Monday, August 2, 2010

Are worker co-ops making a difference?

On the next Your Call, we'll continue our Agenda for a New Economy series by looking at how collectively owned businesses operate and how they are faring in today's economy. The co-op business model is gaining popularity from grocery stores to bakeries, preschools to house-cleaners. Do you work or shop at a co-op? What makes it different? Join us live at 11 or send us an email at Are co-ops one solution to our economic woes? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

Dan Thomases, worker/owner of Box Dog Bikes and board member of Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives (NO BAWC)

John Kusakabe, worker/owner of Arizmendi Bakery

Hilary Abell, executive director of Women's Action to Gain Economic Security (WAGES)

Jim Hightower, keynote speaker at National Worker Cooperative Conference 2010

Click to Listen: Are worker co-ops making a difference?


Bernard said...

For those who want to learn more of the US history of worker cooperatives, see Berkeley author John Curl's new book:
... and for an essay on the local history is here:

Boffy said...

Coming from Britain where the first Co-ops were established, I'm glad to see that the idea of worker owned Co-ops is gaining ground in the US. Globally, Co-ops now employ more people than do multinational corporations. Even David Cameron's, Conservative Government now argues that Co-ops can provide goods and services more efficiently than the State or private businesses - worker owned firms in the UK outperformed the FTSE 100 companies by 10%, last year.

High tech industries are particularly suitable for Co-ops, because its been shown that Co-ops are able to use Labour more effectively due to a greater degree of commitment and productivity from workers who own their business. The same is true ofr any buisiness that is labour intensive, and particularly where it is skilled or high value labour. I saw a while ago that in the San Fernando Valley some Porn actors had set up their own Co-op to ensure they had control over their output, and health and safety.

I've done some work showing the advantages of Co-ops from an Economic standpoint at The Economics Of Co-operation on my blog