About IECIsland Employee Cooperative
ISLAND EMPLOYEE COOPERATIVE
The Island Employee Cooperative is a Maine cooperative corporation created by the employees of Burnt Cove Market, The Galley, and V&S Variety for the purpose of purchasing the stores from Vern and Sandra Seile.
The Seiles had spent decades building these businesses and when they were ready to retire, they wanted to make sure the jobs they created and the stores they ran continued. What better way than to help the employees become the owners!
On June 11th, 2014, after nearly a year of planning, negotiating and securing financing, the deal was closed and the ownership of the stores was transferred to the IEC, and the workers are the sole shareholders in the company.
Thanks to the Seile’s commitment to both the employees and the community, the jobs and ownership will remain local and will improve life for the many workers employed in these businesses.
It is the mission of the IEC to create good jobs for island residents, to provide the highest quality service for our customers, and to support our island community.
What is a Worker Co-op?
Cooperatives come in many shapes and sizes but, at root, are businesses formed by groups of people who voluntarily develop, jointly own and democratically control the enterprise to meet their common needs.
In a worker co-op, the workers can own one share of the business, and only one share. Owning that share gives those workers certain rights in the corporation, like a vote to elect the board of directors, to approve a budget, and to set the strategic direction of the company. Being an owner also gives them an equitable share of the profits.
Worker cooperatives not only strive to provide meaningful, living wage jobs, they give the workers a say in how the company is run and broaden ownership of wealth by dividing profits equitably among the worker-owners.