Monday, September 16, 2013

USW and Mondragon Update etc

With the second anniversary of Occupy Wall St. approaching, I was finally able to organize my thoughts and unearth this recent gem.

2) The link further below came to my attention in a search for the situation with the strike in Germany.

3)  A link from the above contained more about the Fast Food strike movement, also below.

The United Steelworkers, Mondragon, and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center Announce a New Union Cooperative Model to Reinsert Worker Equity Back into the U.S. Economy

USW: Rob Witherell,
OEOC: Jim Anderson,
Mondragon International USA: Michael Peck,

Pittsburgh (March 26, 2012) – Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW), together with representatives from Mondragon International, S.A., the global worker industrial cooperative leader, and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC), announced today that a new “union co-op” model template is available for organizations wanting to combine worker equity with a progressive collective bargaining process. This template was created as follow up to the original USW-Mondragon framework agreement launched in October 2009 to collaborate in establishing Mondragon-like industrial manufacturing cooperatives that adopt collective bargaining principles to the Mondragon worker ownership model of “one worker, one vote” within the United States and Canada.
Titled “Sustainable Jobs, Sustainable Communities: The Union Co-op Model”, this new public domain template (available at and offers a road-map primer for competitive and equitable employment creation based on fifty-five years of Mondragon principles put into marketplace practice. Aimed at creating an economy that can work for everyone who works, the union co-op model shows how “doing well by doing good” reflects core American values of self-reliance, community solidarity, and ownership as an ineluctable component of the American dream based on competitive business practices. The underlying union co-op principle is that this model will result in improved, self-reinforcing, virtuous cycle worker and customer satisfaction through higher accountability, productivity, and efficiency because all workers will have
Bill McIntyre - Program Coordinator,
Ohio Employee Ownership Center

an equal equity stake in the company, will share common goals, and adhere to common principles and practices that broaden the definition of value beyond the “bottom line”. Additionally, union co-ops through this model are structured to benefit from lower overhead costs while potentially accessing higher impact union benefit plans, such as healthcare and pensions. Simply put, union co-ops are a better way of doing business.

2) The site below looks really good-

3) and I found this link there-

The fast food strikes which made the news in August...

4)  Walmart's failure in Germany, from a moderate source-    

Walmart in Germany: Cultural Problems

walmart logoThis article on the cross-cultural problems faced by Walmart in Germany is part one of a three part article entitled International Retail and Cross Cultural Issues. If you have come straight to this page please click the link to go to the beginning.

Otherwise, read on....

Walmart move into Germany

In 1997 and 1998 Walmart acquired two companies - Wertkauf and Interspar - in Germany. During its expansion Walmart managed to also successfully enter a number of international markets including Canada, Chili, Brazil, India, and China.

However, during this whole period of expansion Walmart also experienced a number of defeats. Germany was one of them.

Culture factors in play

Analysts still argue about the reasons behind the failure of Walmart in Germany. However, among them are a number of culture-related issues that come up rather often. There were two groups of factors, which contributed to Walmart’s failure in Germany.

The first cluster is related to mismanagement.

Firstly, some of the American employee management practices just didn’t fit in the German context. For example, each employee before the shift had to participate in a morning exercise. In could be seen as harmless, but the best thing about this practice was that they had to do it chanting “WALMART! WALMART! WALMART!” . If in America such practice could be used to boost morale and inspire loyalty, then in Germany it was looked upon with annoyance, to put it mildly.

Secondly, Walmart’s ethical code caused much frustration as well. For example, the practice of actually spying on your co-workers and reporting any misconduct may be acceptable in the U.S. However, in Germany it is not the case. One only has to think back to the 1940s and post-war Germany when citizens were actually doing this on a social level - thus the modern abhorance.


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