It doesn’t stand for Corporation and it doesn’t stand for Company.
It stands for Cooperative
As in worker owned cooperative
So what is a worker owned cooperative?
Worker-owned cooperatives are business enterprises that are owned and governed by their employees. All worker cooperatives have two common characteristics: 1) member-owners invest in and own the business together, and share the enterprise’s profits, and 2) decision-making is democratic, with each member having one vote. Currently, there are over 300 worker-owned cooperatives in the U.S. operating in a diverse range of industries. While the majority are small businesses, with fewer than 50 workers, there are also notable larger enterprises.
Worker-owned cooperatives in the United States can be traced back to the early labor movement, when workers—especially artisans and craftsman—formed cooperatives while on strike or after a strike had failed. For example, after a 1794 strike in Baltimore, shoemakers self-organized a shoe production facility under worker ownership. In the 1880s, the Knights of Labor helped organize hundreds of worker cooperatives.
Worker-owned cooperatives play a critical role in building community wealth for several key reasons:
- They create quality, empowering jobs for community members.
- Since most workers are community residents, worker cooperatives are more likely than other businesses to employ sustainable business practices that do not harm the local environment, and profits are more likely to remain and circulate within the community.
- As democratically run organizations, cooperatives help member-owners develop critical leadership skills and practice direct, grassroots decision-making.
- They allow employees to accumulate wealth and build assets through having an ownership stake in the cooperative.