Could a common co-operative work?

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RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture
Could a common co-operative work?

I'm pretty sure a few here have mentioned this. How'd they work and what are the key elements to remember/consider. Thanks for any contributions.

I believe a lot in this but haven't seen much in practice...work...

There's so many different ways it can work. Economies of scale aren't just for the right. I'm overhoused and overtechnolgized.

The massive economies to be gained are sitting there right in front of our nose.

Forest for the trees.

Quote:

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

RIP

Mike Stirner

Look into mutualism

Sarann

Google Mondragon a cooperative in Spain.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

The Free Libre and Open Source Software movement is probably the world's largest example of building great things through global cooperation and collaboration.

This site wouldn't exist without the Drupal web content management system...a system built through global cooperation and collaboration.  It runs on the Apache web server software that powers about two-thirds of all of the websites on the net.   The Apache web server software mainly runs on servers that use the GNU/Linux computer operating system or the Free BSD Unix operating system.   Both of these operating systems were built through global cooperation and collaboration.

milo204

They CAN work but often don't because the mix of personalities and different ways of thinking often drives everyone away in the end.  i think it has more to do with the fact the commune is isolated since the society that surrounds it is the exact opposite.  Same reason anarchist movements never held on.

The only way it works if you have people who are not selfish, have a similar idea about sharing work, space, democracy AND like each others company...

Sarann

Mondragon will help you through the process of starting a cooperative.  It is the most successful cooperative ever in the world. It has become a regional initiative in Spain with even a university.  Too bad more people don't know about it.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

What is happening to Mondragon in Spain's economic crisis?

n sum of the 120 coops in Mondragon, 70 are making profits and 50 are having losses. What happens when a coop has losses?  One of Mondragon's co-operatives is called Fagor Electrodomestic - 3,500 employees make very modern looking fridges, stoves, washing machines and while they sell to 120 countries, Europe is their main market. So when new construction starts in Spain fell from just under 700,000 units in 2007 to just 40,000 units this year, Fagor was hit hard and appliance sales have fallen by 50%. Their response was to reduce workers by 10%- that meant laying off 300 temporary workers and transferring 250 worker members to other coops in Mondragon (worker members are frequently transferred from one coop that isn't doing well to one that is). It also meant reducing wages by 8% in Fagor and reducing the number of models produced. Another interesting strategy is the hours bank- if there is less work at one time of the year , workers will reduce their hours and make it up later in the year. If the total is less than a full salary, Mondragon's internal welfare system will compensate the workers for 80% of the gap between a fu

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Saw this thread and thought it could be expanded a bit by including co-op links from rabble and babble:

Starting a co-operative

which includes these links:

How to form a worker's co-op

How to form an artisan's co-op

How to form a health care co-op

How to start a housing co-op

How to form a food co-op

other general links:

Report from international summit in Quebec City: 'The Amazing Power of Co-operatives'

Community economies and jobs to suffer with federal cuts to co-operative development

Can co-operatives humanize our economy?

Union embraces the co-op movement (podcast)  

The United Steelworkers Union has just entered into a partnership with a large worker-owned cooperative based in Spain. The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation was started 50 years ago and employs 90,000 people. We speak with Hazel Corcoran, executive director of the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation.

Collective farms and manufacturing: why we need collaborative enterprise

Union co-ops the future of labour?  (An older link - Mondragon   again)

Occupation, democracy and co-ops   OK, credit unions are not exactly a rallying cry for revolution. But it is a simple and tangible act to close your bank account and join a credit union. In fact, an action I saw on Facebook yesterday asked for this exact thing this November 5.

More support for credit unions and co-operatives is but one piece of a bigger puzzle about how to develop a more just and sustainable world. Humanizing the economy and democratizing the production system recognizes that humans need goods and services but not necessarily trans-national corporations and banks to provide them.

Tons more stuff out there on rabble and babble, and through a google.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I agree we need more cooperatives however I am rather jaundiced with the credit unions these days.  I have been a member of various credit unions for decades and use them for most of my banking.  However it is really hard to tell the difference between them and the banks.  Getting a loan for instance requires at least as much security at a credit union as it does at a bank.  They are no longer a place where members can access loans easier than at the banks so they have become meaningless for poor people who want to borrow money.  They operate now as a competitor to banks not as an alternative that does things different.  One of my sisters who worked at a credit union part time tried to get a small loan and she was refused until a relative allowed the loan to be attached to a vehicle. The original idea of credit unions was that people like her pooled their resources so that they helped each other based on character not on assets. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

A Call to Develop a Worker Cooperative Sector in New York City: How the City Can Create Jobs and Address Inequality at Its Roots

On January 30, the Co-op business development pioneers in New York City recently shared their successes and discussed their needs in building infrastructure and planting the seeds of a democratic work movement. Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), a 90-year-old nonprofit with the mission to "strengthen human service organizations and advocate for just public policies," hosted a standing-room-only conference titled "Worker Cooperatives: Jobs for New York City's Future." The conference brought together leaders of New York City's nascent worker cooperative movement to discuss how to grow the sector in NYC. The conference also celebrated the release of a report entitled "Worker Cooperatives for New York City: A Vision for Addressing Income Inequality, authored by FPWA's Senior Policy Analyst, Noah Franklin, which is a blueprint for developing a strong worker co-op sector in NYC.

quote:

Conference participants described concrete examples of worker cooperatives creating stable, relatively high-paying jobs with benefits in which workers control the implementation of work. Greenhouse described Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA), the largest worker cooperative in the United States, located in the South Bronx. CHCA has over 2,000 home health-care workers, two-thirds of whom are worker-owners. CHCA home health workers have salaries 20 percent higher than the industry average, retirement benefits and health insurance. Moreover, the standard in the industry is to require workers to pay for their own training. CHCA, on the other hand, provides a four-week training course for free and guarantees certification and employment upon completion of the course....

http://truth-out.org/news/item/22000-a-call-to-develop-a-worker-cooperat...

arielc

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I agree we need more cooperatives however I am rather jaundiced with the credit unions these days.  I have been a member of various credit unions for decades and use them for most of my banking.  However it is really hard to tell the difference between them and the banks.  Getting a loan for instance requires at least as much security at a credit union as it does at a bank.  They are no longer a place where members can access loans easier than at the banks so they have become meaningless for poor people who want to borrow money.  They operate now as a competitor to banks not as an alternative that does things different.  One of my sisters who worked at a credit union part time tried to get a small loan and she was refused until a relative allowed the loan to be attached to a vehicle. The original idea of credit unions was that people like her pooled their resources so that they helped each other based on character not on assets. 

A credit union also has responsibility to protect members' assets by not making bad loans. ow does a credit union assess "character"?