Workplace Democracy

Following last week’s feature on the start-up co-op New Hope Farm, this post continues our series on the 2014 Worker Coop Academy (WCA) in Oakland, California by focusing on “converter” co-ops On the Spot Massage and Sarana Community Acupuncture. Converters are businesses or organizations that have existed as conventionally owned entities but whose owners want to transition into a cooperative.

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A documentary film by Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler about the factory RiMaflow in Milan, Italy, which has been recovered by the workers after the former owners engaged in a fraudulent bankruptcy. The facility used to make auto parts but is now run as an open factory and is owned and controlled by its workers as a worker cooperative.
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If cooperative and solidarity economy organizers are serious about creating democratic, cooperative culture, they need to focus more on working in middle and high schools.
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The workers-owners at New Era Windows Cooperative have overcome many hurdles to create a sustainable, democratic business, after having twice occupied their previous place of employment, Republic Windows, in response to abuses by the owners. Worker Co-ops.
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GEO has argued over the years that the worker-owned cooperative is an appealing business model for many reasons (see here, here, or anywhere else on the s

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Co-author of Building Co-operative Power and GEO Collective member Michael Johnson discusses the Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives and some of the many worker co-ops of the Connecticut River Valley. He also provides an overview of the contents of the book and a history of how it came to be written.
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On some occasions, rare though they are, the slogan “Another world is possible,” becomes reality.
~Raul Zibechi

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GEO is pleased to announce that we're working with the Level Translation (a project of the Intepreters' Cooperative of Madison) to release a new series of ebooks.

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The Social Solidarity Economy is an alternative to capitalism and other authoritarian, state-dominated economic systems. In SSE, ordinary people play an active role in shaping all of the dimensions of human life: economic, social, cultural, political, and environmental. SSE exists in all sectors of the economy—production, finance, distribution, exchange, consumption and governance. SSE has the ability to take the best practices that exist in our present system (such as efficiency, use of technology and knowledge) and transform them to serve the welfare of the community based on different values and goals.
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Jaques Kaswan (June 14, 1924 - January 28, 2015) studied cooperatives for 50 years and was a developer of systems to support the formation of worker coops and housing coops for over 35 years. He was a co-founder of the Arizmendi Assn, as well as Walnut Street Cooperative. 

Obituary at the San Francisco Chronicle

 

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[Editor's note: In Greece, Thessaloniki's VIOME cooperative recently celebrated their second year in operation.  Like many "recovered businesses" in Latin America, VIOME has faced continuing legal threats to its existence since workers first occupied their factory.  Despite the fact that the former owners stole hundreds of millions in wages from their employees—a crime for which they were found guilty— the cooperative is now being faced with a possible liquitdation order from a

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A diversity of kindred approaches to alternative political economics is emerging across the country.  Many of them share a regional focus. This is showing unusual potential for advancing the development of worker co-operatives through inter-cooperative and cross-sector networking.  We are calling this Regional Cooperative/Solidarity Economic Development (C/SE) (Please see the note below on why we are using this unusual phrase, “cooperative/solidarity.”)

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[Editor's Note: later this month, GEO and Level Translation will release an English edition of the most recent report on Argentina's recovered businesses (of which there were 311 in 2013, employing over 13,400 people).  The inspiring successes of the recovered business co-ops in Argentina--their failure rate so far has been less than 5%--no doubt has much to teach us, in the North, about how to successfully transition from capitalist to worker control.]

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[Editor's note: GEO first published these two essays on the hurdles faced by coopeative and solidarity economy enterprises in 2001.  While the cooperative movement has made great strides in the intervening 14 years, the roadblocks identified here by the authors are still concerns for both new and existing co-ops.  In light of the recent surge in support that cooperatives of all kinds have

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[Editor's note: in this important webinar, Elandria Williams and Jessica Gordon Nembhard of the US Solidarity Economy Network (SEN) host a discussion on the issues and conflicts surrounding race and colonization in the Cooperative/Solidarity Economy Movements.  Presenters include Shamako Noble of Hip Hop Congress, Cecilia Martinez of the Center for Ea

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