1. Worker Cooperatives in the United States: A Historical Perspective and Contemporary Assessment

    While labor unions gave some workers a voice, other workers organized in their rural and urban communities to democratically control and take ownership of their workplaces.

        The philosophical foundation of the worker cooperative movement emerged in the 19th century in response to capitalist efforts to destabilize workers during the Industrial Revolution in England.  Two main factors propelled popular demands for cooperatives: invention of the "spinning mule" and the steam engine—new technologies that shaped a vast expansion in textile production, reducing worker wages and lengthening the work day.  Initiation of new mass production also reduced business demand for skilled labor and spurred migration to urban areas.  The deskilling of labor contributed to arduous working conditions and long hours that expanded poverty in the burgeoning industrial cities. The concentration of laborers working in the factories spurred the formation of trade unions to shorten hours, improve working conditions, and increase wages.  While labor unions gave some workers a voice in private businesses, other workers rejected traditional bureaucratic trade unions and sought a democratic voice in the fundamental decisions of their workplaces and communities.  To achieve this goal, these workers organized in their rural and urban communities to democratically control and take ownership of their workplaces, and build greater certainty in their livelihood. read more »

  2. Essential Components in Workplace Democracy

    Given the wide variety of attempts at workplace democracy, what could we learn if we were to examine a huge number of those concrete cases, and sought to find out why some democratized companies failed, while others succeeded? In particular, could we discover what was there in the internal functioning of worker-managed companies that led some to thrive over the long-term, while others failed (even though their external conditions such as market opportunities, financial support, etc. were favorable)? read more »

  3. Greek hospital now under workers’ control

    Health workers in Kilkis, Greece, have occupied their local hospital and have issued a statement saying it is now fully under workers control.

    The general hospital of Kilkis in Greece is now under workers control. The workers at the hospital have declared that the long-lasting problems of the National Health System (ESY) cannot be resolved. read more »

  4. A Multiple Socialist Administration Model and Enterprises of Social Property (ESP) in Venezuela - Success, Difficulties, Prospects

    For a transition from capitalism to socialism, the multiple socialist administration model is proposed, to avoid the Soviet mode of production, in which there persisted alienation and exploitation.

    For a transition from capitalism to socialism the multiple  socialist administration model is proposed in order to avoid what the author calls the Soviet mode of production, in which, despite the elimination of the private property of the means of production, there still persisted social alienation, a hierarchical social division of labor and thus the exploitation of man by man.  Through Direct Social Property Enterprises (the property of popular communities) and Indirect Social Property Enterprises (state property) articulated in hegemonic integral socio-productive chains and networks and with the participation of forms of private property, including cooperatives, it is possible to advance toward integral sustainable human development. read more »

  5. The Impact of Mondragon in the US

    Solidarity Economy on the move

    "I don't think we get the socialism by multiplying cooperatives - like mushrooms after the rain. I think cooperatives are just one tactic, one weapon among many in our arsenal."
    Davidson speaks about the Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa (MCC),

    Speech hold the 5th November 2011 at the International Conference: «Den Betrieb übernehmen. Einstieg in Transformation?» / «Occupy, Resist, Produce». Worker Cooperatives – Potential for Transformation?
    Panel: Solidarity Economy on the move read more »

  6. Solidarity petition: support Jugoremedija workers' struggle in Serbia

    Support Jugoremedija workers' struggle

    To the head of EU Delegation to Serbia, mister Vincent Degert,
    To the European Parliament Special Envoy for the Balkans, mister Jelko Kacin,
    To the deputies of the European Parliament,

    Dear sirs,
    For almost a year and a half, Jugoremedija, pharmaceutical factory from Zrenjanin, and Penpharm, penicillin production plant – which has been being built by „Jugoremedija“ and a group of its worker-shareholders – have been under severe pressure from political structures, financial magnates, and Serbian media. Although in June this year EU ordered Serbia to investigate 24 contestable privatizations, among which was the illegal sale of Jugoremedija’s shares in 2002, Serbian authorities waste no time in taking steps directly opposite to the Brussels’ demands. read more »

  7. Strike Bike: an occupied factory in Germany

    The 124 workers of Bike Systems in Nordhausen have occupied the factory since the July 2007. At the end of October 2007 they will start producing solidarity bicycles under self management.

    Nordhausen is a small town in Thuringia (former DDR). Of its 43,000 inhabitants 7,500 are unemployed. Bicycles have been produced here since 1986, initially as part of an engine factory with 4,000 workers. After German reunification, only the bicycle production remained, and most recently 135 workers and up to 160 temporary workers were labouring there. read more »

  8. Mondragon revisited

    It is impossible not to be impressed by the resilience that has enabled this great complex of worker-owned cooperatives to take their share of economic hits and emerge largely unscathed.

    In the face of the global financial crisis that has Spain’s unemployment level standing currently at some 22 per cent, the Mondragón co-operatives offer an astonishingly successful alternative to the way we organise business and economies.

    Revisiting recently for the fifth time, since the early nineteen-eighties, the great complex of worker-owned manufacturing, retail, agricultural, civil engineering and service cooperatives centred on Mondragón in the Basque region of Spain, it was impossible not to be impressed by the resilience that has enabled them to take their share of economic hits and emerge largely unscathed. read more »

  9. Vesta

    The blog for Vesta.

    Vestas closed the UK's only wind turbine blade factories, on the Isle of Wight, in August 2009. Workers opposed the closure. This blog is a history of that dispute and of the ongoing campaign for green jobs.
  10. Voices from the Visteon/Ford occupation

    Workers occupied to save their redundancy pay and pensions when the factory, one of three component plants hived off from Ford, closed with no notice.

    On Tuesday March 31st workers at Visteon factories – making car parts for Ford brands – across the UK were told that Visteon Corp could no longer prop up the UK branch, and so they would all lose their jobs with immediate effect. That night a hundred workers at a plant in west Belfast occupied their workplaces, and the next day were followed by their colleagues in Enfield (north London) and Basildon in Essex. We spoke to a number of the workers involved in the sit-in at Enfield, and have gathered some of the occupiers’ comments below. read more »

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