Why Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative?
By choosing an Earthworker Energy solar hot water or energy storage product, you will be supporting a dignified workplace that is run by its workers – all of whom take pride in producing our premium energy products to the highest quality.
You’ll also be assisting the creation of clean-energy jobs in Victoria’s coal-power centre of the Latrobe Valley – helping re-deploy skills from the coal industry into new energy technologies, and addressing our region’s high unemployment rate.
We will also contribute a 15% percentage of surplus profits towards social justice charities and supporting other worker co-ops to grow.
Earthworker Energy aims to provide a dignified livelihood to members by supporting, developing, and manufacturing sustainable energy technologies.
We strive to manufacture and supply top-quality and innovative products, and as a community-focused cooperative enterprise we strive to provide with excellent service and follow-up support.
We are committed to finding fair and practical ways to deal with the challenges of climate change and economic justice – by providing new-energy jobs in the Latrobe Valley and making premium quality energy-saving technology and services available to households (particularly low-income households) around Australia.
Who are we?
Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative is the trading name of Eureka’s Future Workers’ Cooperative Ltd.
We are a worker-run cooperative in Morwell, where workers have an equal share and a say in our our business operates. We are a group of people with a range of skills, experience and interests, who are passionate about local manufacturing and are committed to cooperative values, to sustainability and community benefit.
The Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative is the result of many years of work by the Earthworker Cooperative, and its members and supporters across Australia. Earthworker Energy is the first of many cooperative enterprises in the Earthworker network, which also includes the Redgum Cleaners’ Cooperative and Cooperative Power Australia.
Earthworker is a community-led initiative is part of the transition toward new ways of living and working that empower us to take care of each other and the planet. Earthworker arose from a dynamic partnership between the Trade Union and Environment movements, and broader civil society, all concerned with creating a more just and sustainable world.
In 2015 the Eureka’s Future Workers’ Cooperative Ltd established a relationship with reputable Australian manufacturer of a stainless steel solar hot water tanks, Everlast Hydro Systems. This partnership aimed to build the capacity of Eureka’s Future to manufacture in its own right in Morwell.
Unfortunately in 2016 Everlast hit the wall, going the way of too many small Australian manufacturers. Thanks to the remarkable community investment of over a hundred Earthworker Cooperative members, we were able to secure plant, equipment and IP required to manufacture Everlast’s patented premium-quality solar hot water tanks.
After a couple of years of fundraising, business planning and enormous community input (including countless working bees and a 100km walk from Melbourne to Morwell), the Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative factory was born in Morwell! We achieved WaterMark certification to commence manufacturing of the famous ‘Everlast’ solar hot water tanks in late 2017, and started our first commercial operations in 2018.
We look forward to growing our democratic business, and supporting the growth of other cooperatives and local businesses – creating a bigger and fairer ‘solidarity economy’.
Economic Democracy – a ‘solidarity economy’
Earthworker Energy is being established as a business that is wholly owned and operated by its worker members. At Earthworker Energy, the workers are the owners. Each member has equal voting rights and decisions are made democratically. We have no boss or external shareholders. This means we ensure our workplace is safe, we are invested in the quality of the goods we produce, we make decisions in the interest of our local community and profits are shared equally and locally.
Around the world, worker-cooperatives put power and resources back in the hands of ordinary people by letting them own and control their own workplaces. Co-operatives are prolific around the world. There are approximately 2.6 million co-operatives in the world with about 1 billion members.
We believe that if we are to properly care for our environment, our communities and those of future generations, then we need a proper say in the economy. Bringing democracy into the workplace is a good place to start. Our cooperative structure builds community solidarity with the ultimate goal of social justice and workers’ rights, and finding practical ways to deal with the existential challenge of climate change.
We are grateful to be supported by the following organisations:
- Earthworker Cooperative
- Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation
- Gippsland Climate Change Network
- Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union
- Electrical Trades Union – Vic Branch
- Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union
- National Tertiary Education Union
- Friends of the Earth
- Environment Victoria
- Sparke Helmore Lawyers