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Sat Apr 20, 2013, 01:45 AM

Worker-Owned Cooperatives: Direct Democracy in Action

http://www.nationofchange.org/worker-owned-cooperatives-direct-democracy-action-1366380176

At the same time, they are moments of immense opportunity when we can make strides and pool our collective power. The cooperative movement is experiencing a string of these moments now, and is burgeoning with renewed activity. I see this first-hand as a co-owner of the Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA), a worker-owned cooperative that participates in many co-op networks. Weve facilitated hundreds of co-op workshops around the country, and taught thousands with our resource

Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives.

Its our philosophy that cooperatives enable direct democracy and local control over the economy. As participants in the co-op movement, we help to turn flashpoints into lasting social change. Fortunately, the path to a community-controlled economy is well worn, and the adaptive responsive networks of the movement are buoying this energy. Over decades, these movement-based networks have quietly built support structures to transition us to a new economy. And with renewed demands for economic justice, they are springing to life.

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Reply Worker-Owned Cooperatives: Direct Democracy in Action (Original post)
eridani Apr 2013 OP
idwiyo Apr 2013 #1
99th_Monkey Apr 2013 #2
snappyturtle Apr 2013 #3
AndyTiedye Apr 2013 #4
Fantastic Anarchist Apr 2013 #5
mother earth Apr 2013 #6
eridani May 2013 #7

Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2013, 02:15 AM

1. K&R thank you for posting this article.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2013, 02:28 AM

2. Richard Wolff - author of Democacy at Work, is onto this as well

I did my graduate work on this back in the 80's, democratizing the economy one
job, one plant at a time. Sadly, only modest growth in worker co-ops and ESOPS
has taken place since then; but maybe it's an idea who's time has more clearly
come, in light of the recent meltdown, the rampages of outsourcing jobs, etc.

This really is what the early labor movement was all about during the 1800s, but
then they put all the union eggs in the collective bargaining basket; which worked
well for awhile, but that hasn't gone so well for workers during the past 3-4 decades.

This guy Wolff is an awesome speaker, informative and even entertaining one
might say. His arguments are 100% air-tight as near as I can tell.

http://rdwolff.com/content/democracy-work-cure-capitalism
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/3/25/capitalism_in_crisis_richard_wolff_urges

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 20, 2013, 04:22 AM

3. Yes, Richard Wolff came immediately into my mind too. He's well

worth listening to.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2013, 04:28 AM

4. Cooperatives Are an Antidote to Both the Greed and the Apathy of Capitalists

Capitalism does some things very well, and some things very badly.
Some things are not profitable enough for it to do at all.

Sometimes a cooperative can do it better.

I was one of the original members of the Cambridge Food Co-op when it started back in the 1970s. There was one supermarket in the neighborhood, known for high prices and produce that had always travelled 3000 miles in a truck, even when it was in season locally.

We built the Cambridge Food Co-op in a basement a few doors down and brought much fresher produce (and everything else), better prices, and a lot of healthy stuff that the supermarket simply didn't carry. The co-op was still there when I left the area some years later, I hear it has combined with another food co-op now.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2013, 08:24 AM

5. Kick

Check out Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Apr 21, 2013, 07:13 AM

6. Cooperatives are the way of the future. Can't beat employee ownership, it's all about "we" and THAT

makes all the difference.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 06:21 AM

7. From Housing to Health Care, 7 Co-ops That Are Changing Our Economy


http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/320-80/17199-from-housing-to-health-care-7-co-ops-that-are-changing-our-economy

Ideas for co-ops may flourish, but few people understand exactly how to make theirs real. The Co-op Academy is providing answers. Founded four years ago by Omar Freilla (who recently made Ebony magazine's list of the Power 100), the academy runs 16-week courses that offer intensive mentoring, legal and financial advice, and help designing logos and websites. Run by the South Bronx-based Green Worker Cooperative, the academy guides up to four teams per session through the startup process and has graduated four organizations now thriving in New York City. These include Caracol Interpreters, which is raising the bar on interpreter wages, and Concrete Green, which focuses on environmentally sound landscaping. Six more co-ops are in the pipeline.

"I'm amazed at how little knowledge and information is out there for the average person about how co-ops function and how to start one," says Janvieve Williams Comrie, whose mother-owned cooperative Ginger Moon also came out of the program.

"That's one thing the Co-op Academy really provides, the hands-on know-how." Even money for tuition ($1,500 per team) gets the treatment. Freilla is adamant that teams fundraise to cover that cost-even if they can foot the bill themselves. "By fundraising for the registration fee, you are promoting the vision for your cooperative, gaining supporters, and creating a buzz before the program even starts," he says. "That is just the kind of support that will propel your business forward, and while you're doing it you'll be getting an early opportunity to see just how well you and your teammates work together."

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