Union Cooperatives

What is the Union Co-op Model?

The Union Co-op Model: Sustainable Jobs, Sustainable Communities is the blueprint document explaining what the Union Co-op Model is, why Unions and Co-ops should be tied together, and the vision and mission of the model to create an economy that works for all.

How do i start a union co-op?

Use this quick checklist of Feasibility Steps Union Co-op Development Process to understand some of the first steps of building your union co-op business.

Also, checkout our 12-week Co-op U program which takes your co-op business idea from feasibility to launch. The program typically runs twice a year and may be offered online in the near future!


Are Unions and co-ops stronger together?

Stronger Together? The USW-Mondragon Union Co-op Model A scholarly article in the Labor Studies Journal  by Laura Hanson Schlachter who studied the union co-op model and asks the question of whether co-ops and unions are stronger by working together. She uses CUCI as a case study and proposes possibilities and dilemmas of the USW-Mondragon model for worker cooperative formation in the United States.

Full author summary here. 

Union Co-op Movement

1worker1vote is the national union co-op organization, of which CUCI is a founding member. 1W1V is building a national network of hybrid, shared ownership, regional and municipal ecosystems starting with unionized worker-owned cooperative businesses to overcome structural inequalities of opportunity, mobility, and income.



TU Lankide 100th Anniversary edition - A special English Language Edition of TU Lankide, Mondragon’s monthly magazine founded by Father Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta 55 years ago, honoring the 100th anniversary of Father Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta, 1915-2015, the inspirational founder of the Mondragon Experience.

Mondragon Corporation – Link to Mondragon Corporation website.

Mondragon 1956 – 2012 – A great introductory book on the history of Mondragon, which they created during the International Year of the Co-ops.

Fagor Electrodomesticos: A US Perspective  – A look at the power of a co-op of co-ops.

A Letter From Mondragon - Armín Isasti, lifelong Mondragon employee, offers us some heartening words to help us on the cooperative journey in these tumultuous times. 



Cultivate.Coop is a library of information about cooperatives. Everything here is created by and for people who work in co-ops. You can edit and upload content to just like Wikipedia.

Worker Cooperative Toolbox

In Good Company: A Guide to Cooperative Employee Development is a great guide that we use in our union co-op development process to understand the basics of co-op development. This resource was published by Shared Capital Cooperative (formerly Northcountry Cooperative Foundation) in partnership with Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund.

Co-op Curriculum

The comprehensive Collecting Ourselves: A Cooperative Entrepreneurship Curriculum, from Northcountry Cooperative Foundation (NCF), walks participants through an examination of why to be cooperative and how to make a cooperative business, especially:

  • Organizing people into a Steering Committee

  • Creating a Business Plan

Worker Ownership

Owning a Better Future is a blog on Worker Ownership by Rob Witherell, United SW Organizer & one of the architects of union co-op template.

Becoming Employee Owned is abrought to you by Workers to Owners, a national collaborative of leaders in the field of worker ownership who are committed to helping companies transition to worker ownership in order to build a fairer and more equitable economy.


Ours to Share: How Worker-Ownership Can Change the American Economy examines worker-owned firms and analyzes their potential to create a productive, stable and equitable economy as compared with traditionally structured firms. Key Findings Here!

Building a Cooperative Solidarity Commonwealth, written by Jessica Gordon Nembhard, defines a new system of cooperative commonwealth and solidarity economics, and how this system is created.

African American Cooperatives and Civil Rights: Jessica Gordon Nembhard explains the huge role economic cooperation played on the civil rights movement.

Cooperatives & Addressing Inequality


Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Decmocracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, Missisippi is a chronicle of one of the most dynamic experiments in radical social transformation in the United States. The book documents the ongoing organizing and institution building of the political forces concentrated in Jackson, Mississippi dedicated to advancing the Jackson-Kush Plan.  All proceeds from book sales support Cooperation Jackson's general fund. (2017)



The Revolution Where You Live by Sarah Van Gelder, an elaboration on 20 local heroes and healers, under the mass media's radar, are getting stuff done. CUCI is the focus of chapter 11! (2016)

Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, A New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet  edited by Trebor Scholz and Nathan Schneider, wrote, “Building the People’s Ownership Economy through Union Co-ops,” chapter. (2016)

2017 - PULSE Study: Applying a Gender Lens to the Wage Gap

This report show significant disparities in men’s and women’s wages, with a significant unexplained difference in wages between men and women. This leads to hundreds of thousands of dollars lost, forcing women to either work longer or retire with less. For women of color, the disparities are even more profound. 

Source: The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation