Zoe Sullivan writes about the Apple Street Market and Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative for NextCity:
CUCI’s seeds were planted in 2009 following conversations between U.S. Steelworkers and representatives of Spain’s Mondragon cooperative business network, according to Kristen Barker, CUCI’s Executive Director. Mondragon’s network includes 120 worker cooperatives in the Basque region of Spain, employing over 70,000 worker-owners.
The union cooperative model adds a twist to the worker-cooperative model that cities like New York, Cleveland, Rochester, Madison and others are now supporting in various ways as a strategy to encourage the creation of quality jobs. Taking inspiration from the Mondragon cooperatives, the union cooperative model combines the democratically shared decision-making and shared ownership of a co-op business model with a collective bargaining agreement for workers covering wages, benefits, working conditions and other workplace issues. As part of a local union, a union cooperative also gets access to shared resources and collective power that it would not otherwise have, such as the ability to gain access to lower cost, higher quality health insurance, retirement plans, industry and market research, education and training, finance, and public policy initiatives.
Read the NextCity article.