/r/cooperatives

Photograph via snooOG

Here is a place for news and information about Cooperatives (Co-ops), Democratic Workplaces, Collectives, Communes, Intentional Communities, Eco-Villages, etc.

r/cooperatives Rules:

  1. Follow Reddit Content Policy

  2. Submissions must be explicitly about cooperatives. If it is so broad it could be posted over dozens of subreddits, it should not be posted here.

  3. Don't be a jerk, please don't swear. We are here because we love coops. Refrain from insults, attacks, bigotry, etc.

  4. No Memes. Please post memes to more specific subreddits.

  5. Low Effort Posting: many answers depend on context, location, etc. If you are asking a question, give at least a paragraph of context, please. Also remember there are Consumer, Worker, Hybrid type Cooperatives. Basic clarification on Wikipedia

  6. No surveys without moderator approval. Message the Moderators

  7. Any self-promotional or advertisement content (about Coops!) should be generally in a self-post and have the majority of content on reddit. Posting a self-promotional link with no further information in the comments or not replying to comments is low-effort and spammy.

Other Subreddits:

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/r/cooperatives

20,314 Subscribers

13

(For Writing Purposes) How Would A Hypothetical Worker Co-Op Theme Park Function?

Hello! I'm an am amateur screenwriter. I've been toying around with the idea of an Office-style workplace comedy centering around a Disneyland-inspired theme park in LA, with the theme park itself been owned and operated as a worker coop. I am also an unemployed teenager who doesn't really know how businesses work in general. How would you suppose a theme park on the scale of something like a Disney amusement park would be internally structured?

1 Comment
2024/06/20
22:51 UTC

12

Seasonal campground cooperative guidance

Hello, we received a notice of sale for our seasonal campground. We are a mix of permanent (majority) with a few transit sites. We are currently organizing against the sale and have a majority needed to do so. We are trying to form a cooperative. I am looking for any information, resources, experience in how to get this ball rolling.

We would like to save our happy place so any info would be greatly appreciated!

3 Comments
2024/06/20
22:09 UTC

15

Worker Co-op Findings from the Cooperative Governance Research Initiative

0 Comments
2024/06/20
18:59 UTC

13

Legal Compliance issues

A question for co-ops that deal in industries with a lot of compliance issues.

I'm looking into starting an aircraft co-op. This would be a maintenance shop with a rental/flight training service attached with an eye towards apprenticeship for mechanics (think small aircraft, 2-6 seats and piston, not jets).

The issue is that in aviation, regulation covers most aspects of what can and can't be done, and has a huge effect on cost and safety. The A&P IA (certified mechanic) is personally liable for whatever they sign off, including work done by their apprentices. If you've got say, 2 A&P's and 6 apprentices, plus a couple office staff in a COOP format, how does democracy work with regard to things like compliance. If the certified mechanic states 'X must be done Y way' that seems to go against a coops democratic principals, on the other hand, they're personally on the hook for the work, so getting out voted doesn't work either.

Put another way: how does a co-op ensure that they stay in compliance with the law, even if doing so isn't popular with the worker owners? Again, this is a question of personal liability and safety regulations, so the issues around things like law enforcement, police, ect, aren't relevant here.

7 Comments
2024/06/17
16:17 UTC

25

Co-Op digital series

Check out episode 3 of our cooperatives digital series in YouTube!

2 Comments
2024/06/15
01:02 UTC

29

What are the best newsletters to follow?

I'm looking for a publication that follows co-ops, what new ones are starting and where, monthly updates from different co-ops, etc. Even newsletters started by co-ops themselves that document their journey from the start. If you all have recommendations for me to follow, please post them.

5 Comments
2024/06/14
17:41 UTC

20

Public housing authorities & coops

Hello all,

Are there any examples of public housing authorities (PHAs) in the U.S. working with or working to build cooperative housing? I work for a PHA which has a mix of section 8 and pubic housing but I understand our mission to be make housing more affordable across our jurisdiction and not just for our low income participants.

I’m hoping to see if there are any examples of PHAs or HUD programs that partner with or build coop housing so as to see how/if my agency is able to invest in expanding cooperative housing in my area.

Any tangentially related examples are also encouraged!

6 Comments
2024/06/13
22:58 UTC

145

Grand Opening of New Food Cooperative, Chicago

Wild Onion Market, Chicago USA, July 12, 2024 - $3M

23 Comments
2024/06/13
00:11 UTC

108

A Worker Directed Coffee Shop (Update!)

About a year ago my wife and I opened a coffee shop that represented the first step in a much larger plan to create tools, systems, and an ecosystem that will encourage more cooperatives to spring up in the United States. Here are some updates on our progress!

Original Posts:

https://www.reddit.com/r/cooperatives/comments/11dm1j1/a_worker_directed_coffee_shop/

https://www.reddit.com/r/WorkersRights/comments/11dm004/worker_directed_coffee_shop/

https://www.reddit.com/r/labor/comments/11dm59z/a_worker_directed_coffee_shop/

Shots of the shop and our team: https://www.instagram.com/beanchaincoffee

Recent Media:

https://www.azfamily.com/2024/06/06/mesa-coffee-shop-hopes-turn-co-op-business-model-an-effort-combat-poverty/

https://www.themesatribune.com/business/mesa-coffee-shop-aims-to-fight-poverty/article_daf35c7a-1a27-11ef-86f7-e74690e187f6.html

Materials explaining our plan:

https://miro.com/app/board/uXjVKEHnYlY=/?share_link_id=340995038916

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5-Lku4loTc

We've been able to build some of the components for worker direction so far like teams people on our staff can join to make more money for doing more tasks, casual voting, and forums to debate ideas with founders and co-workers.

We've been teaching every new customer about the concept of unions, coops, living wages, wage theft, and more! It's striking how many people have never heard of a cooperative in their life.

We've put every penny we have and all our hopes and dreams into this. We want to change the culture and build new norms in the business ecosystem of America by educating and making it easier to transition towards / sustainably run cooperatives in a world overrun by giant monolithic corporations. Thank you for your thoughts and time!

49 Comments
2024/06/12
12:50 UTC

43

What are some of the countries with the highest percentage of cooperatives?

Or the highest amount of them

8 Comments
2024/06/11
14:31 UTC

56

Hello, I have a business that I’d like to convert into an employee co op. Are there resources out there to learn/assist in this process? I’ve emailed Seed Commons but never heard back. Thanks.

13 Comments
2024/06/10
01:45 UTC

0

Are cooperatives the original meaning of socialism before Marx ruined that term?

It seems like the current definition of socialism of the means of production is a Marxist definition. But Robert Owen who was the first socialist was also the founder of the cooperative movement.

17 Comments
2024/06/09
05:54 UTC

84

Of ALL the companies out there never in a million years I thought that bloody LUDWIGS firm would become a Coop??🤧🤯 Maybe Millennials really are better than Boomers...

4 Comments
2024/06/08
23:32 UTC

36

I want to join a tech coop but don't know how

I'm a technical support worker with experience in troubleshooting software such as web servers, mail servers, DNS settings, etc. I also have some basic working knowledge of Docker and cybersecurity. I can help customers over e-mail, ticket and phone in English and Spanish, and currently make around U$50,000 a year.

I have wondered for a while how I could go about joining a tech coop, i.e. what's the process like, if there is any tech coop out there where my skillset could be useful and whether it is realistic to expect making the same money in a coop.

I would appreciate the insights of anyone who's a worker-owner in a tech coop clarifying these questions.

11 Comments
2024/06/03
18:49 UTC

22

People who work in cooperatives, particularly in UK, how does your experience compare with other types of workplace?

13 Comments
2024/06/01
14:27 UTC

6

How hard is it to pass NYC coop interviews? What do they ask?

3 Comments
2024/06/01
04:40 UTC

5

Monthly /r/Cooperatives beginner question thread

This thread is part of an attempt by the moderators to create a series of monthly repeating posts to help aggregate certain kinds of content into single threads.

If you have any basic questions about Cooperatives, feel free to ask them here. Please also remember to visit this thread even if you consider yourself a cooperative veteran so that you can help others!

Note that this thread will be posted on the first and will run throughout the month.

6 Comments
2024/06/01
00:00 UTC

20

Corvidae Coop

Corvidae Coop is finally financed, constructed, and residents are soon to move in.

https://www.frolic.community/projects/corvidae-coop

(I have no relationship to this project, other than as a cheerleader from the sidelines.)

3 Comments
2024/05/30
17:07 UTC

12

Collecting data on the number of Worker Cooperatives by country

Hello, I am collecting data on the number of WCs by country. So far, there are figures for fifteen nations. If you know of data for others, please let me know, it would be very much appreciated. The data will be included in this post on r/Cooperative, which is where I post data on cooperatives for easy viewing.

RankCountryFigureSource
1India38,880Sapovadia
2Italy29,414Eurisce
3Argentina23,000+Iglesia
4Spain17,339Voinea
5Columbia3,505Farné
6France2,600Fakhfakh
7Cuba2,322+Harnecker
8Brazil2,137+Lima
9Uruguay1,278Barrios
10US~1000DAWI
11S. Korea693+NPQ
12UK500+UCLAN
13Canada350CWCF
14Japan300+Marshall
15Paraguay117Barrios
0 Comments
2024/05/27
04:55 UTC

14

Going beyond the 501c3... cooperative and solidarity economics in the USA

TLDR I created this post because I wanted to create clarification on the various different 501c non-profit groups. cooperatives fall under a whole spectrum of nonprofits and there's a whole section of 501c. I thought I enjoy our Cooperative subreddit here so hopefully this will be beneficial for some people.

I have felt that cooperatives and voluntary associations can really build community, create opportunity lift people up and enrich their lives!

Link to the main Wikipedia page about it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501(c)_organization

501(c)(1) & 14

State and federal credit unions how cooperative banking is mostly done in the USA.

I am a member of a few state and 1 federal credit union.

– State-Chartered Credit Unions, Mutual Reserve Funds

Most credit unions in the state of Iowa are setup under this Charter. For loans saving and checking accounts.

https://www.iowacreditunions.com

https://mapping.ncua.gov/

I could write a lot more about credit unions but I am trying to just give a high level overview of the 501c's with some context.

501(c)(4)

– Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations, and Local Associations of Employees

I was a card carrying member of the ACLU and thus would support a group under this code.

https://www.aclupa.org/abouttheaclu/aclu-vs-aclu-foundation

League of Women Voters

Would be another group that would fall under social welfare org https://www.lwv.org/

501(c)(5)

– Labor, Agricultural and Horticultural Organizations

Labor

I was a member of the Communications Workers of America. The CWA represents workers in the telecommunications field and have done so since 1947. American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is the largest federation of unions in the United States. CWA is a affiliated union. https://cwa-union.org/

The NEA (Teachers Union) has a membership of just under 3 million people. The NEA is incorporated as a professional association in a few states and as a labor union in most. The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. It is not a member of the AFL–CIO, but is part of Education International, the global federation of teachers' unions. They were also granted a congressional charter from Title 36 of the United States Code.

Agricultural

I am a member of Iowa Farm Bureau https://www.iowafarmbureau.com/Member-Benefits It cost about $40 a year for membership Not sure about their insurance but they have a good subsidy program for gym memberships etc...

The American Farm Bureau Federation The Grange, officially referred to as The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, is a fraternal organization in the United States that encourages families to band together to promote the economic and political well-being of the community and agriculture. The Grange, founded after the Civil War in 1867, is the oldest American agricultural advocacy group with a national scope. The Grange actively lobbied state legislatures and Congress for political goals, such as the Granger Laws to lower rates charged by railroads, and rural free mail delivery by the Post Office.

Horticultural

I am not a member of any of these but I find them interesting

Becoming a Master Gardener https://www.extension.iastate.edu/mastergardener/

501(c)(6)

– Business Leagues, Chambers of Commerce, Real Estate Boards, etc.

I was in a Youth Leadership program when I was in high school. that was put together by the Chamber of Commerce. Realtors would fall under this too.

https://www.iowarealtors.com/about-us/local-boards

501(c)(7)

– Social and Recreational Clubs

I am a member of the Mindbridge Foundation. They sponsor IOCN Iowa and Anime Iowa Iowa science conventions.

Mindbridge is a 501(c)7 not-for-profit organization https://info.legalzoom.com/benefits-501c7-taxexempt-club-21731.html

501(c)(8)

– Fraternal Beneficiary Societies and Associations

I was a member of The Elks BPOE my grandfather and a lot of my family were also members of this group.

Other Groups that are 501c8 are Knights of Columbus ,Thrivent, Western Fraternal Life etc... https://www.elks.org/

501(c)(10)

– Domestic Fraternal Societies and Associations

I am a Master Mason thus a member of the Freemason of Iowa. under the governce of the Grand Lodge of Iowa I joined back in 2000's. http://grandlodgeofiowa.org/

501(c)(12)

– Benevolent Life Insurance Associations, Mutual Ditch or Irrigation Companies, Mutual or Cooperative Telephone Companies, etc. I worked at a phone co-op for years and love these types of co-ops thus I have a lot more info on them I have been interested in this business structure since high school :)

The two main ones that come to my mind are Power (REC) and Telecom co-ops

REC

the rural electric cooperatives were started during the Great Depression as a New Deal agency. at the time 90% of urban Americans had electricity but 90% of rural Americans did not the act that created this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rural_Electrification_Act

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/7/chapter-31

https://www.iowarec.org/iowa-co-ops/our-members

Telecom Co-ops

the REA law was updated to extend the act to allow loans to telephone companies wishing to extend their connections to unconnected rural areas.

https://www.ntca.org/ruraliscool/who-we-e NTCA has a self-funded Health Insurance and their own Pension Fund Not a 401K

http://reic.uwcc.wisc.edu/telephone/

243 - Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing for Improved Rural Telephone Facilities.

October 28, 1949 Link https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/library/public-papers/243/statement-president-upon-signing-bill-providing-improved-rural-telephone

501(c)(13)

– Cemetery Companies

I have a family burial plot in a township cemetery that goes back to the 1840's. I also have prepaid cremation plans with a membership in the Iowa Cremation Society.

No one really thinks about who owns the cemetery but having these groups setup help preserve history and loved ones. I am also really into genealogy.

https://medium.com/whatever-source-derived/till-death-do-us-part-family-cemeteries-and-section-501-c-13-f17898d70cd9

501(c)(15)

– Mutual Insurance Companies or Associations this could maybe formed as some sort of co-op?

South Florida Dentists Insurance Trust they are a SELF INSURANCE TRUST for malpractice or other really small groups.

501(c)(16)

– Cooperative Organizations to Finance Crop Operations

A group that would fall under this is https://www.fcsamerica.com/ they fall under the Farm credit Administration https://www.fca.gov/

501(c)(17)

– Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Trusts

Builders and Contractors Supplemental Unemployment Benefits Trust what a lot of the union building trades guys use when they get laid off.

501(c)(18)

Employee Funded Pension Trust

Pension funds created before 1959 think Teamsters and other union pension funds...

501(c)(19)

Post or Organization of Past or Present Members of the Armed Forces veteran groups like Legion VFW etc https://www.legion.org/ I have a lot of family that are members of the legion

501(c)(23)

this is for veteran groups that were established before 1880 and are more insurance based than social halls and meetings like the legion such as https://www.navymutual.org/

Anyhow hopefully this will be helpful they have many more numbers than just the ones I have listed here but these are the most common and then we have the big 501c3

5 Comments
2024/05/26
20:16 UTC

3

Health insurances cooperatives in germany?

Hello!

If I am in the wrong sub-reddit, please let me know!

I live in germany and I hate a lot about the health insurance system there (sorry for strong language but its true). Based on how it works, I can't see there being a cooperative system (genossenschaft) for health insurance, and my googling to that end proved fruitless, but I was wondering if anyone knew of any, or can discuss with me why there are none, and what would need to change to enable them? Would it be possible to set up a cooperative not exactly for health insurance, but helping people of the insurance doesn't cover it/they get into some kinda trouble with it? Really interested to hear your thoughts. Also, if you care to share - any kind of cooperative/ethical business structures in germany you think are worth sharing! Liebe Grüße:)

0 Comments
2024/05/26
17:52 UTC

7

Land/Neighborhood Cooperative | Recommended Reading?

Can anyone point me to material where I can learn, in depth, how a land/neighborhood cooperative works, legally and financially, that is? I am fascinated by communities like Blue Moon in Vermont.

One specific question I have at the moment is: what happens in the case of a founding member departing? Can you walk me through their equity situation? How is ownership of their house handled? Also, how is equity handled in the worst case scenario of complete dissolution of the community?

0 Comments
2024/05/26
15:01 UTC

8

Reddit Q&A #3 | feat. McKenzie Jones of Tribeworks and The Worker Place

1 Comment
2024/05/26
14:13 UTC

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