Co-operatives moving production overseas.

As a man who has worked as a factory supervisor, I have seen men at work first hand and managed them and their environment to keep the factory running smoothly. I tend to agree with you that a co-operative way of organising and running a factory could produce some benefits both to the company and the workers, but I disagree that the workers would not agree to moving production off shore if they had the chance. It is my experience that men come to work to have the easiest and most pleasant eight hours possible, and will shove the work onto someone else if the opportunity arises and they think they can get away with it. Consequently, if a factory staffed and run as a co-operative decides that the product they make can be made cheaper overseas, what would then stop the co-operative from doing this? Nothing seems to stop the capitalists from doing it, and I can’t see anything that would stop the co-operatives from doing it either. Itis mu opinion that they would have few qualms about doing it, if none of them lost their jobs as a consequence and their profit levels remained at least the same. They would then come to the workplace merely to distribute the imported goods, and to collect the money. If it is profitable for a commercial enterprise to do this, then it would be profitable for the co-operative to do this as well. Am I missing something here or is there something in the model you are using to set up the co-operative in such a way as to prevent this from happening?

Official response from submitted

Capitalists can and do move production overseas if and when profit opportunities can thereby be exploited (due to lower wages overseas usually). But notice that the capitalists stay at home and usually bring the profits back home too. In the case of a worker coop, that would not likely happen. When production moves overseas, so do the jobs involved and thus too the individuals in those jobs. Their lives would be disrupted and changed in ways utterly different from a group of capitalists making the comparable decision. Moving production is moving jobs. A worker coop move abroad would displace the worker and his/her family, etc., disrupting the lives of children, relatives, etc. And all that would be taken into account when the workers in a worker coop are making the decision as to whether to move production overseas or not. Capitalists making that decision are under no such constraints.

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  • David Monday
    commented 2017-07-24 03:37:22 -0400
    It doesn’t answer my question. If you could you please answer, I would much appreciate it. I can see no reason why they cannot do this as long as none of them lost their jobs.
  • David Monday
    tagged this with bad 2017-07-24 03:37:22 -0400
  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2017-07-21 08:58:05 -0400
  • David Monday
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-07-20 18:31:54 -0400