As communities across the country continue to suffer the disastrous consequences of the economic crisis, there is much talk about the need to create jobs. But what kind of jobs do we want to create? At Cooperation Texas, we are committed to creating sustainable jobs through the development, support and promotion of worker-owned cooperatives – businesses where workers have a say over key decisions that affect their lives and their workplace; where workers share the profits and losses equitably amongst themselves; and where people and the planet come before profits.
Worker cooperatives are part of what many people are calling the “New Economy Movement“, a grassroots movement for a more just and sustainable economy. On June 1st, Dahlia Green Cleaning Services became one of the newest additions to this growing effort, graduating from our Cooperative Business Institute start up course and launching the first worker-owned green cleaning cooperative in Texas!
Dahlia grew out of a partnership between the Workers Defense Project (WDP) and Cooperation Texas. In response to poor working conditions in the cleaning industry, both groups joined forces with the goal of creating dignified, living wage jobs with the worker-members of WDP. Through our partnership, we had the privilege of working with Eva Marroquin, Cyndi Jimenez, Brenda Jimenez, Maria Munoz, and Lorena Hernandez — five brave women who decided to take matters into their hands and create a new model for the cleaning industry in Austin.
Through our course, the members of Dahlia learned about the history, principles and values of cooperatives, along with the legal, organizational and business essentials needed to establish and manage their cooperative. Yet we learned just as much from Dahlia as they learned from us. Eva, Cyndi, Lorena, Maria and Brenda taught us valuable lessons in committment, solidarity, sacrifice and perseverance. Most importantly, they are demonstrating to all of us that a new economy is possible, and it’s being built right here in Texas.
If you want to see a new economy in Texas built on democracy, sustainability and cooperation, MAKE A DONATION to Cooperation Texas today. Your contribution helps us achieve our mission, providing community-based support for the creation of dignified jobs that put people and the planet first!
Thank you for your support.
Carlos Perez de Alejo & Kim Penna