The latest State of the Sector report by the Democracy at Work Institute and U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives covers research on worker-owned enterprises through 2015. Three years into surveying worker cooperatives on a national scale, we are positioned to analyze stability and change—demographically, and in terms of business performance, wages, and benefits.
Existing Worker Coops
This resource uses diagrams to depict how the different forms of employee ownership are structured. It focuses on the two primary vehicles for broad-based employee ownership in the United States: worker cooperatives and employee stock ownership plans.
Worker cooperatives have increasingly drawn attention from the media, policy makers and academics in recent years. Individual cooperatives across the country have been highlighted, and substantive studies have been conducted of the worker cooperative experience in other countries, including Spain, Italy, France, Canada and Argentina. But what do we know about worker cooperatives in the US as a whole?
After working with professionals to determine which entity type is right for your worker cooperative, the next step is to work with professionals to develop your governing documents. Bylaws and operating agreements should include high-level information about the governance of the organization. They clarify and codify the democratic governance and ownership of your cooperative, help provide a structure through which the cooperative can grow, and provide a last resort for conflict resolution if relationships break down.
The Democracy at Work Institute/USFWC Press Kit includes information about worker cooperatives, why they are important, examples of existing cooperatives and development organizations, city government initiatives, frequently asked questions, and more.
This handbook walks worker owners and cooperative developers through the process of laying the groundwork for, creating, and implementing systems of accountability and evaluation in small to medium sized worker cooperatives.
Editable versions of the toolkit's appendices can be found here.
The absence of supervisors, who are charged with immediately identifying and addressing problem performance, makes the periodic occurrence of worker evaluations critical in a collective. This 1-page document outlines the importance of evaluations and provides tips on performing evaluations effectively.
Sample employee handbook for a worker cooperative. Provided in a word document for easy modification for your own cooperative.