Ran across this article about Seward Co-op’s plans to build a new store in a poor and community of color neighborhood in Minneapolis. Interesting reading. I thought it might inform the social justice debate in the co-op movement.
Fagor, one Mondragon’s core co-ops is heading for bankruptcy. Fagor did produce home appliances, but ceased production three weeks ago. Mondragon is both horizontally and vertically organized meaning the 110 co-ops within Mondragon support each other through interlocking arrangements including bailouts if needed. However, Mondragon cannot meet Fagor’s debt of 1.2 billion dollars or come up with the 200 million dollars life line proposed by Fagor to their fellow co-ops in Mondragon. Where does this leave Mondragon? Because of the interlocking nature (solidarity) of Mondragon it could bring down the entire organization. Mondragon can’t meet the cost of the solidarity commitments made to Fagor by the organization. The workers, besides losing their jobs will lose all their equity in the business. If will be interesting to watch this unfold. Hopefully, there will be a creative solution.
Now lets go to the UK where the Cooperative Banks are on the verge of collapse. The Coop Banks are swimming in bad debts. The UK co-op movement at the moment can’t come with the cash to bail out the system. The bank managers want to convert the Banks to a private model of outside investors and American hedge funds. Can you believe this!!
The lesson to be learned from this mess; co-ops are not outside the market economy and they can make horrible mistakes. Now is the time to reflect on Mondragon and the UK cooperative banks and seek a solution.
The following is a link to the Economist article on this situation.
peace, bob davis
Our Table Cooperative Farm is a Multi- Stakeholder co-op owned by farmers, workers and consumers. It is located south of Portland on land reserved as a land trust.
For you Co-op policy geeks here’s how Our Table is governed.
Check out this article! Forget about the Fourth Amendment. The Patriot Act has shredded our rights in the name of security. Remember any President that is given broad powers will use them regardless of party or political ideology.
NYC’s mayor proposes 19 billion to defend NYC from the raising tides of climate change. This an example of how the rich will respond to global warming—build infrastructure to defend the rich nations as the poor will be flooded out of their homes .
Of course, reducing carbon emissions is the real answer to the climate crisis. But wait, that would take major political will. Who has that? Not in Washington. Do we?