Digital Labor

Ra Criscitiello


Ra Criscitiello is a Lead Research Analyst at SEIU-UHW in Oakland, California, a union of 80,000 healthcare workers. She is also a union-side labor attorney. She is building an innovative employment model that collectivizes the employment status of unionized workers on scale. In the new worker-driven democratic landscape, her model allows for on-demand labor without compromising traditional union values.

Union Worker Cooperatives, Portable Benefits, and On-Demand App-Based Dispatch
As Uber faces profound 1099 problems and the sharing economy has largely grown into an anti-union enterprise, new employment models must emerge that are truly worker-owned and that allow for collective employment. In the healthcare setting, low-wage hospital workers are often de-skilled and unionization is difficult. A new, more flexible workforce is possible. The union worker cooperative generates a productive workforce through meaningful and flexible employment, leverages collective buying power to purchase employee healthcare insurance on scale, insulates healthcare employers from the challenges and costs of re-training and layoffs that would instead be handled inside the cooperative, and grows the healthcare workforce by providing training and apprenticeship opportunities. The new model also moves unionized labor away from entrenched and antiquated labor-relations, shifting power and shifting as well what it means to collectivize labor and bargain its value.

Organizing Workers (and Non-Workers)
Sat, November 14
04:00 PM - 05:50 PM