PEOPLE MEETING COMMON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL NEEDS TOGETHER

Worker Owned

A worker co-operative is a business entity owned and democratically controlled by the people who work in it – its employees. It allows employees to define working conditions, salaries and benefits, and share in surpluses in proportion to salary earned or hours worked.

Worker co-operatives date back to around the 1850s. Their development in the 20th century was closely tied to Catholic teaching, particularly to the principle of “subsidiarity” contained in the 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum, set out by Pope Leo XIII in 1891.  Subsidiarity is the doctrine that decisions should be decentralised – that a higher body should not assume the functions of a lower body which the lower body is able to perform for itself.

The largest number of worker co-operatives are in Northern Italy and in Basque Spain. In the latter can be found Mondragon Co-operative which employs over 70,000 worker-owners. Australia has only a small number of worker co-ops, though they are significant organisations for their communities.

Examples

Galactic Cooperative

Galactic Cooperative is a technology worker owned cooperative in Perth, providing advanced technical expertise across multiple industries. These include: 

Galactic Scientific – Providing scientific instrument, biomedical and radio broadcast support
Svelto Bikes – Creating stylish and exceptional electric bicycles
Galactic FX – Creating custom musical and electronic equipment

Type: Worker Owned

Industry: Purchasing and Supply Services

Redgum Cleaning Cooperative

Redgum Cleaning Cooperative is committed to providing high quality eco-friendly home and office cleaning services while creating secure jobs through promotion of democratic decision making, education, and living wages for cleaners. 

Redgum members recognise that country, located where Redgum have initially established its co-operative, was stolen from the first nations, the Kulin Nation of Wathaurong, Wurundjeri, Taungurung, Jaara, and Boon Wurrung peoples. Redgum members are committed to the cause of Treaty and pledge to take practical steps towards decolonisation in Australia. 

Year established: 2015

Type: Worker Owned

Industry: Purchasing and Supply Services

Resource Work Cooperative

Resource Work Cooperative

Resource Work Cooperative is a not-for-profit, self-funding worker’s cooperative based in Hobart, Tasmania. Resource Work Cooperative is the largest Workers Cooperative in Australia, employing 32 local Tasmanians. It can supply materials for renovations and art project, pick up people’s reusable goods for free or even sustainably deconstruct entire buildings.

Year established: 1993

Type: Worker Owned

Industry: Purchasing and Supply Services

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares