“You will find a way to be a leader”. Coopérative training and workers’ resistance in a factory taken over by its employees

By Maxime Quijoux

Cooperative and Participative Companies (sociétés coopératives et participatives, SCOP) have been the subject of renewed interest since the mid-2000s in France. This old model has made a reappearance in particular thanks to certain wage battles whose ultimate aim is for the workers to take over the company. This craze has been made possible by the semi-generalized misunderstanding of SCOP, including among employees engaged in recovering their working tools. Using an investigation within a factory taken over by its employees in metropolitan France, this article aims to examine the way in which the employees are educated about the democracy of the company by the main cooperative organization of France, the Confédération générale des SCOP. The investigation shows that this organization’s work of support does not attempt to propose tools that will allow for better power distribution in the company, but instead trains a new class of virtuous bosses. This ambition is nevertheless hindered by highly unionized employees who refuse to reproduce the scheme that existed before the takeover. But in the absence of innovative models, they tend to “unionize” their cooperative practices, ultimately deviating little from a traditional hierarchical model.

  • company takeover
  • SCOP
  • cooperatives
  • democracy
  • work
  • factory
  • cooperative movement
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info