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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

How Uber and the sharing economy could pave the way for worker-owned companies

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry laid out the grim logic succinctly: The efficiency gains of connecting workers to customers via the internet applications will drive down prices and thus incomes, while the new profits created will all get sucked up by the small group of Silicon Valley companies that created the platforms, along with their shareholders.

But last Friday, a taxi service opened in Newark, New Jersey, that might show a way to resolve that Gordian knot.

The Transunion Car Service will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will operate off an Uber-like mobile application, passengers will be able to pay with wireless credit card machines, and they’ll be able to see advertisements and public service announcements on an interactive screen in the cab.

Most importantly, it was put together by a local union and will be owned by its workers. "Through the nonprofit organization the drivers will be part of an employee stock ownership plan," reported. "They will also have health care, retirement benefits, and free legal representation."

Read the full article at The Week


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