Union Co-op Symposium Agenda

 

Stand Up and Build: Creating Worker-Owned Co-ops to Reduce Inequality

Union Co-op Symposium Agenda

 

December 1st and 2nd
Christ Church Cathedral
318 East Fourth St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Note: All sessions are designed to be participatory.  That will be accomplished through a variety of ways – small group work, various relevant exercises, question, answer, insights etc.

Printable schedule here.

 

FRIDAY,  DECEMBER 1st

8:30 am: Registration and refreshments

9:00 am: Welcome

Getting to know each other/Why we are here/ Mapping the Movement

Power of Model 

10:00 am: Sharing Wisdom from the Mondragon Experience for the Union Co-op Movement

Introduction: Michael Peck, North American delegate for Mondragon

Speaker: Isabel Uribe who studied at Mondragon University and worked at Saiolan, Mondragon’s premier co-op incubator, during a 16 year period. She is from Guadalajara, Mexico.

10:45 pm:  Break

11 am: Union Co-op Panel & Breakouts

Participants will briefly hear from one panelist from each of the subsequent break-out sessions to get an overview of what to expect (Main Hall)

11:20am: Simultaneous Interactive Union Co-op Break Out Sessions

  • Union Co-op Organizing and Network Building 101  (Main Hall)- Learn tips for organizing and building a union co-op network and ecosystem in your area from the Executive Directors and Board Members of Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative, LA Union Co-op Initiative, and Greater Dayton Union Co-op Initiative.  This will be a chance to tap into the wisdom of existing union co-op networks to get your questions answered.

Speakers: Kristen Barker, Katy Heins -- Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative

Liz Ryder, Gary Holloway -- LA Union Co-op Initiative

Lela Klein, Amaha Selassie -- Greater Dayton Union Co-op Initiative

  • Power of Union Co-ops for the Labor Movement  (Room A, 3rd floor)– How can union co-ops expand the organizing toolbox for the labor movement? What are their possibilities for responding to plant closings and business succession? Can they be helpful tool in adapting to the challenges and tapping into opportunities with the artificial intelligence/technological revolution and the gig economy? Can they be part of an organizing strategy that improves industry-wide opportunities? What could they mean in right-to work states?
  • Speakers: 
    • Phil Amadon -- Co-Founder of CUCI, Labor delegate for IAM-TCU 
    • Ellen Vera -- CUCI, Labor Organizer 10 years with UFCW &IUE-CWA
    • Rob Witherell -- United Steelworkers
    • Carl Kennebrew  -- President of IUE-CWA local 775
    • Roger Green -- Vital Brooklyn
       
  • The Promise of Union Co-ops for Rural America (Room B)—Can union co-ops be a source of jobs and wealth creation in rural America? What are the possibilities and challenges? Join this lively conversation between a labor leader who has helped launch a union co-op in rural Maine to co-op practitioners that have been involved in the development and support of co-ops in the South to the head of the National Cooperative Business Association who has a history with rural co-op development.
    • Host: Michael Peck, North American Delegate for Mondragon
    • Speakers/Conversants:                 
    • Neil Gladstein, International Association of the Machinists
    • Elandria Williams, Co-Coordinator Highlander Research & Education Center
    • Doug O’Brien – President & CEO, NCBA CLUSA (National Cooperative Business  Association  - Cooperative League, USA)
    • Ed Whitfield – Fund for Democratic Communities
  • Interactive Co-op Worker Experience:(Library)—A conversation where union co-op workers will share their experiences.
    • Facilitator: Maria Dienger
    • Conversants: Workers from Sustainergy, Our Harvest, and Apple Street will share their experiences. 

12:30pm: Lunch

 

1:15pm: Education and Culture Building Panel & Breakouts

Participants will briefly hear from one panelist from each of the subsequent break-out sessions to get an overview of what to expect.

1:30pm: Education & Culture Building Breakout Sessions

  • Practical Resources & Curriculum for Education & Culture Building in Union Co-ops  (Room A)

 This session will be full of practical resources that you can use for education, team building and culture building in your union co-op including Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative’s Worker Owner Workbook and many, many resources available through the Democracy at Work Institute. Additionally, learn about the community college union co-op curriculum and how you can bring it to your area. Finally, hear about Co-op U that will be launched in Cincinnati in 2018.

  • Speakers: Ellen Vera, Director of Co-op Organizing & Development, CUCI, 1worker1vote.org Board
  • Melissa Hoover – Director of the Democracy at Work Institute
  • Carmen Huertas-Noble –Founding Director of Community & Economic Development Law Clinic at CUNY, 1worker1vote.org Board member
  • Maria Dienger – Editor of CUCI’s Worker-Owner Workbook
  • Transformative Role of Labor inside a Union Co-op  (Main Hall)- What is the role of a union within a worker-owned co-op?  What does it offer to the co-op and the co-op movement? How does it function? How can it be transformative?
    • Speakers: Lela Klein –Executive Director, Greater Dayton Union Co-op Initiative
    • Michael Elsas -  Former CEO of Cooperative Home Care Associates in the Bronx
    • Keith Joseph – SEIU 1199 organizer who worked with Michael to develop the labor-  management committee at Cooperative Home Care Associates  
    • Neil Gladstein –Director -International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers
    • Flequer Vera - C EO of Sustainergy, CoFounder of CUCI
  • Interactive Co-op Worker Team Meeting  (Library)– CUCI offers on-the job-site weekly team meetings for our co-op workers to help build the solidarity culture, facilitate problem-solving, demystify finances, and further understanding about the model. Typically these last for 45mins to an hour. Today during the break-out session Kristen Barker will be leading three shorter team meetings to give more of a flavor of the variety.  All will be hands –on and participative. One will focus on the Great Game of Business, one will focus on practicing a communication technique CLARA, and another will focus on the Mondragon Principles.

2:45pm: Break

3pm: Union Co-op Showcase/ Mentor Opportunity – A brief overview of these practical sessions.  Then the chance to choose one sector and meet with people from around the country that are bringing union co-ops projects to life in that very sector so that nuts and bolts conversations can occur to help move projects forward.

                                    Simultaneous Break-Out Sessions                 

  • Child Care- ICA Group, Working World, Childspace Worker Owned Co-op, Ellen Vera   (Main Hall Front  Right)
  • Construction – Flequer Vera and Sustainergy team members (Main Hall Front Left)
  • Food Systems – Kristin Gangwer and Our Harvest team members (Main Hall Back Right)
  • Grocery – Christopher DeAngelis of Apple Street Market, Lela Klein of Gem City Market (Main Hall Back Left)
  • Home Healthcare –Michael Elsas of Cooperative Home Care Associates (Room B)
  • Mondragon – Isabel Uribe (Room A)
  • Renting Partnerships/Dividend Housing – Margery Spinney, Carol Smith, Maria Dienger (Room C)
  • Worker Owned Conversions Case Studies – Julian Massaldi of The Working World, Gary Holloway of the Los Angeles Union Co-op Initiative (Library-Outside)
  • Worker Owned Leveraged Buy-Out of Manufacturing/Industrial Services Company- Rachel Price, CUCI Business Consultant (Library –Small room)  

6:30pm: Creating an Economy that Works for All Party!!

 Speaker: Tom Conway and Awardee, honoring United Steelworkers member

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2nd

8am: Welcome & Connecting Exercise 

8:15am: Reprise -Union Co-op Showcase/ Mentor Opportunity

A brief overview of these practical sessions.  Then the chance to choose one sector and meet with people from around the country that are bringing union co-ops projects to life in that very sector so that nuts and bolts conversations can occur to help move projects forward.

Simultaneous Break-Out Sessions                 

  • Child Care- ICA Group, Working World, Ellen Vera 
  • Construction – Flequer Vera and Sustainergy team members
  • Food Systems – Kristin Gangwer and Our Harvest team members
  • Grocery – Christopher DeAngelis of Apple Street Market, Lela Klein of Gem City Market
  • Home Healthcare –Michael Elsas of Cooperative Home Care Associates
  • Mondragon – Isabel Uribe
  • Renting Partnerships/Dividend Housing – Margery Spinney, Carol Smith, Maria Dienger (Room C)
  • Worker Owned Conversions Case Studies – Julian Massaldi of The Working World, Gary Holloway of the Los Angeles Union Co-op Initiative (Library-Outside)
  • Worker Owned Leveraged Buy-Out of Manufacturing/Industrial Services Company- Rachel Price, CUCI Business Consultant (Library –Small room)

9:30am: Union Co-ops as Strategy to Fight Back Against Gentrification, DACA repeal, & Racism

Kristen Barker and Flequer Vera will host a conversation about how union co-ops can be a strategy to fight back against gentrification, DACA Repeal, and racism.

 Margery Spinney and Carol Smith will describe how Renting Partnerships/Dividend Housing is an innovative way of doing affordable housing where people build financial equity and community in the process of renting. It can help redevelop a neighborhood without gentrifying it or relying on tax credits.

 Missy Risser will  discuss the ways co-op worker ownership can be a powerful path forward for DACA recipients and other immigrants.

Roger Green will talk about the efforts in Brooklyn to build community wealth and de-concentrate wealth by building majority minority owned union cooperatives.

 Amaha Selassie of Greater Dayton Union Co-op Initiative and Gem City Market  will discuss their sensitivity and planning to keep the community and worker owned union co-op grocery store from catalyzing gentrification in their area.

10:45am: Break

11am: Panels on Capitalizing Union Co-ops (Main Hall)                 

11:05-11:20 Intro to the Mondragon Bank (Oscar Muguerza of Laboral Kutxa/Gatzenpresa)

11:20-11:35 Intro to the Financial Cooperative in the United States (Brendan Martin of the Working World)

11:35-11:50 Loans from credit unions, community banks, CDFIs (Ann Fedorchak, Brenda Phanl)

11:50-12:05 Learn how to bring equity into co-ops while maintaining worker control (Clark Arrington from the Working World, Mary Hoyer of the Wellspring Collaborative)

12:05pm Learn about private, local, state, federal grant opportunities that might support your union co-ops (Kristin Gangwer, Sherry Marshall, Lela Klein)

12:30pm: Lunch – Remarks by Labor Leaders (Pete McLinden, Dave McLean, Petee Talley, Tom Conway)

1:15pm: Financing Breakout Sessions –Choose One:

  • Intro to the Financial Cooperative in the United States (Brendan Martin of The Working World)
  • What does your co-op need to do to be loan ready before approaching credit unions, community banks, CDFIs Ann Fedorchak of National Cooperative Bank Brenda Phanl of Shared Capital Cooperative(Room A)
  • Learn how to bring equity into co-ops while maintaining worker control Clark Arrington from the Working World (Room B)
  • Learn about private, local, state, federal grant opportunities that might support your union co-ops Kristin Gangwer of Our Harvest Co-op, Sherry Marshall of Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Invest­ment Board, Lela Klein of Greater Dayton Union Co-op Initiative (Library)

2:20pm: Preparing for the Future (Main Hall)

Preparing for the Future: Worker Ownerships Policy, Role Of Conversions, Adapting to New Opportunities & Evolving Technology(Main Hall)

3:15pm: Inauguration of 1worker1vote.org National Network (1w1v Board ) & Next Steps

4:15pm: Closing Ritual