(In These Times) — work • place de• moc•ra•cy
1. Worker control of the workplace
“If you believe in democracy, then how in the world can you justify not instituting it in the place where we spend most of our adult lives?”
—Richard Wolff, author of Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism
Are workers really qualified to run a business?
Here’s a better question: Are bosses? Top-down businesses have brought us overpaid executives, terrible working conditions, environmental destruction and, often, poorly made products. Meanwhile, a 2016 study found that, overall, worker cooperatives—where employees own the business and decisions are made one-worker, one-vote—are more productive than their capitalist counterparts. In politics, we take for granted that unaccountable elites can’t be trusted and that everyone deserves a say. The same, socialists argue, should go for the workplace.
So, cooperatives, OK. How else are progressives building workplace democracy?