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Mondragón, Spain gave birth to an international federation of worker cooperatives with annual sales of $16B; they had not laid off any employees until the 2008 recession.

"Don José Maria, as he came to be called, became the chaplain of the local branch of the Catholic Action movement. He believed that the social solidarity which had been typical of Basque communities historically could be rejuvenated. In his plan for social reconstruction, the first step was technical education and then the creation of a cooperative business. By 1943, his efforts led to a new polytechnic school, a democratically-administered institution open to all young people in the region.

"Importantly, the training at the school was not only technical: it was also informed by the personalism of its founder and his vision of the connection between Catholic social thought and the cooperative model, with all its benefits for both workers and consumers, indeed, for the larger society itself.

"In 1955, five graduates of the school were ready to create their first industrial cooperative, the beginning of what would become the Mondragon Corporation, today an international federation of worker cooperatives, the fourth largest enterprise operating in Spain, and an employer of almost 70,000 worldwide with annual sales of $16 billion."--Elias Crim, Patheos

Photo by Joxe Aranzabal from Elorrio, Basque Country - Ulgor kooperatiba, Mondragoen, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6325568

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