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The Evolution of Union Co-ops and the Historical Development of Workplace Democracy

In 2012 the United Steelworkers formally joined forces with Mondragon, the long-lasting worker-owned company in the Basque region of Spain, to promote a “union co-op model” for creating sustainable jobs and communities. The popularity of unionized worker co-ops, those worker-owned enterprises in which employees affiliate with a labor union to advance their rights as workers, appears to be growing.

The challenges unionized co-ops historically faced, however, continue to affect the evolution of real-life alternatives to traditional capitalist business.

James Anderson gives a brief history of union co-ops and their strengths, weaknesses and their enduring importance

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