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Employee Owned Businesses On The Rise

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Cooperation At Work

"Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility. " United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

2012 is the International Year of Cooperatives as declared by the UN.

This video is a promo for "Shift Change—Putting Democracy to Work", a film by Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin about cooperatives, which is slated for release in July 2012.

Examining cooperatives in both the United States and Spain, it documents the growing number of employee-owned businesses. They make more sense today's climate than ever before. These workplaces are not just businesses where workers are a commodity among many. They have part ownership which means they have a say, and that is more than a "job".

These businesses can not just pick up and go if profits are off -- they are rooted in the community.

"Many times in regular capitalist companies if there is a slow down, you're out on the street. Some coops do better than others but you still have a job. You can't get thrown out on the street." says a woman who is part of the Mondragon Federation of 120 worker cooperatives in Spain. Another worker says: "We don't have a boss like in other businesses. We're all bosses and we have to move the business forward."

--Bibi Farber

For more info on this film: