Democratic Worker Cooperatives

Democratic Worker Cooperatives

The best way to get businesses to look after their workers, their communities, and their environment is if the workers themselves own the business and operate it democratically.

Worker cooperatives increase the engagement of people in their jobs because their income is tied to their productivity, which in turn increases the productivity of the business as a whole. Wage scales are more equitable, meaning less income inequality, and employment is much more stable in economic downturns because workers tend to democratically decide to take pay cuts instead of laying people off.

My policy suggestion is that workers should have a right of first refusal to buy their business if it is to be sold, along with government help for financing. This would help NZ move towards a worker cooperative sector of the economy that would compete with traditional employer-employee businesses, driving up working standards overall, and hard-wiring ethical decision making into the economy.