The employees of Community Printers are all members of the Graphic Communication International Union. As a worker cooperative, we support the idea that employees will contribute greatly to the success of a business when allowed to have input into how the organization is run.
Because every employee wears two hats at Community Printers; a worker and a manager, we are highly motivated to have good labor/management relations. Some of the most basic rights that we take for granted...the 8 hour work day...child labor safeguards...health and retirement benefits all came from American workers organizing collectively.
There are many reasons why labor unions in the private sector are shrinking today. We believe that our experiment in democratic management offers some insight into the positive roll that working together can have. Teamwork, not confrontation has been key to our success. Transparency encourages everyone to contribute to the success of an organization.
Difficult times can sometimes call on people to make sacrifices. Good times permit everyone to reap the benefits of our good decisions and our labor.
The workers at Community Printers are in an unusual position because everyone in our organization must maintain a fiduciary responsibility to look out for the interests of the company and an individual responsibility to look out for our individual interests and the interests of our families.
We don't pretend to have all the answers but we do believe that through dialogue and collaboration that we can continually improve our business.
We doubt that cooperatives will become a major part of the American economy anytime soon but we do believe that businesses everywhere are learning how powerful it is to cultivate participation at all levels of an organization. Partnerships between labor and management can strengthen organizations. In our global economy we must learn to work smarter or we will be competing with one another in a race to the bottom.