Can Unions and Cooperatives Join Forces? An Interview With United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard

The Coalition Against Big Taxi (CAB) vigorously supports the unionized driver-owned coop now being planned in Boston. The USW Boston Taxi Drivers Association (BTDA) is working with Chris Mackin of Ownership AssociatesDavid Hammer of the ICA Group and Melissa Hoover of the Democracy at Work Institute.

It’s important to note that the BTDA’s plan is still being formed, so at this time it’s not possible to describe which principles described below might be included in the BTDA co-op.

The United Steelworkers (USW) is committed to champion how unions can participate in the creation of co-ops. The opinions of United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard are profiled in the excerpts below from the article:

Can Unions and Cooperatives Join Forces? An Interview With United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard
By Truthout
Friday, 24 May 2013

…the idea of worker-owned and worker-run cooperatives has become ever more appealing as a possible pathway toward an economy that works for everyone. Theorists such as Gar Alperovitz have argued for the importance of cooperatives….

…the United Steelworkers take[s] an especially proactive role in bolstering the cooperative movement. I spoke with Steelworkers President Leo Gerard about…the depth of vision it will take to make union co-ops a serious part of the American economy…

…Gerard next discussed the structure of “union co-ops” that the Steelworkers have begun, in partnership with Spain’s Mondragon cooperatives….

….[unlike traditional companies, if]…you’re organizing a new operation into a cooperative, it has to start off in the open. It has to start off in a way where information is shared, and knowledge is shared, and decisions are shared. You want to have the kind of relationship where workers are more knowledgeable, are more involved, are going to make good decisions…

 

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