I first heard of the Mondragon Cooprative of the Basque in Spain, back in 1994. My Mom had been telling m the Family History of the Cheveries who are Basque. The French had kicked the Cheverie's out of France. We ended up on Prince Edward Island. The English tried to kick us out of there. My Ancesters went andn hid in the woods for 15 yars and had lots of kids. I told my Mom, ''I want to know what they are doing now?'' 2 weeks latter she showed me an Article in the Catholic Digest, about Mondragon's Worker Ownership. As an IBEW Journey Man ""Wirenut'' (as we called ourselves.) who had worked in a good part of this Country, with all of my benefits being sent back to my Home Local, 103 of Boston, saw right away how Unions could maken it work here. Been planting seeds about it to all kinds of Unions, Churches, and other gathering places, from my address book picked up through the years.
''The determining factor in the creation of the Co-operatives that today make up the MONDRAGON Corporation, was the arrival in 1941 of a young Catholic priest Jose' M - Arizmendiarrieta in Mondragón, a town with a population of 7,000 that was suffering the painful consequences of the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War: poverty, hunger, exile and tension. He decided to do all he could to promote coexistence and come up with formulas to create employment based on solidarity. In 1943 he set up a Technical College that was open to anyone, and which would become, with the passing of time, a seedbed for managers, engineers and skilled labour for local companies and, above all, for the co-operatives.''-Wickipedia
''The Mondragón Cooperative Corporation, or MCC, is often considered the most successful example of worker-owned enterprise in the world. Taking its name from the small town in the Basque Country of Spain where it was founded, the MCC's reach now extends across Spain, Europe and the globe. Its highly integrated network of cooperative businesses competes successfully with conventional corporate rivals both locally and worldwide.''-Ownership Assosiate inc
It was about 2 years ago that I came across this USW-Mondragon Collaberation. Its the best news I had heard of since first hearing of Mondragon. This is going to work from the grass-roots up. Then when Communitties have an Honest 21st Century Living Wage, so we then can tak care of ourselves, we will tell DC this, ''Thanks for nothing, now stay out of our lives.''
''The MONDRAGON Corporation mission is to produce and sell goods and provide services and distribution using democratic methods in its organizational structure and distributing the assets generated for the benefit of its members and the community, as a measure of solidarity. MONDRAGON began its activities in 1956 in the Basque town of Mondragon by a rural village priest with a transformative vision who believed in the values of worker collaboration and working hard to reach for and realize the common good.'' -USW-Mondragon Collaboration
HOW CAN USW SUPPORT THE WORKER COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT?
''Witherell also said he understands that there is great potential for cooperatives partnering with the union to be able to access union health and welfare funds and pension funds. He is open to discussing ways we might make those union resources available to worker cooperatives, or use the pooled resources to benefit worker cooperatives as well as union members. This was all in the abstract, but was important to put out there.
One thing USW asked me, and which I said I'd pass along, is for ideas about how the union can promote worker cooperatives within the labor movement, as well as what the union can offer to the worker cooperative movement - some examples might be models for coop union shops, sample contracts and collective bargaining agreements, exploration of sharing union benefits with cooperative workers, etc. What is our wish list? And what would we like to work on together? Please send me your ideas and I'll bring them to USW.''-usworker coop
Mondragon also owns its own Bank, like a Credit Union here, along with a Collage too, which trains its Worker Owners. Th CEOs earn only 4-5 times what the ''Worker'' earn. There are other Cooperatives in the Basque Region, which have not joined Mondragon and that is perfectly ok.
Here is Thom Hartman on Mondragon
In another life back in the 80s in my 20, had worked as Union Electrician in a good part of this land. And the Union Brothers taught me well about how things should work for the regular Folks.
My Number 9 dream is to fulfill Isaiah 23:17-18 (more...)