Sustainable Jobs, Sustainable Communities: The Union Co-op Model
Creating sustainable jobs and sustainable communities requires broadening the definition of value beyond “the bottom line”. The moral values of the enterprise must matter as much, if not more so, than financial values. These values of democratic worker ownership and social and economic justice are what differentiate the union co-op model from traditional business models, making the union co-op more sustainable and giving it a competitive edge over the long term.
The union co-op model will seek to closely implement the principles and values of the Mondragon model in combination with collective bargaining in a way that not only makes the workplace more participatory and more accountable to the workers, but also further protects the interest of the workers and established guidelines to ensure that all workers are treated fairly.
To sustain this model, we must also ensure a dynamic labor-management relationship rooted in partnership, understanding the needs of both the worker-owners as owners and of the worker-owners as workers, and respect for the different advocacy roles each has.