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Mondragón Worker-Cooperatives Decide How to Ride Out a Downturn

Written by Georgia Kelly and Shaula Massena Tuesday, 01 September 2009 Source: Yes Magazine Mondragón Co-op Grocery Store The Mondragón Cooperative Corporation (MCC), the largest consortium of worker-owned companies, has developed a different way of doing business-a way that puts workers, not shareholders, first. Here’s how it played out when one of the Mondragón cooperatives fell on hard times. The worker/owners and the managers met to review their options. After three days of meetings, the worker/owners agreed that 20 percent of the workforce would leave their jobs for a year, during which they would continue to receive 80 percent of their pay and, if they wished, free training for other work. This group would be chosen by lottery, and if the company was still in trouble a year later, the first group would return to work and a second would take a year off. The result? The solution worked and the…

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