Worker Co-ops vs COVID-19

Signs indicating that indoor dining is closed and face masks are required

We know that workers have been on the front lines of the pandemic, too often with no real say in the conditions they’ve had to face and the risks they’ve had to take. Meanwhile, the net worth of American billionaires has grown by over a trillion dollars since the start of the pandemic. How would a more democratic economy have responded to the current crisis?

How have co-ops in the food industry and in the care sector stepped up to protect their worker-owners? How have traditional businesses found a path through the pandemic through a conversion to worker ownership? How have worker co-ops created opportunities for those traditionally excluded or marginalized in the economy to build workplaces centered around dignity and democracy? And what challenges and setbacks have these nascent efforts to build a new economy facing?

This special report has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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