Thursday, March 15, 2012

Aveda Etc...

Dear Mark,
Aveda may take great care of your hair, but it's not taking great care of some of its employees.
Nearly 12 months ago, workers at Dosha, a Portland, Oregon, chain of five Aveda-licensed salons, voted to form a union. But instead of working with employees to make Dosha both a great salon chain and a great place to work, management has pulled every trick in the book to avoid negotiating a contract.
Worse, two pro-union workers have been fired, and others say they've been retaliated against, spied on, and threatened.
These salon workers are counting on your support. They've been through the ringer trying to secure more respect and fair standards on the job. The company owners think the longer they put off negotiating, the greater the chance that their employees will give up their fight. And we can't let them get away with it.
In the beauty industry, image is everything. Let's make Aveda rethink its image as a unionbuster. The next bargaining session is Tuesday – so we urgently need you to express your outrage to Aveda and Dosha management.
They need to hear from you NOW. Tell Aveda and Dosha to cut the unionbusting.
The hair stylists, nail technicians, skin care specialists, and masseuses at this upscale chain are trying hard not be intimidated. They're committed to sticking it out and negotiating a contract because they love what they do. They just want a voice at work.
Explains esthetician Rachel Voorhies, "I love my job. I want Dosha to be extremely successful, and in return, I want to be able to make a fair living... and better serve my clients."
Unfortunately, that loyalty isn't being rewarded. In fact, things have continued to get worse for employees, and the National Labor Relations Board even issued an official complaint against the salon for the reported firing and retaliation. But that hasn't stopped management from installing surveillance cameras in the salon where support for the union is strongest and firing another pro-union employee just two weeks ago.
Whether on the shop floor or the salon floor, workers have a right to stick together, without their employer retaliating against them. If you agree, write to Aveda and Dosha today!
Thanks for all that you do for workers,
Hilary, Liz, Susan, Zoe, Michael, and the American Rights at Work team
 May 2012-October 2013

The Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD; is an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting worker cooperatives and the cooperative economy.  We aim to make the skills, information and networks necessary to run a successful cooperative business available as widely as possible through educational events such as our bi-annual conference.  Founded in 1999, the 2013 conference will be our 7th conference.

We are seeking an individual, team of two, or group to plan, organize, and implement the 2013 regional conference on worker cooperatives and workplace democracy.  The conference will be held toward the end of July 2013; we have yet to determine the location.  The Conference Organizer will work closely with the Eastern Coordinating Council (ECC - the conference planning committee), and focused sub-committees of the ECC.  If funding is available, the Conference Organizer and ECC may also choose to hire a secondary organizer in the Fall, with whom the Conference Organizer will work.

  • Attending conference calls with the Eastern Coordinating Council (the conference planning committee) at 1:00 pm eastern on the second Wednesday of every month
  • Fundraising- sponsor/donor appeal materials, sponsor outreach, grant applications, handling individual donors; assist with fundraising planning and lead implementation.
  • Working with ECC committees (specifically Communications/Outreach, Finance/Fundraising, and Local Host Committees;).  This will likely involve two additional monthly conference calls and email communications.
  • Working with the ECC to hire a secondary organizer in the conference location, if sufficient funds are raised.
  • Finances: ensure conference expenses do not exceed budget; assist the ECC Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer with budgeting and post-conference closeout;
  • Site: finalize contract negotiations at site selected by ECC; coordinate food, lodging, and logistics for and at the conference; serve as primary contact with site staff.
  • Marketing: reminder postcard/email, brochure, emails, database, content for website, updates to website, Pay pal
  • Accessibility- providing the infrastructure to make sure the conference is an open and accessible environment to people of all race, class and gender backgrounds.  This includes facilitating translation and interpretation of materials and workshops into Spanish and the provision of childcare during the conference.
  • Program planning: work with ECC and the local Host Committee to determine the keynote topic and presenters, plenary topic and presenters, caucuses, workshop topics and presenters, tour, entertainment, conference materials, and coordinating logistics for the live and silent auctions and awards presentations.
  • Registration: communication with individuals, intake of all registrations including presenters, management of registration database, management of all income and payments, management of lodging assignments, logistics at the conference, financial follow-up after the conference
  • On-site conference management to ensure smooth operation
  • Coordinate volunteers prior to and during the conference, as needed.
  • Conference close-out, including evaluations report, statistical report, and assistance to Treasurer with financial accounting.

  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Good interpersonal, writing, and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent time management and well-organized work habits; able to meet deadlines and work within budgets
  • Being self-motivated as well as working with a team/board of directors
  • Familiarity with event planning and execution
  • Experience working with diverse populations in cooperative/collective groups, nonprofits, and/or labor organizations
  • Must provide home office or other appropriate workspace.

Preferred but not required:
  • Ability to speak and write Spanish
  • Bachelor's degree, or additional graduate/professional training
  • Interest in renewing contract and planning future ECWD conferences
Time commitment:
This job will run from May 1st, 2012 through approximately October 15th, 2013.  Work commitments each week will vary, from 5 hours per week for the first few months of the contract to 20+ hours during June and July 2013.  During the weeks before and during the conference the candidate(s) will need to be available almost exclusively for work on the project.  Required attendance: five days at the conference Wednesday - Sunday in late July and possibly into early August (dates to be set) to assist before, during, and immediately after the conference.

$15,000 base salary plus a possible $1,500 bonus, based on achieving fundraising goals and keeping within budgeted expenses.  plus approved conference costs (registration, food, lodging, travel) and other approved expenses (to be negotiated).

The opportunity to work directly with myriad worker co-ops, ESOPs, labor folks, scholars, community development activists and technical assistance providers.

Submit cover letter, résumé, and three references to:  Those interested in working as a pair or team submit their resumes and references in a single email; only one cover letter is necessary per group.  Groups please designate a point person to interact with the ECC in your proposal.  In your letter, please address the issue of your time availability as described above.

Deadline: March 31st, 2012, 6 pm Eastern time.

The ECWD actively recruits candidates who reflect the diversity of the communities of members of democratic workplaces.  The ECWD does not discriminate against any applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, political belief, marital status, veteran status, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

It's Time Home Care Workers Are Paid Their Fair Share
Dear U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis,
I support the Obama administration's new proposed rule that would extend the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act to millions of home care workers who provide essential care to children, parents, grandparents, the disabled and others in need. The rule closes a loophole that leaves home care workers without minimum wage or overtime protections. The women and men who make a living by caring for the elderly and infirm perform important and difficult work and they should be treated fairly. This rule is a step toward achieving that goal.
"Debra Ness, National Partnership for Women & Families"

Complete Summer 2012 Project List Now Available
Finally, the wait is over! There are over 2100 projects in 69 countries currently listed on our Volunteer Project List! This large number of projects is sometimes daunting and makes searching for projects difficult. If you’re having trouble, don’t hesitate to email or call us at 802-540-3060. We find projects every day and can get you pointed in the right direction very easily! Below is some information about specific project categories:
TEEN: 150 projects for volunteers ages 14-17 are now available! Search the Volunteer Project List, highlighting all countries and selecting type of project "Teen". General information about VFP teen projects is available here.
FAMILY: There are 13 family projects currently listed, with most of them located in Europe though we do have one in the California! Search the Volunteer Project List, highlighting all countries and selecting type of project "Family".
OLDER VOLUNTEERS: Unfortunately no “senior” specific projects show up on the list right now. However, we’ve put together a specific webpage dedicated to 35+ volunteers and have a growing list of projects specifically geared towards having multi-generational volunteers! If you’d like to be placed on a project that already has an older volunteer signed up, please call us at 802-540-3060.
Volunteers For Peace, Inc.
7 Kilburn Street
Suite 316
Burlington, Vermont 05401 USA


Hey there SEN community,
It is almost time once again for the Left Forum - an exciting collection of workshops & panels taking on the issues of global capitalism in the 21st century!

We hope that we’ll see you at the Left Forum this year. The U.S. Solidarity Economy Network (SEN), as well as members of SEN have organized or are participating in a number of workshops that relate to different aspects of the solidarity economy. You will find below a list of these workshops along with a brief description and a link for further details. See you in March!

Solidarity Economy Panels

Community Economic Development and Worker Cooperatives
Sponsored by: US Solidarity Economy Network and URPE
Participants: Fred Rose -- Wellspring Initiative, Djar Horn -- Jersey Shore Neighborhood Cooperative, Al Campbell -- Union for Radical Political Economy
When times get hard, people often are forced to create their own livelihoods. The current economic crisis has seen an upsurge, especially in poor and marginalized communities, of efforts to create worker cooperatives. This workshop will explore the potential of cooperatives to not only create jobs, but also to consciously contribute to community revitalization and inform alternative strategies of community economic development. This workshop will look at examples of cooperative development in low income communities from the Jersey Shore, NYC and Springfield, MA. We'll discuss lessons about replicating these models along with the economic and community impact of this work.

Occupy the Economy! Building a Solidarity Economy for People and Planet

Sponsored by: US Solidarity Economy Network and URPE
Participants: Emily Kawano -- Center for Popular Economics and US Solidarity Economy Network, Craig Borowiak -- Haverford College, Al Campbell -- Union for Radical Political
Economy & University of Utah, Ana Margarida Esteves -- Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies,
Occupy the economy! The time is now to push for an economy that serves the 99% instead of the wealthy and powerful elites. This workshop will provide an introduction to the solidarity economy - a growing global movement to build an economy that puts people and planet front and center. It is grounded in principles of solidarity, equity in all dimensions (race, class, gender, etc.), sustainability, participatory democracy and pluralism (ie. not a one-size fits all approach). The solidarity economy builds on many existing practices and policies - both mainstream and alternative - and seeks to strengthen and connect these stepping stones to a just and sustainable economic system. The solidarity economy believes that it is critical to both build and resist – that is, build and strengthen solidarity economy practices such as worker cooperatives, community land trusts, or social currencies and also resist the oppression of corporate-dominated capitalism. This workshop will provide an introduction to the conceptual framework, the global movement including the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network, and concrete examples of the solidarity economy.

Mapping the Solidarity Economy - Locally and Globally

Sponsored by US Solidarity Economy Network
Participants: Craig Borowiak -- Haverford College, Ana Margarida Esteves -- Tulane University, Maliha Safri -- Drew University
Recent years have seen the rise of a global movement supporting what has been termed the solidarity economy. This movement, which consists of a networked set of diverse initiatives ranging from consumer and worker cooperatives to time banks and CSAs, seeks not simply to compel greater charity from the rich or to channel profit-making towards social ends. Rather, it seeks to forge alternative economies around principles of social solidarity, cooperation, and community-based development. Many of its proponents see the movement as providing alternatives to mainstream capitalist economies and as representing a counterhegemonic form of globalization to challenge the neoliberal globalization. In 2009, a global mapping initiative was launched in order to build awareness about the solidarity economy, to facilitate networking among solidarity economy organizations, and to help build solidarity economy supply chains. In this panel we will introduce and analyze the different forms this mapping initiative has taken and the different functions such maps serve in the U.S. and abroad. U.S. examples will be drawn from New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Western Massachusetts. International examples will be drawn from Italy, Brazil, and Quebec, among countries/regions. The panel will also analyze cosmopolitan efforts to generate a world solidarity economy map that seeks to integrate local mapping initiatives within a single platform while preserving decentralized content.

The Mondragon Coops and 21st Century Socialism: An In-Depth Analysis

Sponsored by: Dialogue & Initiative
Participants: Al Campbell -- Solidarity Economy Network, University of Utah, Carl Davidson -- Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, To Be Announced -- Solidarity Economy Network
A multimedia presentation--film clips, powerpoint and discussion--that goes deeply into the history and structure of the Mondragon cooperatives centered in Spain's Basque country and now spreading elsewhere. The implications of cooperatives of this type for present and future socialist projects, such as Cuba, will also be stressed. Carl Davidson of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism will be the presenter, with Al Campbell of the University of Utah and the Solidarity Economy Network as chair and respondent.

Worker Cooperatives: Building a Solidarity Economy

Sponsored by: Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society and
Participants: Ken Estey -- Brooklyn College / CUNY, Vanessa Bransburg -- Center for Family Life of Sunset Park, Jessica Gordon Nembhard -- John Jay College / CUNY and Solidarity Economy Network, USA, Cheyenna Weber -- SolidarityNYC, Chris Michael
The panel examines the growth of worker cooperatives in the US and the world as an alternative to corporate and employer dominated businesses. In recent years, the cooperative movement has expanded dramatically and becoming a viable alternative to workers who are seeking a workplace grounded in equality and democratic control. Worker cooperatives are also interacting with unions to build a solidarity economy throughout the world. Also, worker cooperatives are beginning to challenge the dominant capitalist paradigm that defends workplace and community over corporate efforts to expand profits even at the expense of closing down firms. This panelists discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead ahead for workers cooperatives in the US and beyond.

Workers' Cooperatives: the International Context
Sponsored by: Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society, Rethinking Marxism, and GEO
Participants: Ethan Earle -- La Base / The Working World, Peter Ranis -- York College / CUNY Graduate Center, Chris Michael -- Workers Development, New York City, Carl Davidson -- Solidariaty Economy Network, Jessica Gordon Nembhard -- John Jay College / CUNY and Solidarity Economy Network
As the capitalist economy is in a state of rapid decline, the panel examines the historic and contemporary relevance of workers cooperatives as an alternative to capitalist and private ownership of property and enterprises. The panel explores the trajectory of worker control in the comparative national contexts and its challenge to capitalist domination.

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