Mission: WAGES’ mission is to build worker-owned green businesses that create healthy, dignified jobs for low-income women. In our cooperatives, women gain good jobs, develop new skills, become leaders in their communities, and increase their economic security.
Results: Over the past decade, WAGES has built four successful green housecleaning cooperatives serving the Bay Area that have given hundreds of women the opportunity to become financially secure, gain business skills, and lead healthier, fuller lives.
Overall, co-op members earn 50-100% more than they would make working for a conventional cleaning company, and on average, their household incomes have increased by more than 50% since joining a WAGES affiliated co-op. Most have health and dental insurance, along with other benefits through the co-op, and members build assets through their retained earnings held within the business. The co-ops also prevent the release of thousands of pounds of harmful chemicals into our air and water each year.
The two largest co-ops average 30 members each and 1 million in annual sales.
Target demographics: Since 1998, WAGES has focused on creating jobs for Latina immigrant women, who become members of housecleaning cooperatives that use environmentally friendly cleaning techniques to protect worker health and the environment, while building stable, lucrative businesses.
I have corresponded with WAGES on several occasions to find out about housecleaning services. The people at WAGES are efficient, courteous, helpful, knowledgable and fair. I have never before looked into housecleaning services, but the fact that WAGES helps to establish green cleaning businesses; that these businesses are run as women's cooperatives; and that the women involved are working women striving for economic independence are all important factors to me.