Worker Cooperatives

Businesses that are owned and democratically controlled by their workers/employees (called "worker-owners").

The cooperative business and community model is both older than you think, and probably not what you think. Cooperatives have a history, especially in Buffalo, NY, and in minority communities everywhere. Clinton Parker explains how co-ops really work, how they can help some modern problems, and how you can get involved.

 

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[Editor's note: the following short article was first published in 2001, in GEO Newsletter #44: Democracy within Co-opsCollective Copies now has 33 years in operation and is still going strong.]

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[Editor's note: The two videos below come from the 2008 documentary Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas.  The full documentary is available on Youtube  in Spanish, as well as in Portuguese.

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1) Background
    i) Cuba has been engaged in a deep restructuring of its project to build socialism for a quarter of a century. 

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This paper conceptualizes socialist construction as a process of incremental reclaiming from capital of those resources that can best be held in common so that members of a community can achieve their fuller human development*.  Under democratic rules the community regulates the commons so as to ensure its accessibility and sustainability.  The formation of cooperatives is an instance of the socialization of the workplace.  By bringing workers together into self governing collectivities, cooperatives also contribute to the socialization of workers to a socialist moral order.  In Cuba a

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As the online "sharing economy" devolves into poor labor conditions and monopolistic practices, the concept of "platform cooperativism" offers a hopeful vision for a more democratic online economy. This new wave of entrepreneurs, investors, and business developers are merging offline cooperative economics with the Internet in creative ways. We'll discuss how far this emergent movement has come, and explore some of the challenges it faces in the struggle for the future of the online platforms we increasingly depend on.

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One simple strategy for supporting the growth of co-ops in the U.S. and Canada is for cooperatives, collectives and their members to use their purchasing power to support the cooperative movement.
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cross-posted from Shareable

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"You can never awaken using the same system that put you to sleep in the first place." -Gurdjief-

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A person can thrive only in a society in which they’re respected and let do what gives their life purpose. Once you experience this you can never go back. You’ll always try to improve and do your best for that society to flourish.

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[Editor's note: The 2nd Euromediterranean "Workers' Economy" Meeting is scheduled to take place October 28-30, 2016 in Thessaloniki, Greece.  The organizers are now seeking proposals from participants and allies and have asked GEO to share their request with our readers. Inquiries and proposals can be sent to info@euromedworkerseconomy.net]

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cross-posted from the Sustainable Economies Law Center blog

 

We want to create a worker cooperative…what legal entity should we form?

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