Solidarity with Madison!

The Red and Black Cafe stands in solidarity with the workers in Madison, Wisconsin, who are struggling to retain their right of collective bargaining.  Below is a statement from the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and their statement released on February 22, 2011.

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2/22/11

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
US Federation of Worker Cooperatives Supports Public Sector Workers’ Right to Collective Bargaining

The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) stands in solidarity with public workers protesting the State of Wisconsin’s Budget Repair Bill to protect their right to collective bargaining. The USFWC is a national grassroots membership organization of and for worker cooperatives, other democratic workplaces, and the organizations that support the growth and development of worker cooperatives. USFWC has several member workplaces in Wisconsin, including Union Cab, Isthmus Engineering, the Interpreters Cooperative, Cooperative Care of Wisconsin and Just Local Foods.

John McNamara, president of the USFWC Board and worker-owner at Union Cab Cooperative of Madison said, “We are at Ground Zero of the labor movement right now. The battle over public sector unions and their right to collectively bargain is our struggle. What happens in Wisconsin will help change the course of debate in this country, and we will prevent the Shock Capitalism advocates from operating.”

“Worker cooperatives are historically and currently part of the labor movement,“ stated Melissa Hoover, Executive Director of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. “ We promote the idea of democracy—not just in the workplace, but in the labor union structure and in our civic life. We support the workers of Wisconsin and internationally. Corporate handouts by governments cannot be paid for by working people.”

Two of the most basic principles followed by worker cooperatives worldwide are ‘democratic member control’ and ‘member economic participation.’  As institutions of economic democracy, worker cooperatives support political democracy and the rights of all workers to political participation.   The USFWC stands against this smoke screen to attack workers, sell off state assets, and destroy the ability of workers to engage in the political process. It encourages its members and allies to contact their legislators to oppose the “repair” bill.

For more on the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives:
www.usworker.coop

For more on worker cooperatives and their guiding principles:
http://www.ica.coop/coop/principles.html

Contact:
Melissa Hoover, Executive Director
US Federation of Worker Cooperatives
San Francisco, CA
(415) 309-5983
melissa@usworker.coop

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