1. What’s Next for the World’s Largest Federation of Worker-Owned Co-Ops? A conversation with Mondragon President Josu Ugarte

    Mondragon Corporation, a federation of 103 worker-owned cooperatives based in the Basque Country, aims to be globally competitive while empowering local workers and addressing income inequality.

    In early May, President Barack Obama visited Nike’s headquarters in Oregon to gather support for the T read more »

  2. Inside America's Largest Worker-Run Business

    Can workplace democracy pave the way to better conditions in low-wage industries? For home care aides, the results of one 30-year experiment are mixed.

    Fifteen years ago, Clara Calvo had just left her husband and her job. Both were abusive in their own ways. Her husband beat her, while her job at a beauty salon required long, unpredictable hours for little pay. read more »

  3. Why Unions Are Going Into the Co-op Business

    As manufacturing in the United States continues in free fall, the USW aims to use employee-run businesses to create new jobs to replace union work that has gone overseas.

    “Too often we have seen Wall Street hollow out companies by draining their cash and assets and hollow out communities by shedding jobs and shuttering plants,” said United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard in 2009. “We need a new business model that invests in workers and invests in communities.”

    Gerard was announcing a formal partnership between his 1.2-million-member union and Mondragon, a cluster of cooperatives in the Basque region of Spain. read more »

  4. Platform Cooperativism vs. the Sharing Economy

    Imagine that the algorithmic heart of the "Sharing Economy" could be cloned and brought back to life under a different model of ownership and work conditions, as a humane alternative to the market.

    The backlash against unethical labor practices in the “collaborative sharing economy” has been overplayed. Recently, mainstream media started to rail against online labor brokerages like Taskrabbit and Uber because of an utter lack of concern for their workers. 

    But just for one moment imagine that the algorithmic heart of any of these citadels of anti-unionism could be cloned and brought back to life under a different ownership model, with fair working conditions, as a humane alternative to the free market model. read more »

  5. Sewer Syndicalism: Worker Self-Management in Public Services

    Public services under worker control can serve as demonstration projects to promote workplace democracy and worker empowerment more broadly.

    In the current US political climate, the prospects of implementing a robust form of public service syndicalism will surely appear remote. Yet, the example of Britain suggests that at least measured steps in that direction might be politically feasible here. Particularly at the state and municipal levels, there may be opportunities to engage in “novel social and economic experiments” with worker-run public services. Through such experimentation, public services under worker control can serve as demonstration projects to promote workplace democracy and worker empowerment more broadly. read more »

  6. The International Gatherings of “The Workers' Economy”

    The history, the objectives and the future of this open space for debate on self-management

    The 3rd and 4th of October, 2014, in the Textiles Pigüé Worker Cooperative, a recovered business in the town of the same name in the interior of the province of Buenos Aires, the First South American Regional Meeting on “The Worker Economy” was held, with the participation of more than two hundred workers, cooperators, and university students from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Co read more »

  7. Kazova workers claim historic victory in Turkey

    After two years of resistance, the Free Kazova worker cooperative in Turkey now started producing, setting an example for a new generation of workers.

    "No, I didn’t receive any compensation, but I did get a factory,” was Aynur Aydemir’s response to one of her former colleagues from the Kazova textile factory, when she was asked if she had ever received any of the money their former bosses still owed them. “Whether it’s going to be successful or not, whether it’s old or new, I have a factory. We might lack the necessary capital to run this business, and we might fail in the future, but at least we got something.” read more »

  8. The Working World: Financing Workplace Democracy

    An interview with members of a structure that provides solidarity financing for cooperatives and worker-run workplaces, to show the possibility of building a new economy.

    The Working World (TWW) is an alternative loan fund that supports worker run co-operatives and other democratic workplaces with micro-credit loans and technical support. They also refer to themselves as a “solidarity financial organization” which promotes community wealth maximization and worker ownership through loans to worker-run companies.

    Annie McShiras talked with Brendan Martin, founder and president, and Ethan Earle, a board member, about the solidarity philosophy they use as an organized loan fund, their goal of maximizing community wealth through their loan funds, and the importance of building a “culture of belief.” She also reviewed the basic kind of work they do with them. read more »

  9. Yugoslavia’s self-management

    Sixty years ago, the Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia inaugurated workers' self-management. The Yugoslav experiment is a gold mine of experiences; it was the most comprehensive long-term attempt to establish popular self-government in history. As such, its analysis is a very useful starting point for the future: as it is useful to learn about the positive aspects of this experience, it is also good to learn from Yugoslav mistakes and limitations. read more »

  10. Memories

    An intriguing account of Jan Appel's experiences during the German Revolution.

    My name is Jan Appel, and I was born in a village in Mecklenburg in 1890. I attended elementary school and learned the shipbuilding trade. Even before my birth my father had been a Socialist. I myself became a member of the Sozial-demokratische Partei Deutschlands [SPD] on reaching 18 years of age. I saw military service from 1911 to 1913, and thereafter as a soldier in the War. In October 1917 I was demobilised and sent to work in Hamburg as a shipyard worker. In 1918 we called a strike of armaments workers. The strike held out for a whole week at the Vulkan-Werft. read more »

Syndicate content