SOURCE: Up & Go

Up & Go

May 09, 2017 19:46 ET

New Home Services Platform Up & Go Shakes up the Gig Economy by Putting Workers in Charge

New York City service professionals take big tech into their own hands with new web app

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - May 09, 2017) - Up & Go, a web app that offers on-demand cleaning services at guaranteed fair wages, was launched today by four women-run worker cooperatives. In response to the influx of tech giants transforming the residential cleaning industry, the worker-owned businesses Brightly Cleaning Cooperative, Cooperative Cleaning of New York, and Ecomundo Cleaning Cooperative have teamed up to compete with a tech venture of their own.

"As home cleaning professionals and small business owners, we saw a need to adapt to the changes in our industry in order to reach more clients, while also maintaining our commitment to service quality and fair work practices," said Rosario Jimenez, a co-owner and vice president of Ecomundo Cleaning Cooperative. "We knew we needed to come together as worker cooperatives to make that happen."

On Up & Go, home cleaning professionals earn $4-5 more per hour than cleaning industry workers in the New York City-New Jersey metro area. Up & Go jobs yield an average of $22.25 per hour, compared to the metro area industry average wage of $17.27, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The worker-owned cleaning businesses, which are all majority women-owned, earn 95% of the cost of every Up & Go cleaning. The remaining 5% supports the costs to maintain Up & Go. Other home services apps keep between 20% and 50% of the service price.

Up & Go was developed with financial support from Barclays and Robin Hood. The Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, a neighborhood-based social services organization with experience developing worker-owned businesses, coordinated the project. CoLab Cooperative, a worker-owned digital agency, developed the web app.

"We are so excited that Up & Go will introduce the broader public to the excellent, high-quality service that worker-owned businesses provide, and to their positive impact on low-income communities," said Julia-Jean Francois, co-director of the Center for Family Life. "Before Up & Go, you might have only found out about these businesses if you were handed a flier at the farmer's market."

"The gig economy has brought tremendous change in the way we live and work," said Steven Lee, a managing director at Robin Hood, the largest poverty-fighting organization in New York. "Low-income workers have effectively been denied the benefits this new economy has offered. With Up & Go, though, we've invested in a worker-focused platform that democratizes access to work for women, workers without higher education, and other New Yorkers living in poor communities."

"This unique partnership between the Center for Family Life, Robin Hood and Barclays is a great example of how the private and non-profit sectors can work together to ensure more businesses and workers can access the gig economy in a meaningful way," said Mark Thain, a director at Barclays. "We look forward to supporting the launch and growth of Up & Go and wish all the worker-owned businesses success as they access this exciting new platform."

Up & Go is now available in New York City at www.upandgo.coop. There are currently three worker-owned cooperative businesses on the platform, representing 32 worker-owners throughout the five boroughs.

About Barclays
Barclays is a transatlantic consumer, corporate and investment bank offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US. With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 120,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website home.barclays.

About Robin Hood
Robin Hood, New York's largest poverty-fighting organization, finds, funds and creates over 200 of the most effective programs, to help 1.8 million New Yorkers learn and earn their way out of poverty. Because our board of directors underwrites all operating costs, 100% of your donation goes directly to organizations helping New Yorkers in need. www.robinhood.org Facebook: facebook.com/robinhood Twitter: @robinhoodnyc

About Center for Family Life
Center for Family Life, a program of SCO Family of Services, is a neighborhood-based family and social services organization with deep roots in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Since 1978, the Center has been a force for positive change in Sunset Park and a pioneer of effective services for children and families. Learn more at www.cflsp.org.

About CoLab
CoLab is an international worker-owned digital agency that started in 2010 in Ithaca, New York. CoLab designs and develops technology for organizations, universities and entrepreneurs, including the International Cooperative Alliance, United Nations University and Seventh Generation. CoLab has team members in Ithaca, New York City, Austin, Oakland, Montreal, Chicago, Taipei, Izola, Jakarta, and Chandigarh among others. The diversity of the members' backgrounds and geographies makes CoLab agile and uniquely empathetic. CoLab's mission is to create to a new economy of justice and cooperation while delivering beautiful, effective, cutting-edge technology to its clients. Learn more at www.CoLab.coop

About Worker Cooperatives
The worker cooperatives partnering on Up & Go include Brightly Cleaning of Staten Island, Cooperative Cleaning of New York, and Ecomundo Cleaning. These worker-owned businesses are all majority women-owned, and were formed with the mission secure good wages, safe work conditions, and build their business with dignity while providing high-quality cleaning services. Learn more at www.upandgo.coop

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Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Sylvia Morse
    Project Coordinator, Up & Go
    Center for Family Life in Sunset Park
    smorse@sco.org
    718-633-4823 x 32