Title

Safety, Productivity and the Social Relations in Production: An Empirical Study of Worker Cooperatives

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1986

Publication Title

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

Department

Sociology & Anthropology

Abstract

The idea that worker co-operatives offer the possibility of increasing productivity without sacrificing workers' safety and health is investigated. Ten worker co-operatives and four conventional capitalist firms in the Pacific Northwest plywood industry are studied. Co-operatives have worse productivity and safety records than conventional firms. Lower productivity is due to the unexpected behaviour that emerges in co-operatives relying heavily on hired labour. Higher levels of accidents are due to different reporting practices arising from different social relations in production. Co-operatives tend to over-report their accidents whereas conventional firms under-report accidents.

ISSN

0144-333X