Our Association is featured at Grassroots Economic organizing as a model for replicating worker owned enterprises. This volume of GEO also hightlights the development strategies of WAGES, Free Geek, and Inkworks / Design Action.
From the editor's introduction:
"In this GEO issue we have four articles that describe specific examples of worker cooperative replication. Joe Marraffino describes the structure and process of the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives, an association of worker cooperative bakeries in the Bay Area of California. He traces the history of Arizmendi and then describes the step-by-step process of creating a new bakery. Joel Schoening tells the story of Women's Action to Gain Economic Security (WAGES) based on his interview WAGES director, Hilary Abell. WAGES is a non-profit organization, also in the California Bay Area. WAGES was started by a group of social service providers who saw the need to develop quality jobs in their community. WAGES has gone on to start four eco-friendly housecleaning worker cooperatives. Based upon an interview with Free Geek founder, Richard Seymour, Jim Johnson tells the story of Free Geek. Free Geek is a democratically organized non-profit in Portland, Oregon that refurbishes computers for the community and ethically recycles non-reusable computer components. There are now nine organizations that have replicated Free Geek's business model. Last, Innosanto Nagara describes the history of Design Action Collective. Design Action Collective provides graphic design and visual communications services to activist, social change and other progressive organizations. Their story is unique in that they started as a "spinoff" of the graphic design department of Inkworks Press, an offset printshop worker cooperative in Berkeley, California.
"Interested readers may also want to refer to Jim Johnson's article on home care cooperative development in GEO issue volume 2 issue 1 entitled "Co-ops Unite to Support Worker-Ownership in Home Care" and Margaret Bau's "Building on Lessons Learned" web page on cooperative development. For a very useful a collection of working documents from worker cooperatives, democratic workplaces, cooperative developers and worker co-op federations from around the country, visit the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives' document library. "