Platform Cooperativism Resource Library


David O’Connell at Who Owns the World Conference, convened by the Platform Cooperativism Consortium at The New School in November 2019. O’Connell is a speaker for Town Hall 2 – Labor Power for the Platform Economy Now! Digital Labor Is Not Free panel discussion.

About This Town Hall
The world of work is not working for too many people. Labor Law in many countries including the United States is broken. That’s why we ask: What are innovative forms of associational power for workers in the gig economy? Can we re-imagine and rebuild the gig economy in a fundamentally fairer way? How important a role does ownership – and Employee Stock Ownership Plans in particular- play in creating leverage for platform workers? How aware are workers of the ownership option? Do cooperatives emerge when unions fail, or do unions have an essential role to play in co-op development? How much hope do we place in the enforcement of AB5, a law passed by the California State Senate requiring platforms such as Uber and Lyft to treat their drivers as employees? How can technology help to link up, organize, and empower geographically dispersed workers?

David is a trade unionist from the United Kingdom currently writing his doctoral thesis in Germany. As a trade unionist, he has organized workers in a number of industries, including construction, retail and logistics, in three countries. He is currently a member of the United Service Workers Union (ver.di) and the Industrial Metalworkers Union (IG Metall) in Germany. In Germany, he has established a works council in a small company, served in it, and assisted other works councils in the metal industry. His current research, funded by the Hans Boeckler Foundation, focuses on the means by which trade unions can convert existing firms to employee ownership, and the benefits to the workers and the union in terms of increased power resources which result from this strategy.

Added April 17, 2020