We will establish Australia’s first green workers’ co-operative, Eureka’s Future, manufacturing solar hot water units
A vision of a better world and not merely a bigger share of this one at the expense of others...
“Earthworker is a practical, innovative and visionary attempt to begin the construction of a new economic system that respects the environment and workers at the same time. Our planet and our economic future depend
on the success of such ventures.”
- Colin Long, Division Secretary, NTEU Victorian Division (and member of the Earthworker core team).
Climate change and conserving our natural environment is a challenge and an opportunity. We want to emphasise the latter. Tackling climate change requires us to transform our economy, to make it more democratic and to provide environmentally sustainable jobs.
Earthworker is a not-for-profit Co-operative with a mission to facilitate the establishment of worker co-operatives – manufacturing renewable energy technologies, initially solar hot water systems, throughout regional Australia; particularly in Australian coal regions. Money raised by or for Earthworker Co-operative, either via memberships, or campaigns like this one, goes towards this mission.
A licence to co-operate
“The question is ‘How does Australia achieve the new jobs in manufacturing, so that we are not only installers and maintainers in an economy which is already 80% service sector?’ Earthworker Co-operative provides an important part of the answer.” - Troy Gray, Assistant Secretary, Electrical Trades Union
Earthworker Co-operative wants to establish Australia’s first workers’ co-operative for sustainable manufacturing.
Initially, we need $9474.30 (AUD) to produce our first run of solar hot water units under licence from a supportive and respected existing Australian manufacturer Douglas Solar. Once we receive our first bulk order (most probably from an Australian workplace) (see our video for information about union-employer purchasing agreements) we will be able to produce solar hot water units straight away at the Douglas factory. Environmentally-conscious Australians who want to support local manufacturing - while saving money on their power bills - will have a new and exciting sustainable choice.
Earthworker eventually aims to establish Australia’s first green workers’ co-operative, Eureka's Future Workers’ Co-operative, manufacturing solar hot water units. Earthworker has a factory lined up in Morwell for Eureka’s Future to produce the units. We need to raise $2,000,000 (AUD) to establish the factory in Morwell so any money raised over $9474.30 (AUD) for this StartSomeGood campaign will go towards further licencing costs and any other activity towards the establishment of the factory.
If we reach our Tipping Point Goal you will become a member of the Earthworker Co-operative (unless you choose the $50 pledge). At this stage we can only join up members in Victoria. However if you are from another Australian state or territory don’t worry, you can still pay online (we will make you a member as soon as national laws come through to allow this – due this year). We are not taking international memberships (outside of Australia) but we have some great rewards that international supporters can pledge for (check out the diary from the Australian Conservation Foundation or the book on Co-operatives from Co-operatives Victoria).
"I encourage everyone to donate towards this union-supported initiative because, in its emphasis on jobs and the environment, it represents one practical way in which Australians can work collaboratively to respond to the challenge of climate change and achieve a low carbon economy.” - Ged Kearney President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
“Earthworker will provide meaningful work for our common wealth, utilising sustainable energy” - Kevin Bracken, State Secretary Maritime Union of Australia (MUA)
* Local job creation - including Indigenous Australians
* Quality education for young people - sustainable manufacturing
* Some surplus provided for social justice projects
* Quality housing, childcare, health, and other social benefits for a co-operative workforce
* A community-based answer to ‘free trade’ agreements that can negatively impact Australian jobs, communities, farmers and small-to-medium businesses.
Tipping Point Goal: $9,895.95 (USD)
All money raised will go to ensure our ability to manufacture under licence from Douglas Solar so that Earthworker can eventually establish the Eureka's Future factory, Morwell. Once we have reached our tipping point we will be in a position to pay Douglas Solar to manufacture under licence from them. Subsequent to this, Earthworker will buy the licence from Douglas outright. The cost of the licencing fees that we will have covered by this campaign with StartSomeGood will be subtracted from the final total cost to Earthworker for transfer of all licencing.
Total Funding Goal: $10,974.61(USD)
Our Total Funding Goal allows us to cover extra costs from Start Some Good (5% of total figure) PayPal (3.9%) and to our charitable fundraising advisor EQUBED (2%). Money raised over our Total Funding Goal will go towards eventual transfer of the licence and establishing the Morwell site.
Fundraising and administration
Pledges are not tax deductible; primarily because of the great rewards! EQUBED, of the Anglicare National Network, will collect pledge money for this campaign and ensure the integrity of our fundraising.
US (USD) to Australian dollar (AUD) conversion and administration charges (to Start Some Good, PayPal) (plus a contribution to our charitable fundraising advisor EQUBED) - means that the Tipping Point and Total Goal both appear differently to the figure we wish to raise ($9474.30 AUD).
“Power stations and council depot workers in the Latrobe Valley ask only one question about Earthworker: “When does it start?” - Richard Duffy, Assistant Secretary Australian Services Union (Utilities and Services)
"One of the prizes in this important crowdfunding campaign is a tour of our Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre. Our union has always supported Earthworker Co-operative because with Earthworker Australians get manufacture, installation and maintenance, the full production cycle our country needs." - Earl Setches, State Secretary, Victoria, Plumbing Trades Employees Union