Worker Ownership

Vehicle for Change

Distribution of Profits

2010

2009

As % of income from Operations 2010

Allocation to Small Producers Fund for development projects

$53,442

$34,204

10%

Profit Sharing to Members, Community Investor and Employees

159,413

$117,695

30%

Investment back into Just Us! Co-opertative Equity

$261,871

$167,377

49%

Taxes

$59,689

$22,759

11%

"Worker ownership" is not like your typical business ownership, where you actually own a certain portion of the business.  it is more "collective ownership" or control of a community co-operative.  Whatever your investment, you are still one member with one vote and when you leave the co-op your are paid only what you have invested (your shares). 

It is very much like any community co-op - serving its members, but rather than members being shoppers at the food co-op, they are people from the community who work at Just Us!.  Hopefully, we are building assets that will serve the community for generations to come.

When we set up Just Us! we adopted this co-op model for good reasons.

It was consistent with our partner Fair Trade producer co-ops, with their values of democracy, transparency, accountability, environmental respect and commitment to the common good in their community.

It was very simple and cheap and we didn't need to hire a lawyer.

It is another way of doing business based on community ownership and democratic principles.  It is not designed to maximize profits or returns to investors.  All employees are eligible to become members after working two years and making a modest investment.  Then they receive an equal share of any profits or losses.  The members all sit on the Board and the Board determines the direction and policies of the co-op.

The primary purpose of any co-op is to serve its community and specifically its members.  For our members that means:

Feeling good about Fair Trade and benefits to small producers

Having a healthy, FAIR (around the world), fun and exciting workplace

Maybe most importantly, having a good, secure job with opportunity for development

For investors there would still be things they would feel good about and feel they are making secure investments that provide modest returns. (see JUFTIC)