How Economic Democracy Impacts Workers, Firms, and Communities presents findings from a national survey of 1,147 workers in 82 worker cooperatives and follow-up interviews with 15 participants—the first national survey of its kind. This novel data, collected in 2017, allows us to explore the impact of workplace democracy on individuals, firms, and communities across the United States. It also provides important opportunities for future research about how worker cooperatives can promote resilience and racial equity in this moment.
COVID-19 has devastated the small business community, and the clock is ticking on permanent shutdowns of small businesses. 45 percent of businesses believe they have less than six months until a permanent shutdown is unavoidable. Tens of millions are still unemployed. Millions of Americans will fall off an “income cliff” when unemployment benefits end.
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?
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.
The purpose of this study is to get as current and accurate a count as possible of the worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces in the United States. Some previous counts were done in the 2000s, and most recently the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives' study of the economic impact of cooperatives included worker cooperatives. But there were issues with all of these studies, and moreover none of them gathered data on longevity.