Worker-owned Co-ops are Coming for the Digital Gig Economy

A domestic cleaning worker in New York City faces a choice. She might decide to register on a platform like Handy or Taskrabbit, where she can accept jobs on a case-by-case basis. Having the flexibility to create her own schedule might compel her, but she might soon realize that 15% to 20% of the pay for each job disappears from her paycheck to go to the company, and that as an independent contractor, she is not entitled to benefits.

Alternatively, she could apply to become a member-owner of one of the three small, cooperative cleaning companies in the city that operate through Up & Go, a platform that launched last year to help the coops manage their workflows. As on Handy or Taskrabbit, she could accept jobs that work with her schedule as they appear, but because she would be a full-time worker and partial owner of whichever coop she joins, she would have a say in setting her own pay rate for the work, and would get benefits. Also, because it’s the workers themselves that own both the company and the platform, their take-home pay would be 95%, and the leftover 5% would feed right back into helping grow and support the platform.

Read more at Fast Company!

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