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We have Stephen and Walton and … Some one else??
- It’s coop fortnight and we’re speaking to MJ Ray about cooperatives. MJ is a member Software Coop
How does it work?
What industry is your coop a part of?
- We’re a Tech Worker Co-op… that is, we do tech and the workers are the members who run the co-op
What service or business does your coop take part in?
How do we relate to other co-ops?
- We prefer to trade with other co-ops, but most of our business is still with private businesses.
What is a coop?
- are there different coop structures?
- Consumer and user co-ops: the members are customers who buy through the co-op
- Worker and producer co-ops: the members are the workers or people who sell through them
- Variations of these, or mixes like multistakeholder
Co-operatives and Labour movements: not as many links as there should be? Disputes:
- Walton thinks of Unite and Co-operative Distribution
- MJ thinks of GMB and Co-operative Funeralcare derecognition
What are the politics of co-ops?
- Consumer co-ops maybe leftish?
- Worker co-ops maybe more mixed: strong individualist, anarchist and libertarian strands?
Would you say all coops are better than no-coops?
- Can you speak about any bad coop experiences?
Capitalism versus co-operativism
- UK co-op economy growing faster than the UK capitalist economy – major report published in co-ops fortnight http://s.coop/q0uq
How do you start a co-op?
What advice do you have for people wanting to start one.
- Smaller co-ops often start informally, but bigger/riskier ventures best to agree the ground rules and that you are a co-op fairly early on.
Is now an opportunity for co-ops?
Converting businesses to co-ops: what to do about “Well the boss took the risk in creating this, so we should be loyal to the boss”?
- Tricky challenge, not a position MJ has been in.
- Sometimes risk is shared by the workers, so arguably should be a co-op.
The best praise for this show would be more people buying from co-ops
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