Platform Cooperativism Resource Library


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

Ra Criscitiello is Deputy Director of Research at SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West in Oakland, California, a labor union of nearly 100,000 healthcare workers. Her work focuses on the intersection of organized labor and worker cooperatives, and she has helped build several innovative employment models that collectivize the employment status of unionized workers on scale. Her most recent project seizes upon the opportunity in California created by the Dynamex decision and AB5. In the new worker-driven democratic landscape, her model allows for on-demand labor without compromising traditional union values or worker control. SEIU-UHW members are frontline caregivers, including respiratory care practitioners, dietary, environmental services, and nursing staff who aim to improve the healthcare system by providing quality care for all patients, expanding access to excellent, affordable healthcare for all Californians, and improving living standards for all workers.

Added April 17, 2020