Legal, financial, and strategic support for worker-activists organizing to improve their companies.
Coworker Solidarity Fund is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that helps groups of workers raise and distribute money, form effective workplace committees, and experiment with mutual aid and organized advocacy to make changes inside their companies and industries.
History of The Fund
Tens of thousands of Google employees staged walkouts, and workers from schools to hotels went on historic strikes. Informal groups of workers used social media and received help from labor activists to take on the biggest companies and institutions with specific demands. For five years, our sister organization Coworker.org supported people in joining this growing movement, hosting and promoting worker-led petitions, conducting ‘know your rights’ trainings, and helping people connect with coworkers inside companies to take on leadership in their companies and industries. During this period, numerous grassroots worker groups emerged and signaled a readiness to take this activism to the next level. Coworker.org began researching financial models, organizational structures, and leadership development support to help workers go further: from raising their voices to using their power.
Several people working in the tech industry saw their companies punish or fire outspoken workers, try to divide employees and contractors, and hire specialists to disrupt workers’ organizing. They approached Coworker.org for help in creating a financial fund to support each other. In partnership with Amalgamated Bank, a social responsibility, pro-worker, social justice B-Corp financial institution, and a research team identified that a 501(c)(4) organization would be the most effective way to provide groups of workers interested in self-advocacy with a home to set up mutual aid funds, experiment with organizing and advocacy governance, and protect people from retaliation. Because no equivalent exists for non-unionized employees, contract workers, and nascent white- and blue-collar crossover organizing, a new entity would be needed.
A board of directors formed and incorporated the Coworker Solidarity Fund as a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(4) organization with the mission to increase power and participation in worker-led organizing in the context of COVID, massive job loss, a fractured economy and politics, and rising social movements. The Fund established the Tech Worker Committee, composed of people working in the tech industry with experience in workplace activism and organizing, to provide guidance and oversight to our pilot mutual aid fund. In December, the Fund officially launched its pilot fund and began accepting applications.
The Fund has distributed $130,000 in $2,500 stipends to 50 people engaged in workplace activism and organizing in the tech industry and its supply chain. Recipients include rideshare drivers, software engineers, and warehouse and delivery workers from over 16 states. Recipients are using this funding for a variety of needs, including covering legal fees, paying for materials and event costs (fliers, petitions, tech, advertisements, artwork, etc.), to developing and attending trainings, and redistributing to other workers in need. Some workers are using these funds to cover critical living expenses, like rent and car payments. With additional funding, the Solidarity Fund expects to re-open our grants portal for additional applications from workers fighting for a better tech industry.
As Starbucks workers in hundreds of stores voted to unionize in 2022, the Starbucks Workers Fund launched to provide crowdfunded $2500 stipends to workers facing retaliation for their organizing efforts. As of December 1st, the Starbucks Workers Fund has raised and redistributed awards to more than 60 individuals. The Coworker Solidarity Fund continues to expand our programs to support workplace organizing across industries. Fast Company named us winner of their 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards.
The Solidarity Fund Today
News from and about CSF, our partners, and peer-to-peer worker organizing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you donate to help whistleblowers and activists who are standing up to corporations? Are you a worker-activist seeking help? Are you part of a group of coworkers that wants to set up a mutual aid fund to help other people at your job? Are you just curious about this whole project? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Donate to our Worker Funds
We’re able to commit 100% of the funds contributed online to providing financial support to workers in need. Join others in donating $25, $100, or $500 to the Tech Workers Fund or the Starbucks Workers Fund today.
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