That sentiment, the desire to pull up those who have fallen, propelled Reid, along with partner Allison Basile, to start TightShift Laboring Cooperative last year. It is the only worker-owned cooperative business in D.C. comprised primarily of formerly incarcerated individuals and those at risk of entering the criminal justice system.
At TightShift, which provides moving, landscaping, and cleaning services, every member has equal say in the company’s direction. No CEO collecting bonus checks while workers eke out minimum wage. No orders dictated from boss to employee. Decisions are made collectively as a group. One person, one vote. As a cooperative, the company’s mission is far more holistic than simply profit margins and gross revenue. “My understanding of a co-op is it’s bigger than a business,” Reid says. “We’re doing a service to support ourselves, but it’s not about money.”
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