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

NEW YORK, NY – May 9, 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 (formerly called Coopify) 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 There are currently three worker-owned cooperative businesses on the platform, representing 32 worker-owners throughout the five boroughs.

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