Connecting the Dots #CTD – Poverty

Can worker cooperatives alleviate income inequalities? Cooperatives, or co-ops are one way to tackle New York City’s much-publicized inequality problem. According to an FPWA report released last year, the pay ratio between the highest/lowest-paid worker-owners in co-ops is between 3 to 1 and 5 to 1. That compares with a ratio of roughly 600 to 1 in traditional corporations. Thanks to the establishment of co-ops, small construction companies such as Roca Mia Construction in New York City are expanding their work to include demolition, landscaping, and clean up especially in light of climate catastrophes such as Hurricane Sandy. Housecleaner-owners of Si Se Puede have seen their wages increase to as much as $25 per hour. Working as a cooperative has allowed residents to create their own jobs, rebuild their neighborhoods, and keep the money they earn in their community. One year into their company’s existence, Roca Mia’s worker-owner Manual Escobar says he’s seen an improvement over what he was making as an employee and the business is covering its costs. Because existing cooperatives range in industry from childcare to computer programming, it’s hard to estimate what the potential for Roca Mia and La Mies might be, but the goal is to keep growing, to bring more people into the cooperative.
#CooperativeMovement #CoOps #HurricaneSandy