Cooperative Strategies 4: Support Services Coops with Platforms
The service sector is particularly ripe for the advantages of worker ownership. Platform cooperatives aim to restore worker control of contract work, facilitate the creation of new coops, and greatly improve financial outcomes for workers.
Previous installments in our series on what regions around the country are doing to support worker coops looked at ways to provide support to coops all across the economy. This final article in the series takes a dive into one important sector of the economy: services. Service workers in many fields are being squeezed by low wages, unpredictable hours, and increasingly precarious gig work. Direct care fields like home health care and child care face constant shortages of workers and high turnover. And across the service economy, the rise of platforms like Uber, Upwork, and Freelancer has further isolated workers from each other, reduced their control over working conditions, and limited their ability to organize. Democratic ownerships offer a way to transform some of these structural conditions, and coops are growing across the sector.