“Acts of Refusal Are Really Important”

Members of the Architecture Lobby discuss unions and climate change with NYRA.

NYRA discusses cooperatives, employee stock ownership plans, climate change, and the broader possibilities of unionization with three members of the Architecture Lobby.

NYRA: What is the relationship between unionization and having a cooperative?

Rio Morales: Both structures codify relationships and how decisions are made. Workers can move forward with any combination of possibilities because they’re the ones codifying these things and inventing them. That’s what was exciting about SHoP coming out as the first unionizing effort. The workers at SHoP have defined what a union means, and that’ll be looked to as an example. But it doesn’t preclude any other combination.

Jess Myers: Increasing the density of unions within the private sector and architecture generally also creates conditions for cooperative structures. Because both define a unit of workers and you’re agreed to make decisions about negotiating towards a contract together. It doesn’t mean that you’re friends with everybody. But it defines a relationship in concrete terms, which is something that I think ar…

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