Raising Brooklyn

By: Nicole Rothwell

A group of mostly immigrant women nannies formed a domestic worker cooperative, based in Brooklyn, New York. Despite caring for and raising the future generation, one cooperative member said she feels invisible on the street by the way that people treat her. Another member said that without nannies, the city would be forced to shutdown. Their crucial work, fuels the city that never sleeps.

It is an employee-owned cooperative with horizontal leadership and democratic decision-making being inherent to its core. A study by Professor Virginie Pérotin of Leeds University Business School found that worker-cooperatives are more productive and give more rights to its employees. The U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives found that there are “300-400 democratic workplaces in the United States” and the numbers are only increasing. The cooperative was granted funding through a community participatory budget vote and officially launched the summer of 2017.

This group of women from different backgrounds, countries and ages have come together to reclaim their economic and labor rights. These women are breaking down barriers to demand fair wages, just treatment in the workplace and to fight against racism, sexism and xenophobia.