We need more businesses like the East Aurora Co-op
The opening of the East Aurora Cooperative Market is exciting and should be something we all welcome. The market is modeled off of the Lexington Cooperative in the City of Buffalo. It is owned by its customers and employees. Decisions are made democratically and stakeholders in the community can help shape the direction of the co-op. Like the Lexington, the East Aurora Co-op will establish itself as an alternative to chain grocery stores.
We need more businesses in our community that are owned by their employees and customers. Worker-owned cooperatives give employees of a company greater control over their working conditions.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has said, “Study after study shows that when workers have an ownership stake in the businesses they work for, productivity goes up, absenteeism goes down and employees are much more satisfied with their jobs.” My experience with the Lexington cooperative as a customer validates Sanders’ statement.
Worker-owned co-ops would help us directly address the issue of outsourcing, and they would keep more money circulating in the local economy. Cooperatives tend to buy and sell from each other. The East Aurora Market lists the following among its principles: “Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.” This has certainly been the case with credit unions in our region.