Category Archives: Identity Statement Series

The Guiding Light

Over the last several months, I have used this space to discuss the two core documents for worker co-operatives: The Statement on the Co-operative Identity and the CICOPA Declaration on Worker Co-operatives. Worker co-operative practitioners need to read these documents. … Continue reading

Posted in Identity Statement Series, World Declaration | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

#25: The Internationalist Nature of Co-operatives

Over the last 6 months,  I have been working my way through the Statement on the Co-operative Identity that the International Co-operative Alliance adopted at the 1995 meeting which also commemorated its first century of service. This statement solidified the … Continue reading

Posted in Identity Statement Series, Movement | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

#24 Concern for Community

Concern for Community is the last of the principles listed in the Identity Statement. It is the expression of the value of solidarity and social responsibility. It creates one of the multiple bottom lines for co-operatives. It is not enough … Continue reading

Posted in Governance, Identity Statement Series | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

#23 Co-operation Among Co-operatives

I usually make the snarky comment that the only time that I hear about this principle is when some slacker co-op wants a discount or donation. . . that is horribly unfair, of course. Also, we should discount each other—we … Continue reading

Posted in Identity Statement Series | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

#22 Education, Training and Information

“It is said that co-operation is an economic movement that utilizes educational activities, but it can also be said that co-operation is an educational movement that utilizes economic activities.“–Don José María Arizmendiarreta
A fun exercise, well maybe interesting more than “fun”, … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Identity Statement Series | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

#21-Autonomy and Independence

This is a good week for a discussion about the 4th Principle of Co-operatives. On my other blog, Breathing Lessons, I discuss the role of co-operatives in the race for Governor in Wisconsin. We, in the co-op movement, get pigeon-holed … Continue reading

Posted in Identity Statement Series | Tagged , | Leave a comment

#20 Payment Solidarity

The Mondragon Co-operatives maintain the concept of wage solidarity. From the beginning, the ratio of the highest paid position (manager) and the lowest paid (new worker) was locked at 3:1. In the 80’s this changed and today there are some … Continue reading

Posted in Identity Statement Series | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

#19 Participatory Management

The next principle from Mondragon is that of Participatory Management. This seems like a no-brainer for worker co-operatives. What is the point of going through all the work of setting up a worker co-op if the workers don’t actually have … Continue reading

Posted in Identity Statement Series | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

#18 The Instrumental and Subordinate Nature of Capital

“We do not aspire to economic development as an end, but as a means.”
–Don José María Arizmendiarrieta, spiritual founder of Mondragon
This Mondragon principle, in practice, operates more closely to the Identity Statement principle of Member Economic Participation. I included it … Continue reading

Posted in Human Relations, Identity Statement Series | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

#17 Sovereignty of Labor (Mondragon Priniciples)

The Mondragon principle “Sovereignty of Labor” created departure from the cooperative movement. While the Rochdale Pioneers had good intentions, they abandoned worker cooperation in the 1870’s. The Fabian Socialist moved even further from the ideals of Robert Owen declaring consumerism … Continue reading

Posted in Human Relations, Identity Statement Series | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments