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May 30, 2014 - June 1, 2014
Union-Coops: A Powerful Tool in a Broad-Based Movement to End Income Inequality and Create Transformative Economic Justice Through Worker-Ownership
At John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York
Today’s income inequality is at its highest since 1928, right before the Great Depression. While the 1% of our country is experiencing unprecedented wealth, the other 99% is experiencing wage stagnation and are working longer hours for less pay. This has left an inordinate number of people unable to provide for themselves and their families. The enormity and ubiquitous nature of today’s income inequality has resulted in a significant increase of Americans, of all walks of life, beginning to realize the structural ills of our current economic system, including the unacceptable social ills that stem from how our corporations are structured. Too many of our corporations are owned by absentee owners that have no loyalty to the communities they are located in and the people that they employ. These corporations are willing to exploit their current workers, offshore jobs to further exploit workers abroad, and pollute communities in the name of maximizing profits for a few while simultaneously degrading the lives of many. Such corporations claim that they operate in the best interests of our economy but we know better.
Prof. Carmen Huertas-Noble, CUNY Law, Michael Peck, Mondragon USA and Missy Risser, 1worker1vote will address why union coops are better alternatives to today’s dominant corporate structures. Union coop structures here and abroad provide viable models for building a meaningful movement for transformative economic justice. The challenge is bringing union coops to scale.