National Union Worker Cooperative Movement

National Union Worker
Cooperative Movement
Creating an Economy that Works for All.
The Inspiration
• Mondragon is the top industrial group in the Basque
region, ranked 10th in Spain with 80,000 personnel, a
presence in 70 countries, and winner of the 2013
Financial Times “Boldness in Business” award.
• With its own bank, university, and insurance mutual,
together with 12 cooperative laboratories holding more
than 850 patents, Mondragon’s 60-year-old mission is to
generate wealth for society through business
development and job creation under the “one worker,
one vote” cooperative framework.
• Mondragon holds that labor is sovereign and capital,
while essential, is subordinate to labor and sustainable
job creation.
The Foundation
United Steel Workers 2009 Historic Agreement
Foundational Principles
• Instead of a co-op standing alone
it presents us with a co-op of coops
• Solidarity Culture~ found in both
Mondragon and the American
Labor movement
What Is a Union Co-op?
A for-profit business
owned and directed by workers.
This business model utilizes the collective bargaining
process and is guided by the core principles of
sustainability, solidarity, accountability, and community
and is based on the Mondragon principles.
Union-Worker Cooperative
Board of
CUCI is a non-profit that partners with individuals and
organizations to develop worker-owned businesses that create
family-sustaining jobs and an economy that works for all. CUCI
emerged from the historic partnership between Mondragon, the
world’s most successful network of worker owned cooperatives, and
the United Steelworkers
• All-volunteer, self-funded, cast wide net: integrated businesses, unions,
universities, advocacy groups, banks, politicians, faith-based groups
• Cited as a national example of sweat equity economic development
• Developed 7 projects and 1 union co-op business in 2 years as prototypes for
roll-out models (now used as templates in other geographies)
• Example: Launched “Our Harvest Co-op” in April 2012
• Hosted International Union Co-op Symposium in December 2013
Vision: Worker owned farms and
distribution and processing center for
locally produced, sustainable food.
• First Mondragon-USW model union coop nationwide
• To date has created 15 jobs including
eight worker-owners
• Business model calls for 200 jobs in five
• A self-funded $40k feasibility study led
to a $500k commercial loan in less than
one operating year
• Practicum site for Cincinnati State's
Sustainable Agriculture Management
Working Group: CUCI ,UFCW,
Mondragon, Ohio Employee Ownership
Center, We Thrive!, OCDC, Ohio State
University Agricultural Extension Office,
and the Center for Community Change
Mission: Sustainergy is an energy
efficiency contractor specializing in
customized energy analysis, and retrofitting
electrical and heating and cooling systems.
Business Plan was completed in Fall of
• Launched Dec 2013 w/3 worker owner
track team members and an organizing
committee of 10
• CUCI & Sustainergy are playing a
leading role in a coalition to enable a
PACE district(Property Assessed Clean
Energy) with responsible contracting in
Steering Committee: Greater Cincinnati
Building and Construction Trade Council,
Mondragon, Cincinnati Union-Co-op
Initiative (CUCI), Greater Cincinnati
Chapter of the Blue Green Alliance
Cincinnati Railway
Vision: Attract world renowned Mondragon
Cooperative Group, Danobat Group Railways
(DGR), to the North American market creating
a unionized railway manufacturing cooperative
to capitalize on the ongoing tremendous
growth in the railroad industry in the United
The Ohio Employee Ownership Council
(OEOC) finished the feasibility plan.
Danobat Group Railways funded &
commissioned an expanded market
analysis study in Dec ’12.
Feb ‘14: City of Cincinnati offer letter &
DanoBat Delegates Visit
Steering Committee: USW, Mondragon,
Danobat Group Railways (a Mondragon Coop), CUCI, OEOC, the Blue Green Alliance, and
the NAACP of Hamilton/Fairfield/West
Chester and Liberty Townships chapter.
Jewelry Makers
Vision: Sustain Sarah Center (a non
profit that encourages women on the
margins to build positive lives for
themselves through jewelry making,
health & wellness programming, &
entrepreneurial education). Expand
successful, high quality jewelry making
operation to create family sustaining full
time jobs.
Progress: Feasibility Study will be
completed April 2014.
Steering Committee: USW, St.
Francis Seraph Ministries (including
Sarah Center), Mondragon, Applied
Information Resources, CUCI, Design
Vision: The Renting Partnerships
organization provides the infrastructure
- leadership, legal agreements, resources
and services - to facilitate the exchange
process and protect the interests of both
owners and renters.
1) Model Legal Agreements
2) Facilitated Community-Based
3) Administrative Practices
4) A Financial System
Progress: Feasibility Study completed.
Business Plan in process.
Steering Committee: USW, CUCI,
Mondragon, Renting Partnerships
Vision: Create family sustaining full
time jobs via baking and distributing
cookies from proprietary recipes made
with whole fruit and vegetables that
have been proven delicious in premium
NYC gourmet outlets. “A little bit of
good, a whole lot of delicious”
Progress: In recipe development at
World Outreach Christian Church
Steering Committee: UFCW,
Mondragon, Our Harvest, Yucky
Cookies, CUCI
Working For a
Northside • College Hill • Avondale
Worker Owned Grocery
Stores in Food Deserts
Vision: Create family sustaining
full time jobs while meeting the
need for grocery stores that can
provide quality, affordable,
walkable groceries in
neighborhoods that are food
Progress: Market Study &
Feasibility Study will be completed
by Feb 28th, 2014.
Steering Committee: UFCW,
Mondragon, Our Harvest, CUCI,
community stakeholders from
Avondale, College Hill, and
National Union Worker
Co-op Movement
Fernando Fernandez de
Landa, Director of the
Americas, Mondragon, at the
International Union Co-op
Symposium, 12/13
Txomin Garcia Hernandez, President of
Laboral Kutxa and Charles Snyder, President
and CEO of National Cooperative Bank
Armando Robles of New Era
Windows Cooperative (Chicago)
at the International Union Co-op
Symposium, 12/13
• Supports the creation, building, and launching of union
worker cooperatives and union worker cooperative initiatives
across the country under the 2009 USW-Mondragon “one
worker, one vote” collaboration framework
• Creates a national network of union cooperatives (key to the
60-year-old Mondragon model, winner of the 2013 Financial
Times “Boldness in Business” award)
• Inclusively intersects with all participants in America’s growing
National Worker Ownership Movement to
increase “1worker1vote” ownership visibly and profoundly
Inspiration & Model for Union Cooperatives
San Francisco - Oakland
St. Louis
Reading Union
Cooperative Initiative
• Visionary mayor, city staff, local committed business leaders and
unions like the United Steelworkers and the Laborers
• Community Development Corporation: “Redesign Reading”
▫ Community bank
▫ Municipal finance agency
▫ Aggregate public funds
• New union co-op
▫ Local Laborers International Union apprentices = workerowners
▫ Training to do building demolition, deconstruction and
▫ City buildings used as training ground - provide jobs, training,
demolish/weatherize more buildings for the city and keep
money local
Union co-op green commercial laundry
With sponsorship from the Heinz Endowments
Less than $500k invested to create 100 jobs
Re-employ and empower workers who are being
dislocated by former laundry
Recruit and train low-income residents
Each worker can expect to earn tens of thousands
of dollars in equity in the first few years
Pays local business taxes as a for-profit enterprise
An early anchor for the ALMONO site
development, representing the green, cutting-edge
businesses that the owners are working to attract
Pittsburgh, PA
Join the
Union Worker Cooperative Movement…
And be a part of this
Kristen Barker: [email protected]; 513.403.9963
Michael Peck: [email protected]

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