Co-ops May Increase Worker Life Expectancy

Courtesy of Popular Resistance:

Dave Boyle, a UK-based cooperatives expert, wrote in Economia last March on “the strange re-birth of co-operatives in Britain.”

The article cited research conducted by Co-operatives UK, which documented the superior performance of Britain’s co-ops throughout the recession.


Among the organizations’ findings:

  • 98% of UK co-operatives were still trading three years after formation compared to 65% of traditional companies
  • Since 2008 the UK economy shrank 1.7% while co-ops grew 23%
  • 56% of UK coops are in disadvantaged areas
  • 88% of UK coops seek to minimize their environmental impact compared to 44% of traditional businesses who say they have “taken no action whatsoever”
  • Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave an organization
  • 85% ‘agree’ or ‘very much agree’ that being a co-operative gives them a business advantage.
  • 85% actively use their co-operative status in marketing

Add to this, being a cooperative owner-employee may even help you live a longer life.

Boyle writes about the findings of David Erdal, author of Beyond The Corporation: Humanity Working. Erdal found that life expectancy for Italian citizens in a town with a high degree of cooperatives was 2.5 years longer than that of citizens in a nearby town without cooperatives.

When Erdal mentioned this finding to a chair at UK cooperative retailer John Lewis Partnerships, Boyle writes, these findings were confirmed—John Lewis’ “partners” (their word for employee-owners”) lived longer than their peers employed by other, non-cooperative retailers. The organization had to revise its actuarial tables. Continue reading