We are frequently asked, “What is a Worker’s Cooperative?”
Although there are a number of technical legal distinctions, in spirit it means we share the fruits and responsibilities of being business owners with the committed and vested carpenters, project managers, and others at the company. In practice, there are three major differences between a worker’s cooperative and a “conventional” small business.
Most company decisions, and all big ones, are made democratically
Any profit or loss is split between the owners according to hours worked
And most importantly, after an apprenticeship period, new employees are welcomed into the role of ownership, including decision-making and profit-sharing.
Since our start in 2004, Bellingham Bay Builders has operated as a worker’s cooperative, enjoying the dedicated direction of seven owners. Although some have moved on to other places and careers their values and efforts have indelibly shaped the company and culture we have today.
We believe that valued, empowered, and supported team members do better work and are more fun to work with. So although our workflow may be similar to other well organized general contracting firms we think you will notice the difference.