Platform Cooperativism Resource Library


Erik Forman at Who Owns the World Conference, convened by the Platform Cooperativism Consortium at The New School in November 2019. Forman 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?

Erik Forman is implementing strategies to transform the gig economy through cooperative development and worker ownership with the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate organizing app-based drivers in New York City and beyond. Prior to his work with the IDG, Erik spent a decade leading groundbreaking efforts to unionize the US fast food industry and other initiatives in the labor movement. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Added April 17, 2020