“Stumptown Printers is a worker cooperative. A worker cooperative is a type of business structure that allows all members to become equal partners and to have an equal say in all the decisions that the business makes. Unlike a traditional business model, there are no bosses, outside investors, or absentee executives at a worker cooperative. The Board of Directors are the workers, and only the workers are members of the Board of Directors. Working together cooperatively means taking responsibility to do the work, bearing the risk, but also sharing in the benefits of the work.
“Ownership is voluntary but each worker/owner earns equity in the company through a labor input formula, so as a worker works more hours, they earn a larger share of the business in the form of equity and physical assets. We believe that individual worker ownership of jobs and full participation in the daily decisions of the workplace are an integral part of a free & democratic society.
“We formed Stumptown Printers in 1999 as an equal partnership of three owner/workers and operated this way for close to 9 years. When we decided to invite more workers to join us as the business expanded, we wanted a structure that allowed for complete inclusion of new workers. Inspired by the cooperative print shops New Earth Press of Berkeley, California and Lakeside Press of Madison, Wisconsin, as well as advice from members of Portland’s own City Bikes Worker Cooperative, we reorganized as Stumptown Printers Worker Cooperative in January 2008.”