Platform cooperatives: an alternative model that empowers workers

10 Jul 2022

The potential of platform cooperatives to improve working conditions was highlighted during a session at the ‘Cooperatives, the time is now!’ event in Seville.

Held on 21 June, the workshop featured Trebor Scholz from the New School in NYC, who provided an overview of platform cooperatives, which provide goods and services via a digital platform.

He believes the platform cooperative sector can grow but warns that global coordination will be required so people do not have to start from scratch. Platform cooperatives can also share infrastructure to achieve scale, but will need an enabling legal framework to grow, he added. 

Giuseppe Guerini, President of CECOP, talked about the EU directive on improving working conditions in platform work, which mentions cooperatives as a useful model. Data cooperatives could also give people more control over how their data is shared, he added, and said the EU is considering new regulations to promote data cooperatives.

Maica Motos, from Givit delivery coop, talked about her platform cooperative, which was set up 18 months ago and has grown to include over 300 members, with a turnover of €4.5m.

The session also heard from members of the public, who suggested creating platform cooperatives to recruit foreign workers to work in co-ops for fair wages.

Mr Scholz encouraged those interested in learning more about platform cooperatives to visit the Platform Cooperativism Consortium website: 

Watch the full recording from 21 June here (in Spanish and English).