Give platform cooperatives a seat at the policy table


Image includes five women owners of a worker co-op posing with their products.
Worker co-op membership includes 62.5 percent women and 58.8 percent people of color. [photo: Joselito Briones/Stocksy]
NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Doug O’Brien is co-author—along with Trebor Scholz and Jason Spicer—of a new article for Public Seminar that argues efforts to reform economic inequality should consider platform cooperatives as an innovative force directly advancing worker power.

Scholz is founding director of the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy at The New School’s Platform Cooperativism Consortium, and Spicer is assistant professor of Economic Development/Planning in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto.

Responding to a report from the Clean Slate Project that consulted just one co-op expert and failed to mention cooperatives at all, the authors make the case that platform co-ops deserve a second look. The cooperative movement has a legacy of success in the U.S., and platform co-ops in particular are uniquely equipped to thrive as more and more work moves to digital platforms. And cooperative ownership of companies is more easily scaled online than offline.

“But,” the authors write, “there is still much that needs to be done to improve cooperative policy frameworks to enhance worker power in the U.S.” The article closes by offering concrete policy actions that federal and local actors can take.

Read the full article: https://publicseminar.org/essays/can-cooperatives-build-worker-power/

Public Seminar is an independent project of The New School Publishing Initiative produced by New School faculty, students and staff, and supported by colleagues and collaborators around the globe.

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