The modern co-op movement kicked off with the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers in the 1840s in Manchester. It was around the same time and in that same region that industrial labor unions started to flourish.
176 years later, unions and cooperative are reconnecting through movements such as 1worker1vote.org.
The hybrid union co-op model is gaining attention of labor and cooperative leaders alike. They understand that this framework is a viable solution for organizing and providing benefits for workers while combatting power asymmetries in the on-demand economy.
So far, in the United States, this kind of organizing has emerged in the taxi industry, the healthcare sector, as well as the energy and low-wage service sectors where organized labor has faced an uphill battle in their efforts to organize workers.
Now is the time to bring the inventive union co-op model together with the digital economy. Cooperatives and unions can jointly benefit from the platform co-op model.