Co-ops & Unions Campaigning for Decent Work


Uber and Lyft drivers in Minneapolis consider co-op launch

The local union is looking to join the New York based Drivers’ Cooperative after the ride-share platforms threatened to leave the city over a minimum wage hike

Taxi drivers in Minneapolis could form a co-op after ride-hailed platforms Uber and Lyft threatened to leave the city over a new minimum wage.

A new local ordinance in the Minnesota city has imposed a minimum wage of $1.40 per mile and 51 cents per minute for drivers. Uber and Lyft say this is not sustainable and have vowed to pull out of the city on 1 May.

“We support a minimum earning standard for drivers, but it should be done in an honest way that keeps the service affordable for riders,” said a Lyft spokesperson.

And CNN has reported an Uber statement, saying it is “disappointed the council chose to ignore the data and kick Uber out of the Twin Cities, putting 10,000 people out of work and leaving many stranded”.

But the drivers, who say current rates do not provide a living wage, are remaining defiant, and are considering joining the Drivers’ Cooperative, launched in New York City in 2020.

“Basically, if Uber and Lyft want to leave, they’re OK to leave because we have choices now,” said Marianna Brown, vice-president of the Minnesota Uber/Lyft Drivers Association. “We’re not going to be intimidated, we’re not going to be threatened by them.”

The union has been busy recruiting drivers to the co-op, with a message on X on 1 April saying “We’ve achieved our initial milestones for driver sign-ups. Now, we kindly ask riders to complete their sign-up process.”

Also working to recruit members is the Drivers’ Cooperative itself – which is also looking to launch its Coop Ride platform in Denver, Colorado.

Organiser Eric Forman told Lakes Area Radio on 30 March: “We just started today, and I think so far 200 drivers have signed up, so we’re hoping that number keeps increasing in the next few days. But we also need riders. So we’re calling on the people of Minnesota – get involved. This is going to be your company, make it happen.”

Driver recruitment is not the only challenge: the city of Minnesota also levies a fee of nearly $50,000 fee for ride-share services, and there are state requirements for liability and driver background checks.

Among those supporting the scheme is city councillor Robin Wonsley, who posted on X: “Minnesota has a century-long history of worker co-ops to break monopoly power … we have an opportunity to create a model for communities across the country to stand up to Uber and Lyft’s exploitative practices.

Miles Hadfield, Co-op News https://www.thenews.coop/uber-and-lyft-drivers-in-minneapolis-consider-co-op-launch/

New ICA video

“This is the story of how ordinary people made extraordinary things a lifestyle,” says a newly released promotional video launched by the ICA.

In three minutes, the video explains how the ICA plays a key role in connecting cooperatives around the world, advocating for the interests and successes of cooperatives worldwide and collaborating with global and regional institutions to promote the model.

The video has been produced by Bruna, a worker cooperative from Barcelona, Spain, specialising in filmmaking.

Watch it here:-

The role of the Labor Union in the Solidarity Economy

CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies are holding a free online seminar

Why not join them in a virtual panel discussion on the role of the labor movement in solidarity economy hosted by the Solidarity Economy Club at CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies on Friday, May 10, at 4.00pm ET (9.00pm BST).

Register at:-

FairFare is 1 and Growing!

Colleagues at Princeton University in the States (The Workers’ Algorithm Observatory) have run a really interesting project (FairFare) to study Uber’s profit take from its drivers.

Over 200 drivers have participated in a tech driven study of the margin Uber takes (steals?) from its drivers and the results (unsurprisingly) show they’re profit gouging. Who knew?

Read their blog post here


Post Office Mutual – CWU talks to Govt.

We are pleased to see the CWU and the Govt. have talked again about the possibility of a mutual to take over running the Post Office. This would be a great step forward, but it is important not to fall into the same hole as the “Big Society” so called mutuals Cameron foisted on the nation.


We will be reaching out to the CWU to offer our support of course.

The law was changed to allow this in 2011, but little has happened since. These talks are a great step forward, especially as Co-operatives UK are also involved.


WhatsApp Community

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Jonny Sopotiuk at the US Union Co-ops Council

Last year, at the June 2023 meeting of the United States Federation of Worker Coops’ (USFWC’s) Union Co-ops Council, Jonny Sopotiuk presented on the Union Cooperative Initiative (UCI), an exciting project out of Vancouver, BC which was founded in 2021.

In this video, Jonny talks about the history of our US partner organisation, the UCI, its co-ops and prospects, their strategies, and how the union co-op model is proving successful. 🌲

Lots more info is available from the US Federation of Worker Co-ops on their website 🌲
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Join us at the CECOP Conference on Wednesday

Conference Workers Buyout – what is the cooperative key to success?

08 Nov 2023 Event EaSI / ESF+ programme

CECOP is organising its conference “Workers Buyouts – What is the cooperative key to success?”, the flagship event of its campaign on skills #coopskills2023.


CECOP is excited to invite you to attend its conference “Workers Buyouts – what is the cooperative key to success?”, as the flagship event of its worker and social cooperatives skills campaign – #coopskills2023.

During the event, we will look at the support system provided by the cooperative movement, the know-how, technical, and human expertise it encompasses to make workers buyouts successful and sustainable in the long term.

When: from 14:30 to 17:00 (CET) | 29 November 2023
L42 venue | Brussels (Belgium) | Full programme coming soon

The event will take place in person in the L42 venue , situated at Rue de la Loi 42, Brussels and it will be streamed on Zoom.

Interpretation will be provided in English, Spanish, French, and Italian.  

Register here


This campaign has been funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.        

Democracy Audit

We are pleased to announce that one of our members, Martin Strube of Co-operative Solutions is offering to carry out a Democracy Audit for union-coops:uk corporate members free of charge (they would charge only for out of pocket expenses, travel etc.)

The Democracy Audit is a method of assessing the quality of an organisation’s democracy. It is an independent audit by Co-operative Solutions as contracted outside observers intended to “measure” the state of an organisation’s internal democracy.  

Many democratic organisations such as voluntary bodies, trade unions, or co-operative societies may be democratic in the sense that this was always the intention and is still the assumed norm.  However, a scratch at the surface may illustrate that all is not quite as it should be from a democratic perspective.  Organisations often lapse into customs and practice which may save time or appear simpler but in fact slowly diverge from the democratic intent of founders or independent reviewers.  

Assessing democracy – performing a “democracy audit” – is not routinely practised in the UK.  Occasionally organisations may revisit their principles and their constitutions in order to update them in line with current thinking or modern practices, but rarely do they set out to qualitatively assess the extent to which they may or may not be functioning in an objectively observed democratic way.  

If you’re interested in this generous offer, then contact Martin direct: martin(at)solutions.coop

CECOP Conference on worker buy-outs

CECOP’s Conference
“Workers Buyouts – what is the cooperative advantage?”
When: from 14:30 to 15:30 (CET) | 29 November 2023
L42 venue | Brussels (Belgium)CECOP is excited to invite you to attend its conference “Workers Buyouts – what is the cooperative key to success?”, as the flagship event of its worker and social cooperatives skills campaign – #coopskills2023.2023 is the European Year of Skills. As an organisation representing cooperatives where workers have a central place, CECOP couldn’t miss this opportunity to bring the workers perspective on the topic.

After all, who has the best skills to decide about the future of their enterprise than those that make it work?

Behind worker and social cooperatives, there are women and men with a multitude of different profiles, ages, qualifications, know-how, and experiences.
On one hand, cooperative skills require going beyond self-interests and engaging with others in participatory and democratic governance, with all the challenges that this implies.

On the other hand, cooperatives provide to their worker-members, from the weakest to the most qualified profiles, more than just a job. They invest in their skills, engage in life-long learning and provide them the possibility to have a say about the future of their enterprise.

During the event, we will look at the support system provided by the cooperative movement, the know-how, technical, and human expertise it encompasses to make workers buyouts successful and sustainable in the long term.

Save the date in your agenda and register already!

The event will take place in person in the L42 venue in Rue de la Loi 42, Brussels and it will be streamed on Zoom.

Coming soon: CECOP’s campaign #coopskills2023 – Stay tuned!