Big Co-op Conversation #12 - Resilience to the Euro Zone Crisis

The Unique Advantages of the Mondragon Cooperative

When:         6pm-7pm, Monday, 22 October 2012

Where:        Sunderland Theatre, Medical Building, Grattan Street, Carlton

Cost:           Public lecture - free event

Dinner with Q&A at 7.30pm following the public lecture, at University House Woodward, Level 10, Law School, Pelham Street Carlton – cost $75 per head, bookings and payments required in advance.

Mikel Lezamiz is the Director of Cooperative Dissemination at the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation.  Starting as a member-worker in the ALECOP students’ cooperative in 1973, he continues to work at Mondragon as an educator, trainer and organisational leader, holding senior positions on the education system governing boards.  Mikel is the author of three books on Mondragon and travels internationally to speak about the Cooperative’s enduring success.  He is visiting Australia for the national conference held as part of the UN International Year of Cooperatives.

Mikel Lezamiz



"We are the owners; we have to tighten our belts, cut our salaries, or whatever, to keep our jobs and not disperse like many private companies that stop investing here"

The Mondragon Cooperative is the world’s largest worker cooperative and Spain’s seventh largest company employing more than 83,000 people in 256 companies. Founded in 1956 in response to high levels of youth unemployment in the Basque region, Mondragon continues to innovate to create permanent jobs. Since the crisis hit, the Cooperative has countered the lending squeeze by sharing liquidity among more than 130 cooperatives, including a supermarket chain, savings bank and many manufacturers, in the group. Owned by member-workers, Mondragon keeps the pay differential between highest and lowest paid workers to no more than six times. Unemployment levels in the Basque region are about half the national average.

Sponsored by

Electrical Trades Union, Victorian Trades Hall Council, Members’ Equity Bank, National Union of Workers, Communications Electrical Plumbing Union, National Tertiary Education Union, University of Melbourne

Supported by

The Fabian Society, Employee Ownership Australia, The Uniting Church, Social Business Australia, Australian Council of Trades Unions, Maritime Union of Australia, Earthworker Cooperative, Goulburn Valley Food Cooperative



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Peter Russell-Clarke
Iconic TV chef and co-ops champion, Peter Russell-Clarke
"...because a lot of profit made from human effort is vanishing out of the local community where it is generated, we are becoming acutely aware that we need to join hands and protect each other by striving together to the benefit of our neighbours as well as our own family. We need to co-operate with each other - Bravo the co-operatives amongst you."

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