Democratic workplaces may be, in a general sense, unusually adaptable in the face of large-scale emergencies. Research and interviews with worker-owners found their businesses retained and created jobs, fostered community and kept workers and the public safe. They did not generate huge profits, but they created security for everyone in and around them.
“There’s no hierarchy, no management. We all share equal responsibility,” said Heather Farnham, a worker-owner at Arizmendi Bakery for the past 18 years.
At Candlestick Courier Collective, an on-demand bicycle delivery service, Christopher McCleary explained that as the group transitions to a co-op, “We have a lot more accountability to each other. And to the people we deliver to. And the people we deliver for!”
The vast majority of worker-owners attend meetings in addition to shift work; it isn’t always easy. But there’s no boss.