Worker-Owned Casa Nueva Provides a Democratic Workplace Alternative

Casa Nueva is well-known in Athens for its locally-sourced and seasonal dishes, but it also serves as an example of an alternative to the traditional workspace.

The restaurant and cantina is worker-owned, meaning there isn’t a consolidation of power at the top, and employees can interact in a democratic process to make decisions about their workplace.

Worker-owned businesses in Athens, Ohio (map)

Bill Stamp, a Casa employee for more than 10 years, says he enjoys working in a democratic environment, but every workplace has its ups and downs.

“It really always comes down to whomever the owners are, in some respects, and their values,” Stamp said. “Whether you’re talking a proprietor business, a corporation, or whatever.”

Casa is also known for not taking tips, but this was a separate decision unrelated to the restaurant being worker-owned, Stamp said. However, this allows the business to focus on paying employees a living wage instead of relying on tips.

Have any thoughts on the concept of worker-owned businesses, or whether they are a viable alternative to the traditional workplace? Comment below or tweet us at @Valley_Reality

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