Platform Cooperativism Resource Library

Summary

There has been a long-running policy-level discussion on the role of worker ownership and management of firms in the European Union.1 Labour-managed firms (LMFs) are firms in which the suppliers of labour, rather than capital, have ultimate control rights in the governance of a firm, including the right to collectively hire and dismiss directors.2 The suppliers of labour also receive the residual earnings of the firm on the basis of their labour input.3 LMFs offer an appealing governance structure for firms due to their perceived positive effects on employee behaviour for firms4 as well as high survival rates during times of recession.5 From the workers’ perspective, LMFs provide job security,6 ‘positive energy’7 resulting from the knowledge that they work for their own benefit rather than for non-worker shareholders and act as ‘sites of solidarity’8 in a neoliberal economy where workers’ rights are gradually eroded.9 As a consequence, LMFs such as worker cooperatives have regained attention in recent times10 in view of the anxieties regarding job quality, income inequality, diminishing worker protections, and worker participation raised by the collaborative economy and the ‘future of work’.11

Added June 22, 2020