Eureka’s Future Workers Cooperative – the first worker-owned factory is being established now through the acquisition of technology and know-how from long-standing reputable manufacturer, ‘Everlast Hydro Systems’ in Dandenong. Read about how we successfully raised the capital needed to help workers at Everlast mutualise (form a cooperative enterprise) through our debentures offer here. Once the first cooperative factory is established, and the Eureka’s Future Business Plan is rolled out, we plan to expand production into Morwell, in Victoria’s coal-dominated Latrobe Valley. This will provide much needed jobs for the Valley community whilst producing much needed renewable energy technology.
Thanks to a unique series of partnerships with small local and family businesses, we are starting to produce and distribute solar hot water systems now. CLICK HERE to see or order our hot water systems for your home, community or business.
A new way? Co-operatives and collective markets
Eureka’s Future is based upon an innovative business model, following from a detailed feasibility study completed by Earthworker and partner organisations. The centrepiece of this business model draws on the strength of collective organising and the trade union movement to support a collective market for solar hot water systems. Additionally, through partnering with the credit union BankAustralia (formerly BankMECU), low interest loans are available to support households get solar hot water.
Our Solar Hot Water Systems will be distributed in three different ways as part of our multi-pronged model:
- Individual web/phone sales
Households, individuals, families and business are able to purchase our solar hot water systems via our website or over the phone – reducing their power bills and supporting Australian manufacturing.
CLICK HERE to see or order our hot water systems for your home, community or business.
- The collective market – workplace agreements
This part of our model is one of the things that makes Earthworker and Eureka’s Future unique and strong. Earthworker is organising a new form of market involving the agreements which unions and employers negotiate (EBAs – enterprise bargaining agreements).
With an Earthworker Clause in their agreement, as part of the workers’ wage increase they can choose to order solar hot water – converting their wage increase into savings in their energy bill continuing into the future. Our data demonstrates that this investment is better than just having extra money in your pocket because of the savings you make over time taking into account electricity and gas price increases
Combined with finance options from BankMECU, this model provides unique access to solar hot water for working Australians and their families – allowing them to cut their households power costs and carbon emissions. It also facilitates a large collective market for Eureka’s Future products.
UPDATE – The Earthworker Clause has been locked in at two workplaces already – including Federation University (which now owns the old Monash Gippsland campus in the Latrobe Valley). Workers now have the option of choosing a solar hot water system as part of their negotiated wage increase! Get in touch to find out more.
- Replacing old systems and supplying plumbing networks
Through agreements with our plumbing network. Eureka’s Future will manufacture Everlast’s Solar Ready water tank for supply into regional plumbing businesses. This means plumbers can now replace blown out hot water systems with locally-made Solar Ready tanks that facilitate the use of solar hot water, and will provide a steady flow of work for Eureka’s Future.
Earthworker’s unique partnerships with Everlast and Siddons
It is thanks to our unique partnerships with small local businesses, Everlast and Siddons, that Earthworker is able to start distributing solar hot water systems now, even while we are establishing the first Eureka’s Future factory.
Everlast has been manufacturing water tanks in Dandenong for years, and despite the overwhelming trend of sending production offshore, remains committed to supporting and maintaining local manufacturing. We are now supporting Everlast workers and others to prepare for the establishment of Eureka’s Future – the first worker-owned manufacturing cooperative – a process you can continue to support through our 100,000 Australians Campaign!
Through Australian company, Siddons, we have the rights to manufacture the BOLT-ON here in Australia. Siddons, like almost all other renewable energy companies, is producing their first batch of BOLT-ON’s overseas. We will take on manufacturing components of the BOLT-ON right here in worker-owned factories. As our capacity increases, we aim to manufacture more and more of the BOLT-ON.
With your support, we can bring manufacturing jobs and skills back into our communities, and build the renewable energy technology we need to address the climate crisis. Each system we produce and sell now is a step towards manufacturing in our own right in Morwell.