May 19, 2019
We chat with Walter Vicente, a Guatemalan immigrant and textile worker in North Carolina. But Walter isn’t just a worker … he is also a proud co-owner at a worker co-op called Opportunity Threads, a cut-and-sew factory in Morganton, North Carolina. As it says on the Opportunity Threads website: “Everyone in our plant is hired with the expectation of becoming a worker-owner. Worker-ownership means that if a worker stays on at Opportunity Threads they are given the opportunity to be an owner in the company... Ultimately the workers themselves and their families are the beneficiaries of the success and growth of this business.”
Opportunity Threads also distinguishes itself by the fact that most of the workers there are Mayan immigrants who are part of a vibrant community known as the Maya of Morganton. Together, they are showing that another, more just, more humane, and more communal and equitable mode of production and commerce is possible … one that puts workers and communities first.
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