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International Union Co-op Symposium

December 9, 2013 - December 10, 2013

An international delegation will meet in Cincinnati with business and union leaders and workers from around the United States on December 9th and 10th to further develop the union co-op sector of the U.S. economy.

Union co-ops are for-profit businesses that are owned and directed by workers utilizing the collective bargaining process and guided by the core principles of sustainability, solidarity, accountability, and community. The nationwide union co-op movement is growing, including seven businesses that are part of the Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative (CUCI). Participants will discuss best practices, union co-op management, financing, training, what the inherent power of the union co-op model is, how to build an economy that works for all, and more.

Hosted by CUCI, the event is the first time so many elements of the U.S. union co-op movement will gather to strategize next steps and continue learning from the decades-old, economically thriving Mondragon ecosystem.

During the last 57 years, the Mondragon cooperative network has transformed a devastated, war torn, region of Spain rife with poverty and unemployment into thriving, vibrant communities that have weathered financial crises. Mondragon is the world’s largest worker-owned industrial cooperative but also the top Basque region industrial group, ranked tenth in Spain with 80,000 personnel, a presence in 70 countries, and winner of the 2013 Financial Times “Boldness in Business” award. Mondragon’s more than 55-year-old mission is to generate wealth for society through business development and job creation under the “one worker, one vote” cooperative framework where labor is sovereign and capital, while essential, is subordinate to sustainable job creation. Its businesses generated more than $24 billion in sales in 2012.

WHO: Kristen Baker, President, Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative

Fernando Fernandez De Landa, Director of the Americas, Mondragon

Isabel Uribe, Cooperative Business Developer, Saiolan

Pio Aquirre, Director of International Development, Laboral Kutxa

Michael Peck, North American Delegate, Mondragon

Rob Witherell, Member, United Steelworkers Organizing Department

Representatives from businesses and banks from 17 states

CUCI is a non-profit that partners with individuals and organizations to support 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.


December 9, 2013
December 10, 2013
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Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative


Laborers Local 265 Hall
3457 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH United States
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