Somerset Waters has the passion of a convert. You can hear it in his voice when he outlines why he set up the only worker-owned cooperative business in Los Angeles.

Last June, 42 employees of four businesses on tiny Deer Isle in Hancock County took ownership into their own hands.

They formed Island Employee Cooperative Inc., and bought the two grocery stores, a variety/hardware store and a pharmacy that made up a business that had been owned by the Seile family for 42 years, a $5.6 million acquisition.

[Editor's note: this special edition of the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation magazine, TU Lankide, is dedicated to exploring the thought and practice of founder Don Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta, who was born a century ago, in 1915.  GEO and Level Translation will soon be releasing a series of ebooks looking at

Cooperative values and participative management are assets that appeal to new generations willing to give a meaning to their working lives. According to a study by CG Scop, the French Confederation of cooperatives in production and services, cooperatives in these sectors are managed by 420 young leaders under 35 years, 15.5% against 11.3% for traditional businesses.

Read the full article at CECOP


What began with community gardens has grown into a movement.

They are cleaning up.

An uptown company is sprucing up local homes and businesses, while helping its workers excel with reliable wages and steady employment with room to grow.

What sets Ecomundo Cleaning apart is that the individuals doing the scrubbing and polishing are also owners.

Rebecca Kemble wants to govern the city of Madison like a co-op.

“I’m thinking of the city as one big co-op,” she says. “We’re all members of this community and, ideally, we’re ‘one person, one vote’ with the same level of influence in policy decisions. Practically, that’s not happening, but it’s something I’m going to be quite outspoken about.”

As Austin’s ground transportation service industry faces upheaval due to new competition, taxi drivers are using a looming expiration of the city’s taxicab franchises as an opportunity to push for, among other requests, a cooperative, driver-owned franchise.

The Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) recently funded the development of reports about two home care worker-cooperatives [see below].  The case studies provide information on the genesis, start-up phase, financing and opportunities of home care worker cooperatives in Bellingham, WA and the Hilo,Hawaii.  Produced by the Northwest Cooperative Development Center (NWCDC), these case studies add to the limited body of knowledge around home care worker cooperatives in the United


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