Jeff Crosby, president of the North Shore Labor Council in Massachusetts, is calling for research, proposals, and business plans to develop worker cooperatives in Lynn.
Economic development proposals range from influencing large projects to cultivating our own, such as worker-owned cooperatives. There is talk of a huge waterfront development adjacent to the poorest parts of the city. New Lynn will organize to make sure it creates union jobs and benefits those of us already here. On the other end of the scale, we are looking at proposals for worker-owned cooperatives in aquaponics (a self-contained system where fish and vegetables are grown side by side) and possibly in landscaping and manufacturing. We are already working with a Green Development Coalition, which launched an aquaponics prototype. We visited co-ops in Mondragon, Spain, and are scrambling to assemble the business and political expertise to make worker-owned co-ops possible. The idea is to create jobs for those written off by the neoliberal model—but also to create bases and support for our movement. In between the large-scale development projects and the co-ops, we will be involved in job training Most city councilors and neighborhood groups are at the mercy of the developers’ expertise, so we need Research to create convincing and documented proposals for our vision of the city’s future. We have allies in local universities who will help. By summer we should have a baseline study of jobs and demographics in the city. We have commitments to develop business plans for the co-ops, too.
Members of the LCGD (Tony Dunn, Michael Graninger, Mark DeJoie, John Runyon, and others) and MIT CoLab (Carlos Espinoza-Toro, Elisha Goodman, Shoko Takemoto, and Kevin Feeney) pose in front of the aquaponics demonstration system.