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

> More to the point, consumers and neighbors don't have a vote in
> cooperative decisions in your experience, do they?  

This is a very important, I think what your describing is the 'multi-stakeholder' coop and I have met many people from such coops - I don't know how formal the arrangement is, though.

I think your IBM example is a good one ( I didn't know this!) - and I am also thinking about the currently existing large worker coops as well - a vehicle without an intense drive or a cause withers, no matter how the arrangement is made.  

Major international banks, for example, and I used to work for one, have no social purpose - they have become mere predatory instruments of ever more capital gains.  You must be a sociopath to "make it" in that world.

So what are the worthy social causes?  I was brainstorming with a friend yesterday and the one that we decided to call it something like Software Empowerment.  We see that people should be more empowered, so that they can see everything that a computer does, no secret - instead of being a consumer of capitalist products they can "freely" choose and spend money on.

I think it is for such purposes, that worker coops will be more meaningful and useful. šŸ˜„


> On Jul 19, 2020, at 03:01, Stephen J. Turnbull <> wrote:
> ļ»æYasuaki Kudo writes:
>> āž¢ 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 ā€œcompetitivenessā€ compared to capitalist rivals.
>> Thatā€™s their main selling point.   So, many of them actually
>> create, formally or informally, a broader coalition of
>> ā€œmulti-stakeholderā€ 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
> considered.
> 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
> buying.

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