Worker Cooperatives

Businesses that are owned and democratically controlled by their workers/employees (called "worker-owners").

Last night, CICOPA North America was formed in Quebec at the first ever North American Worker Cooperative Conference!

Also at the opening of the conference last night, it was announced that US Federation of Worker Cooperatives President Rebecca Kemble (member of Union Cab of Madison Cooperative) has been named President of CICOPA North America! In serving as president, Rebecca also fills the positions of Vice President of CICOPA of the Americas, and member of the Executive Committee of CICOPA.
Announcment from the NYC Network of Worker Co-ops in English and Spanish
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US Steelworkers pass resolution endorsing its unionized, worker-owned cooperative development activities
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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.
Co-Soap Hopes Its Unique Business Model Will Spark Economic Growth and Justice.
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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

 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.   

Conversations with members from several worker co-ops in Venezuela
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Those who have done it talking about how
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A step-by-step DVD on starting a workers cooperative
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a Bay Area template that works in the US
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Permanent link to this article: http://geo.coop/node/585

By Traci Kuratomi, current Fulbright Fellow in Argentina

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Permanent link to this article: http://geo.coop/node/584

By Christina Clamp, GEO collective member

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35% growth since 2005, study claims
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Suggests a creative way to sell your business
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In an age of open source, custom-fabricated, DIY product design...
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The Mayor of Richmond, California, Gayle McLaughlin, recently held a public presentation why she believes Mondragon should serve as a guiding example for how economic development should proceed in her city.
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Where will our movement be in another 30 years? In 2040, I will be 76 years old. Chances are, if I am still alive, I will be hopefully still be blogging (or whatever the kids will be doing in those days) but I will likely not be fully involved in the movement or physically working a 40-50 hour work week. Almost all of our current leadership will be in the same position. The current crop of  Toxic Soil Busters will be pushing 50 (like I am now). What should our movement look like in that age?
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The top/down system we seek to change is embedded in us--in our nervous systems, our beliefs, our attitudes, our habits, and our behavior. We are what we are seeking to change.  It is not just out there.  And not only is it in here, but it is out there to a large extent because we, the change agents, re-produce it over and over and over in every kind of relationship we have. This is by no means just a tragic irony. No way. This is a great opportunity.

Most new small businesses fail. That's a fact, whether they are in the Basque Country or in the U.S. Or anywhere else. Yet the Mondragon Coops, which all started as small worker-owned businesses, have hardly ever failed. Why? The key is in Father Jose Maria Arizmendi's original founding conception of cooperatives as the interlocking of school, factory and credit union.
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