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Baltimore's rich cooperative heritage dates back a couple hundred years to a shoemakers union that opened its own factory in 1794, according to John Curl, cooperative historian and author of For All The People:  Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America.
Are you a New York State worker, entrepreneur, or business owner who is interested in funded technical assistance for starting or transitioning to a worker cooperative?  If so please voice your support by Tuesday, 9/27 for a pilot worker cooperative incubator and technical assistance center in the Southern Tier. 

The following communication was sent Sept. 9, 2011 by the American Monetary Institute regarding Kucinich's Sept 7, speech in which he introduced the National Employment & Economic Defense (NEED) Act.

 

Meet the students who stopped exploitation at the Hersheys plant and are demanding that PA workers get living wage jobs. Send messages of solidarity to justice-at-hersheys@guestworkeralliance.org.

Robert Oakeshott, English organizer of cooperatives and author of The Case for Workers' Co-ops, passed away June 21st.  Obituaries in the Guardian, the Economist, and the Telegraph.

African Americans and the working class in general has always have always had a tough time under capitalism, which operates off our backs.  But the economic exploitation reached a new level when the predominantly white middle class, which tended to benefit from this oppressive arrangement, also started to get knocked off their feet. Award winning producer of Capitalism:  A Love Story Michael Moore lays out a very interesting history and encourages people to take action.

by Michael Moore

I was trusting in two things. First, that there was enough cooperative drive among developers to overcome whatever fears, conflicts, and challenges that could (and hopefully would) arise. Second, the power of listening could successfully drive the development of the project from start to finish.
The International Business Times reported Monday May 30, 2011 that Utah and other U.S. states are preparing to use gold as tender (money) and institute a monetary system that would survive a crash of the dollar.

John Duda, of Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, a worker-owned and operated business in Baltimore, writes in the spring issue of Indypendent Reader about the process of building a just and sustainable economy by examining a local worker dog-walking cooperative called Just Walk, Cleveland's Evergreen Cooperatives, and the Sojourner-Douglass College plan to rebuild a neglected part of Baltimore called Oldtown with a community wealth strategy that will include cooperatives. 

Read Duda's article here

Jose Luis Lafuente, Mondragon's Corporate Management Model specialist 

 

Some things speak for themselves:

 

Dr. Isabel Uribe 

Ever since I first learned about Mondragon cooperatives in Dr. Christina Clamp's graduate class at Southern New Hampshire University, I have been fascinated with what black people might do with the lessons from the Mondragon experience. 

 

Dr. Jon Altuna, Mondragon's chief innovator 

Ideas and the mentality, they promote areas indispensable for the progress of our cooperatives as are the buildings and machinery. 

--Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta in the book, Reflections·

 Author's self-portrait outside of Mondragon headquarters.

 

Five of nine of us touring Mondragon arrive on Sunday in Bilbao, make our way to Mondragon-Arrastata, get settled and find food at the Monte bar a short walk from The Hotel Mondragon where we are staying for the week-long tour.  I fall into bed at about 10:30 (4:30 pm EST), the 12 hour journey and time zone change wearing me out.  Tonight there is no reading of The Kemetian Tree of Life, my nightly fix.   

This story by Karen Thomas, of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, is reprinted from the Winter 2011 issue of Owners at Work.  It is the story about how eight workers took over a local restaurant, and turned it into a worker cooperative called Casa Nueva.  But the work did not stop there. In the 25 years that it has been operating, Casa Nueva has also helped build a regional economy. The Athens, Ohio area where they are located is a national model for food literacy because of their work.  For more information, visit the OEOC website at http://www.oeockent.org/.

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