Participation in Worker Cooperatives
This chapter discusses different models of worker co-operatives ranging from those that are predominantly economic associations, or a form of employee ownership, to those that are more collectivist and emphasize workplace democracy, community commitment and co-operative ideals. Worker co-operatives that focus upon employee ownership are primarily a variation of a business corporation; worker co-operatives with a more collectivist orientation are primarily a form of co-operative, but with members that are employees rather than consumers of a service, or primary producers, such as farmers. More recently, hybrid arrangements have been created that integrate a worker co-operative within a business corporation and a co-operative, a multi-stakeholder co-operative, or social co-operative. Takeovers of abandoned investor-owned businesses resulting in worker cooperatives are a growing phenomenon in South America.