As a Union Co-Op, Worx Printing has a strong belief in fostering the cooperative business model in many different ways. Our company’s formation as a cooperative based on Mondragon principles is one signal of our commitment to the movement. (See the 10 Guiding Co-Op Principles we’re dedicated to.)
In addition to being a cooperative, Worx Printing was also incorporated with the belief that a worker’s union was an imperative. (Here’s more about the History of Union Co-Ops.) We are a union print shop that is a proud member of the United Steel Workers Union, which – though you might not guess from its name – includes a wide variety of industries and workplaces.
How do Cooperatives Work?
The idea of a worker cooperative is for the people working in the enterprise to have a say in how the business is run. In the Mondragon cooperative model, labor is sovereign. Capital is, of course, essential; but it’s subordinate to the commitment to workers and sustainable job creation.
With this model of operation, there is a built-in commitment to creating sustainable jobs that provide people with benefits, access to education, and career advancement. By creating and sustaining these jobs in the community, jobs stay local and so do the profits. Workers can become owners in the company, thus building not only individual wealth but also collective wealth.
Cooperatives like Worx help to overcome many of the inequities we see in our country today: lack of opportunity, insufficient economic and social mobility, and of course lack of income equality.
Union Co-Op Principles in Action: Who Worx Serves
Worx Printing has a strong cooperative alliance with F.I.I., a leading supplier of USA & Union Made merchandise.
F.I.I. is also a member of the USW union, and has a long history (over four decades!) of serving the merch needs of labor unions, progressive political campaigns, and nonprofit organizations. It’s a great fit for Worx to be F.I.I.’s union print on demand partner.
eCommerce for Political Candidates and Parties
Together Worx and F.I.I. have served the on demand printing and Shopify ecommerce store needs of progressive political candidates including Biden/Harris, Elizabeth Warren, AOC and others. We’ve also served political parties like the DNC, the Working Families Party, the Green Party and Democratic Socialists of America.
Merch for Labor Unions
Labor is raising its voice more of late, and Worx is helping it be heard. We’ve served the organizing merch needs of many, from Unite Here!, to the new Starbucks and Amazon labor unions, to even the new Scoopers United at Ben & Jerry’s (read about why this particular organizing effort stands out) and the striking SAG-AFTRA union.
Swag for Nonprofit Organizations
In 2023 Worx Printing was proud to launch a new offering for even the smallest nonprofits, which we call our “Swag Shop” stores. Using this option, nonprofits can:
- Offer up to 3 types of custom branded swag from our catalog
- Establish a custom landing page for the Swag Shop on the Worx Printing website
- Have Worx handle 100% of store operations, including sending swag right to their supporters
Support for Other Co-Ops
One of the important ways Worx Printing supports the Co-Op Movement in the US is through our work with 1Worker1Vote, an organization that is a resource for workers and businesses interested in creating union co-op business models. You can check out their latest book and other merch at their swag shop.
Some of the leading cooperatives Worx serves include Co-Op Cincy, which has done an amazing job growing the network of worker-owned businesses in the Cincinnati area and is considered a true model of what the co-op movement can accomplish. We also work with US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the Cooperative Fund of the Northeast, the Coalition for Worker Ownership and Power and Worcester Roots (in our home state of MA!), Democracy at Work, and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University.
We invite you to explore and support this vibrant ecosystem of companies and organizations in our ecosystem. If you want to learn more about union co-ops, or possibly even start one, check out the resources at 1worker1vote.org. Be sure to tell them Worx Printing sent you!