Maharlika Cleaning Cooperative is a worker-owned business whose mission is to create sustainable, just and healthy workplaces for our community, clients and member-owners. We are committed to providing high quality, eco-friendly office cleaning services while creating stable and decent jobs through promotion of democratic decision-making, education and living wages.
We envision a just and equitable society where everyone is loving toward themselves and others, where we have freedom of movement and expression, and where we are liberated from forced labor and family separation. To achieve this, we organize our cooperative and community to overcome challenges and build our power collectively to create equal opportunity and a society based in harmony, unity and respect for the rights and value of all communities and families.
The founding worker-owners of Maharlika Cleaning Cooperative, formerly Damayan Cleaning Cooperative, began as members of Damayan Migrant Workers Association. Damayan is a grassroots community-based organization established in 2002 that serves and organizes low-wage Filipino workers, mostly women domestic workers, to fight for their labor, health, gender and im/migration rights; contribute to the building of the domestic workers movement for fair labor standards and dignity at work; and help build workers’ power and solidarity towards economic and social justice.
In 2014, members of Damayan identified the worker cooperative model as an effective strategy for building worker leadership and just workplaces. In collaboration with the Center for Family Life of Sunset Park, ten women completed a 12-week training in cooperative values, effective group work, cleaning skills and business development.
Damayan Cleaning LLC was officially incorporated in May 2015 and launched in September 2015. The founding members continue to develop their business and engage in leadership development trainings on a weekly basis.
As of June 2016, after one and a half years of learning, organizing Filipino low wage workers, and developing our Cooperative together, we are parting ways with Damayan Migrant Workers Association. We are grateful for all our shared efforts, collaborative learning and deep relationships, and are full of hope and respect as our organizations part ways. In September 2016, as part of this transition, our Cooperative has changed our name to Maharlika Cleaning Cooperative.
A Worker Cooperative
Worker cooperatives are businesses that are owned and controlled by the workers: In our business, the office cleaners are the owners. We engage in participatory and democratic decision-making, striving to reach consensus in all aspects of our cooperative.
Our worker-ownership model distinguishes our approach, as all cleaners are deeply committed to the success of the cooperative through worker education, ethical practices toward clients and members, and sustainable and eco-friendly products. Our cooperative structure builds community solidarity with the ultimate goal of social justice and workers’ rights, and guarantees a living wage and opportunities for growth.
Our worker cooperative is good for you, good for us, and good for the environment!
We are proud members of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City, and the NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives. We are also honored to use the cooperative marque of the International Cooperative Alliance.
Experience & Training
Collectively, cooperative members have over 100 years of office and residential cleaning experience. As Filipina domestic workers, we are well-organized, hard-working, thorough and trustworthy. We are all self-starters and eager to take initiative – there will be no need for you to spend energy telling us what to do.
Cooperative members have extensive experience and training in cleaning. Our qualifications include:
- Fully covered by general liability insurance
- 9 hours of training from commercial cleaning consultants, including green cleaning
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training
- Nanny trainings, including anti-bacterial cleaning protocols
- Customer service and marketing trainings
- 12-week cooperative training for members
- Facilitation, WordPress, Google Apps, bookkeeping, conflict resolution, anti-oppression trainings
Name & Logo
Maharlika means “power” and “precious” in Tagalog, our language in the Philippines. Our name embodies our commitment to building power collectively to help each other, our community and our clients, and our belief that all people are precious and important.
Our logo is the everlasting flower, a captivating flower that symbolizes the breathtaking beauty of the Philippines. The everlasting represents our strong unity, and our natural, bright and conscientious cleaning. In our country, we give everlasting garlands to welcome guests and celebrate accomplishments.
- Decent jobs
Partners & Collaborators
We are grateful to have the support of the following organizations: