How a St. Louis pottery tool maker became a worker cooperative
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The pandemic has changed the way people work in a number of ways and caused many workers to examine their relationships with their jobs. Collin Garrity, the owner of a woodworking company in St. Louis specializing in pottery tools, began to question his ideas about work and business ownership. That’s lead to a profound change in how his small business operates.
Last week, Garrity Tools became a worker cooperative.
Worker cooperatives are owned, operated and managed by the workers. Decisions are often made democratically, with one vote for each “worker-owner.” The number of cooperatives in the United States has grown by more than 30% since 2019 to 612, according to a study by the Democracy at Work Institute.
“I think that this is a great way to create an example of how a business can also support its employees and not just value them based on how productive they are,” he said. “But it’s a way for people to really benefit from their hard work and to be able to decide for themselves what their work wants to look like.”
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