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Worker-owned Co-operatives

Worker owned cooperatives are different than consumer coops (for example many food coops hire employees who work for the member-owners and have less of a say in what happens). In worker owned cooperatives, the work force collectively owns the company and decisions regarding the enterprise including wages and other benefits are decided through a democratic process not through the arbitrary decisions of a boss. Workers at Employee-owned businesses like United Airlines receive more of the share of profit than in traditional business structures but they still have bosses:(

The Sweat Shop Watch website likes to support worker cooperatives because, "we want the goods we buy to be made by people working under democratic and sustainable conditions, and we want to work in enterprises that themselves are democratic and sustainable...we see that such co-ops turn the workforce into owners eliminating "the boss;" they democratize control of the workplace so no one feels like a cog in a wheel. Because the property of the company is owned collectively by the workers and no one else, no absentee owner makes a buck off our labor."

Here are some resources on the Web to know more about worker- owned cooperatives. In the worker-owned links entry, you can find worker-owned coops to support.

Essays on Worker Cooperatives

The Mondragon Cooperative System is a large scale cooperative system in Spain that is often looked to as a model.

Article about worker ownership

A Links Website about Worker Owned and Operated organizations

Article on Design Collectives

Article on Worker Co-ops in The Twin Cities

Forum for Worker Cooperatives


None of these links go anywhere but this same page! Love the site! -shawn

we're trying to fix it! thanks for the heads up!

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