Manufacturing co-op to “work our way out of the climate emergency”

August 11: Over a hundred community supporters, environmentalists and trade unionists assembled on the steps of Trades Hall in Melbourne to launch the 100,ooo Australians campaign. A project of the Earthworker co-operative, the campaign is seeking to build a cooperatively owned solar hot water system factory in Morwell.

The project is hoping for 100,000 Australians to join the Earthworker Cooperative at $20 per member to raise the $2 million needed for the “Eureka’s Future” factory machinery, fit-out and finish in Morwell. The factory is to produce the Everlast tank, solar collectors and associated components, a unit which Earthworker explains is already successful in the marketplace.

“We are going to grow Australian manufacturing jobs which produce the renewable energy goods and work our way out of the climate emergency,” says Dave Kerin, national coordinator of the 100,000 Australians Campaign.

Everlast solar hot water system shown at Earthworker's Melbourne launch

“Starting with Morwell, Victoria, and then putting the same cooperatively owned factories across the carbon dependent areas of Australia, we are not waiting any longer while spoilers reduce Australia’s chances to pick up the manufacturing opportunities that will come once there is a price on carbon. Forget the blame, we want the jobs!

“Across Gippsland there is popular support for the Earthworker Cooperative’s push towards the first manufacturing plant, Eureka’s Future Workers Cooperative, which will manufacture solar hot water systems.

“In the wage clauses of Enterprise Bargaining Agreements negotiated between unions and employers, workers will have the ability to collectively purchase the goods and services produced by the manufacturing cooperatives, reducing their bills towards zero, creating jobs which never leave our shores and which attach training with a long term future for our young.”

To join up to the Earthworker co-operative, or find out more, visit its website

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