Labor struggle at a faux coop in Northampton, MA

There is a campaign occurring at River Valley "Coop" in Northampton, MA. There, customers, not workers, are part owners of the enterprise, and at present workers are fighting for a living wage and compensation for mandated work-related transportation time (see links below). I think this case could be a useful means of illustrating what workplace democracy is and is not.

Official response from submitted

Such conflicts do illustrate the differences among coops (such as, in this case, between enterprises whose customers function cooperatively versus those whose employees do so). Of course, cooperatives can and do vary. Coops could be either or both of the above-mentioned types. If both the customer and worker communities are cooperativized, they will have to work out how they will together operate/direct the enterprise given their basically quite different relationships to the enterprise. I dont think much is gained by describing one sort of cooperativized enterprise "faux" and others presumably "real." It just matters that we all understand the important differences among the general term "coop" and think through the implications of those differences.

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  • Joshua Weitz
    commented 2017-07-05 12:23:37 -0400
    Dr. Wolff,

    Point taken. More terms used out of irritation than an attempt at objectively assessing different types of cooperatives.


  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2017-06-26 15:11:47 -0400
  • Joshua Weitz
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-06-24 16:15:41 -0400