One employee summed-up the problems of the late Gnomon Copies in this way: “Space was tiny, the air quality was terrible, the pay was lousy, the machines didn’t work half the time, and management just didn’t care.” In mid-1982, workers at the shop decided to take steps to change the situation; they organized; they unionized. By the end of that summer, they walked out.
The strike dragged on through the fall, with workers collecting strike pay — a fraction of their already low pay. One employee got through the season on the fish he was able to catch from local streams and by frugally darning his socks on the picket line. The rest of the striking workers found other forms of local sustenance; the Amherst community solidly supported the strike, local residents joined the picketers
A resolution squeaked through just barely ahead of the winter. Then, days after negotiations were successfully concluded, Gnomon was given
Then, in March of 1983…
a new copy shop opened in Amherst. Pooling their skills & experience, the old Gnomon workers launched their own shop above Wooton Books. Space was tiny, the air quality still wasn’t great and the copiers sometimes seemed nearly as close to collapse. But the shop that emerged from the preceding autumn’s strike was owned by its workers and run collectively.
Twenty-five years later, Collective has changed: entirely digital
Cooperative structure Collective Copies founded as a worker-owned collective co-op in 1983. Questions: What’s the difference between a co-op and a collective? Who’s the manager in a collective?
How do you decide what to pay yourselves — benefits and such? How does the business management end of things get done? (Who pays the bills?)Find the answers to the above questions at: “Coop made in USA”