white-collar co-ops?

Hi professor Wolff and D@work staff, I believe you've done a consistent and great job articulating the benefits of worker co-ops and the impact of Mondragon. I've been finding myself eager to hear your thoughts on how worker co-op situations can be enacted at companies that are larger and with more so-called white-collar workers who have specialized knowledge/skills. For instance, what might worker control look like at a software company, a marketing agency, an engineering firm, a law firm, etc.? And what are the preconditions necessary to make worker control a success in such organizations?


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  • commented 2016-08-12 14:02:54 -0400
    “… what might worker control look like at a software company, a marketing agency, an engineering firm, a law firm, etc.?”

    And, a large university, a large hospital (or hosp. network), an airline, a railway system …?

    “And what are the preconditions necessary to make worker control a success in such organizations?”

    Discussion of the Evergreen Collaborative stressed the importance of “Anchor Institutions” participating in the model. Then, Prof. Wolff sometimes mentions the role of government in creating the necessary conditions for coops to thrive. I often forget the role of government; then it hits me, government is picking the winners and losers! The capital class are socialized, and they exploit a relative freedom to extract private profit through their ventures. A few examples:

    Cities aren’t allowed to build public broadband to compete with private profiteers (http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/38530-fcc-loses-court-battle-to-let-cities-build-their-own-broadband)

    Government helping profiteers to privatize education, healthcare, mail and courier services

    I think Federal, State, and/or local governments might be the most important “anchor institutions” to empower a Coop economy instead of the exploitive economy. However, partnering with existing local anchor institutions might be required to sway governments from selling out.
  • published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2016-08-12 13:03:06 -0400

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