The Union-Coop Model (Moderated by Trebor Scholz)

  • Nov 12, 2016 11:30AM–12:30PM

  • The New School
    Wollman Hall,
    Eugene Lang College
    5th floor
    65 West 11th St

This roundtable is bringing together cooperatives, unions and worker associations to offer different models for how to watch out for today’s freelancers and independent contract workers. There is the Teamsters Local 117 in Seattle that represents Uber drivers in that city while the National Domestic Workers Alliance decided to create a set of principles for good work on digital platform in order to sway platform owners to abide by them. The initiative is promoting the union-coop model, following the common historical roots of unions and cooperatives. SMart, a cooperative that is active in 8 European countries is bringing tangible benefits to freelancers that have traditionally been provided by unions. Is the model of the functionalist union passé? What can independent unions look like in the 21st century? What are the prospects of the union-coop model?


  • Michael Peck Co-Founder & Executive Director of

  • Lieza Dessein Strategic Project Manager, SMart & Board of Directors, Coop

  • Frisia Donders Strategic Development, SMart

  • Dawn Gearhart Representative, Organizer, and Lobbyist, Teamsters Local 117

  • Palak Shah Founding Director of Fair Care Labs & Social Innovations Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance

  • Trebor Scholz Researcher, author, New School professor, and Founding Director of the PCC

  • Annette Mühlberg Works for the United Services Union

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