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Re: [tlug] Introduction to (Tech) Worker Cooperatives, 09:00AM on Sunday, July 12th JST

Yasuaki Kudo writes:

 > ➢ Not true in worker cooperatives.  Customers and society at large are
 >        excluded from decision-making.
 > This part is probably not true, based on my numerous encounters
 > with actual worker cooperators.   The reason is, the
 > community-focus, fair trade, fair use, etc., are usually at the
 > heart of their “competitiveness” compared to capitalist rivals.
 > That’s their main selling point.   So, many of them actually
 > create, formally or informally, a broader coalition of
 > “multi-stakeholder” business model.

That may be their business model, but of course for-profit companies
try to keep their customers satisfied too!  There are many capitalist
firms whose business models are based in multiple kinds of
stakeholder.  In the US, IBM was an example in the late 1960s and
1970s -- they were very good to their workers (all of them, not just
the execs) and the communities they drew the workers from.  Unions
never got traction.  IBM was rarely sued by their customers, but
frequently by their rivals and the government.

More to the point, consumers and neighbors don't have a vote in
cooperative decisions in your experience, do they?  That is, they
depend on the goodwill of the workers to have consumer interests

If I remember and understand correctly, in the German
"co-determination" model business corporations must have a certain
fraction of labor representatives on their boards, and maybe community
and/or government representatives (the "golden share" IIRC, but that
may be France and a different concept).  Note that even if I'm wrong
about that being the German model, that I can describe it at all makes
my point about the possibility of inclusion of community and consumers
(or their representatives) *with votes*.  You can also imagine other
rights that might be granted to "outside" stakeholders, such as the
community getting the right to enter the property to measure pollution
at any time, and consumers getting the right to see all internal
company research on safety and effectiveness of the products they're

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