Legislation unveiled to streamline creation of worker cooperatives in Rhode Island

“Worker cooperatives allow businesses to be more than money-making enterprises,” said local co-op worker/owner Liz McDonnell of Fortnight Wine Bar, “When workers are owners and owners are workers, everyone is invested in the day-to-day and the long-term goals of the business. This permits the business to be more responsive to its community, making it a great place to live, work, and visit. I’m excited to give the worker cooperative model the legitimacy and clarity of its own enabling law.”

“Cooperatives are part of the solution to the problem of working in a capitalist economy,” said McDonnell, “in a traditional business workers sell their labor and the product of that labor belongs to the owner, not to the worker. So there’s a disconnect between your work and what you produce. Control over the terms of labor are also in the hands of the owner, with the worker negotiating at best from a position of weakness. In contrast, cooperatives allow workers to be reconnected to the product of their labor, to be invested to their work and recognized for the work that they do.”

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