Join us for the inaugural film in the Projections series, Word Up’s winter series of film screenings with local filmmakers and neighborhood collaborators!
Ecomundo Cleaning & Word Up Community Bookshop / Librería Comunitaria
present Shift Change (69 min), an award-winning documentary that tells the little-known stories of employee-owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces.
Members of Ecomundo Cleaning—a cooperative business based in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx—will present their own experiences forming a worker coop. Worker cooperative developers Jennifer Welles and Joe Rinehart will also be present.
DATE: Saturday, January 25, 2014
TIME: 6–9 PM
LOCATION: Word Up, 2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
ABOUT THE FILM:
Shift Change—a documentary film by veteran award-winning filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin—tells the little known stories of employee owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces.
With the long decline in US manufacturing and today’s economic crisis, millions have been thrown out of work, and many are losing their homes. The usual economic solutions are not working, so some citizens and public officials are ready to think outside of the box, to reinvent our failing economy in order to restore long-term community stability and a more egalitarian way of life.
There is growing interest in firms that are owned and managed by their workers. Such firms tend to be more profitable and innovative, and more committed to the communities where they are based. Yet the public has little knowledge of their success, and the promise they offer for a better life.
Shift Change encourages support for employee ownership, and provides on-the-ground experience from a variety of enterprises and locations.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
Ecomundo Cleaning is a group of mostly women (and 2 men), from Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, who have formed a cooperative business in order to ensure ourselves decent wages and healthy work conditions. Ecomundo offers green cleaning services for homes, offices, and businesses in the New York Metropolitan area.
Jennifer Welles is the cooperative coordinator and housing developer at Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, where she is developing both low income housing cooperatives and a worker cooperative. She has overseen the conversion of several multifamily buildings into limited equity cooperatives. In this role, she wears many hats, ranging from facilitating the acquisition, financing and rehabilitation of the buildings to training and organizing the tenants to become responsible owners. Recently she organized the first worker cooperative in Washington Heights, Ecomundo Cleaning, a green cleaning company, which was launched in April 2012.
Joe Rinehart got involved in the worker cooperative movement as a Peer Advisor in the Democracy at Work Network. Joe is a former worker-owner at Firestorm Café & Books and instructor at Appalachian State University. Prior to that, he completed a Master’s degree in Industrial Technology at Appalachian State University with a focus on bio-fuels production, on-farm technologies and renewable energy. He taught in the Technology department and co-created and taught a course on Cooperatives and their role in sustainable development. Joe currently serves on the board of the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy. When at home in Brooklyn, NY he is generally working on perfecting his Kimchi recipe, riding his bike to the edges of the city, contra-dancing or trying to find a time and place to build an aquaponics system.