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Madison Worker Co-op Honored

Union Cab has been named one of 34 democratic workplaces in a new international award presented by World Blu, Inc., a Washington, D.C. based business specializing in organizational democracy. The following is, mostly, a press release sent out by me to mark the event.
The announcement came as part of the first Democracy in the Workplace Day, sponsored by the WorldBlu, Inc. organization. Organizations from across the United States and Canada as well as Russia were included on the list. Two Madison businesses made the list: Union Cab of Madison, a worker cooperative taxi company and Equal Exchange, a worker cooperative fair- trade coffee roaster headquartered in Massachusetts with an office in Madison.
Union Cab president, Catherine May, responded to the announcement, “We are pleased and honored to be included on the WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces, and will continue cultivating cooperative democracy in the Midwest. The consistent commitment to democratic ownership by the workers has been the keystone of Union’s success.”
May also noted “we are proud to be a worker owned democratic cooperative, a workplace in which each worker-owner has an voice in governance.  For almost thirty years Union Cab has offered quality transportation services to our community while providing a safe, humane and democratic workplace for our members.”
In order to be considered for the award, Union Cab encouraged its 205 members to participate in an anonymous survey rating the cooperative on various aspects of democracy. As a worker cooperative, many of the award’s standards are already part of Union Cab’s culture. Union Cab was founded on the cooperative values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, solidarity, equity and equality.
While providing a good workplace has become fashionable in the corporate world, every day Union Cab proves that workers can successfully operate a safe and humane work environment by providing quality customer service and focusing on honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. The practice of democracy in our workplace is not a choice, but the core aspect of our existence.

The full list can be found at World Blu 1997. Four of the 34 companies honored are worker cooperatives (Collective Copies is one and the other escapes, but I will update). It was a fairly arduous process in which we had to get 70% of our membership to complete anonymous surveys (144 of Union Cab members complied). Union then had to achieve a score of 3.5 out of 5 to qualify as a "democratic" workplace. One would think that being run by a board consisting on non-manager workers would automatically qualify us, but it did not.


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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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