the form of patronage dividends, allowing them to directly benefit from the financial success of their business.
So, in order for you to get more information about this great solution to nowadays economic system I want you invite you to:
FREE FILM SCREENING AND PANEL DISCUSSION ABOUT WORKER OWNED COOPERATIVES
LETS Go Chicago and The Center for Workplace Democracy invite you to join their free film screening and panel discussion about worker owned cooperatives. This event will be hold at The United Church of Rogers Park (1545 W Morse Av.) on July 30th, 2013 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
SHIFT CHANGE is a documentary film by veteran award-winning filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin. It tells the little known stories of employee owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces.
With the long decline in US manufacturing and today’s economic crisis, millions have been thrown out of work, and many are losing their homes. The usual economic solutions are not working, so some citizens and public officials are ready to think outside of the box, to reinvent our failing economy in order to restore long term community stability and a more equal opportunities.
There is growing interest in firms that are owned and managed by their workers. Such firms tend to be more profitable and innovative, and more committed to the communities where they are based. Yet the public has little knowledge of their success, and the promise they offer for a better life.
Some case studies that you will find in this film are:
Evergreen Cooperatives are a new initiative bringing worker-owned green jobs to one of Cleveland’s poorest neighbourhoods.
Rainbow Grocery is the nation’s largest retail worker co-op, operating a natural foods supermarket in San Francisco.
Mondragon is the world’s largest example of worker ownership. Based in the Basque Country of Spain, this cooperative conglomerate owns $33.5 billion in assets and employs more than 92,000 workers, many of whom are owners of the group.
To learn more about the film, please visit: http://shiftchange.org/about/
We are looking forward to seeing you there!!