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Stakeholder theory approach to personal support work: A case study of a home care workers’ co‑operative
Simon Berge and Koudima Bokoumbo, pp. 5-16
Canada’s ageing population relies on an eldercare system focused on a shareholder, for-profit, institutional approach that considers caregivers as labourers and expenses. As a result, personal support workers (PSWs) are leaving the care sector due to poor pay, erratic work hours and poor working environments created by long-term care facilities reducing costs to improve profit margins. This paper will examine the empowerment of the PSW stakeholder group through a co-operative organisational model focused on stakeholder management. In response to poor working conditions, a group of PSWs established a worker co-operative focused on home-based eldercare and the improvement of PSW working conditions. This exploratory case study will consist of documentary analysis and a survey. The results compare the workers’ experiences to an earlier survey of PSWs, suggesting that the co-operative model allows for greater empowerment and engagement of the workers. The paper concludes by considering the practical implications for healthcare delivery.
The Hansalim Life Movement and new cooperativism in South Korea
Jonathan Dolley , pp. 17-25
The concept of New Cooperativism (NC) marks a shift in thinking and practice among a growing number of academics and activists seeking to draw the global co-operative movement back to its roots in the values of mutual solidarity and resistance against oppression. Crucially, it moves the debate beyond economic arguments for co-operative models to introduce a more holistic perspective which explores the political, ecological, social, and ethical implications of more inclusive forms of co‑operation. Until now, however, the literature on NC has focused on its emergence in North America, Europe, and South America since the 1970s. This article argues that the Hansalim Life Movement shares many of the values and characteristics of NC. Hansalim’s growth into a large multi-stakeholder federation of producer and consumer co-operatives gives them unique insights into the opportunities and challenges of implementing NC values in practice. To demonstrate the alignment of Hansalim with the emerging concept of NC, I present a re-framing of NC across four dimensions which forms the basis of a brief outline of Hansalim’s values, structure, and activities. These are: purpose, ethic, political-economic orientation, and governance. I conclude by suggesting four lines of enquiry through which to enrich the concept of NC.
The Gritstone Publishing co-operative model, seven years on
Andrew Bibby, pp. 26-28
This short paper provides an update on Gritstone Publishing Cooperative, which is Britain’s first publishing company that is an author-run co-operative. It specialises in both fiction and non-fiction relating to the landscape and countryside. The paper begins with an overview of the benefits of the co-operative business model to self-employed workers, particularly as a solution to precarious work and lack of workers’ rights. It then outlines the marketing co-operative model adopted by Gritstone, as well as providing an update on governance structures and recent successes, including launching the Gritstone Social History imprint and the mutual support authors give each other.
Egalitarianism and sustainability at the Centre for Alternative Technology
Stephen Jacobs, pp. 29-34
The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is situated in an old slate quarry just outside Machynlleth in mid-Wales, UK. It was founded in 1973 as an experiment in sustainable living. However, CAT was never just an experimental community, but is primarily an educational centre endeavouring to inspire people to respond to environmental issues. In 1974 CAT opened its doors to the public and began to offer short courses in topics such as renewable energy and organic gardening. In the first decades of CAT’s existence, collective decision-making and egalitarianism were considered core principles. In this short article I will address why consensus decision making was regarded as integral to CAT’s vision of an environmentally sustainable way of life and the challenges it faced in implementing an egalitarian organisation. This article is part of a larger project about the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
I was the revolution, once: Worker co‑operative formation, frustration and futurity at Blake House
Simon Ball, pp. 35-39
This short article gives an account of the creation and experience of setting up a worker co-operative in the film industry. In it, the author recounts the political, creative, and practical decisions behind his actions. He also reflects on the joys and frustrations of running a worker co-operative, especially the perils of self-exploitation. The article concludes with reflections on the future of worker co-operatives.
Book Reviews, pp. 40-43
These houses are ours: Co-operative and community-led housing alternatives, 1870-1919. By Andrew Bibby
Reviewed by Carl Taylor
Humanity @ work & life: Global diffusion of the Mondragon cooperative ecosystem experience. Edited by Christina A. Clamp and Michael A. Peck
Reviewed by Alex Bird