Episode 7: The Plague of Worker Expendability with Sabiha Basrai and Ricardo Nuñez

In this episode, we speak with guests Sabiha Basrai and Ricardo Nuñez about the plague of worker expendability in our current economy, and how worker owned-cooperatives are the cure. The coronavirus has only put into starker relief a problem we have always had--that the lives and well-being of many workers are considered disposable by the CEOs and shareholders of their employing corporations. So, how do worker-owned cooperatives give workers shared opportunity, rewarding careers, and the ability to make a living without cutthroat competition with each other? And how, in practical and legal terms, can folks start a cooperative for themselves?

Sabiha Basrai is a member of Design Action Collective in Oakland — a worker-owned cooperative dedicated to serving social justice movements with graphic design and web development services. She is Co-Coordinator of the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action where she works with racial justice organizers to fight against Islamophobia. Sabiha is also a member of the Center for Political Education’s Advisory Board and a part-time faculty member in the University of San Francisco’s Department of Art & Architecture.

Ricardo Samir Nuñez is currently the Director of Economic Democracy at the Sustainable Economies Law Center. The Law Center exists to bridge the gap in legal expertise needed to transition from destructive economic systems to innovative and cooperative alternatives. At the Law Center, Ricardo co-coordinates Legal education, research, advice, and advocacy to support the growth of a future of work that is democratically controlled by workers and communities. He is Board President of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and a board member of the California Center for Cooperative Development. He is also becoming a lawyer without going to law school through California’s Law Office Study Program (likelincoln.org).

Host and Editor: L.M. Bogad: www.lmbogad.com

Music: Jason Montero https://m.soundcloud.com/jamoja, and by my other friend named Jay

Sound effects clips from soundbible.com

clip art from nicepng.com

Resources and organizations mentioned in this episode:

Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives https://nobawc.org/

US Federation of Worker Cooperatives https://www.usworker.coop/home/

Center for Story-based Strategy and the 4th box thought exercise: https://www.storybasedstrategy.org/tools-and-resources

Designaction.org

Sustainable Economies Law Center https://www.theselc.org/

Co-oplaw.org

California’s Law Office Study Program LikeLincoln.org

Democracy at Work Institute https://institute.coop/

Project Equity https://www.project-equity.org/