Each October, cooperatives across the United States celebrate the cooperative difference, business model and the contributions of cooperatives to their communities. Minnesota was the first state to observe Co-op Month in 1948, and it has since spread quickly across the country.
For this years Co-op Month, Third Coast Workers for Cooperation will be celebrating the theme, “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World,” with a film series focused on worker-owned cooperatives. Join us at 5604 Manor every Friday evening in October @ 7pm for films, snacks and panel discussions on cooperatives:
Part 1 of Civilizing the Economy deals with co-operation in a market economy, by examining the phenomenal success of Emilia Romagna in northern Italy, which is perhaps the worlds’ most successful example of a co-operative economy.
Emilia Romagna, with Bologna its capital, is the most productive and prosperous regions of Italy and generates 45% of its GDP from coops in food production and distribution, cement manufacturing and construction, ceramics and machinery, and many other manufacturing sectors as well as controlling food distribution through their own supermarkets and, increasingly, to the delivery of social services formerly provided by government.
This short film will be followed by a panel discussion by representatives from local cooperatives.
The Take is a documentary film by Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein about how workers in Argentina are taking over the factories abandoned by their previous owners in the wake of the 2001 economic meltdown putting them under worker self-management. The film follows thirty unemployed auto-parts workers who walk into their idle factory, roll out sleeping mats and refuse to leave. All they want is to re-start the silent machines. But this simple act – The Take – has the power to turn the globalization debate on its head.
The story of the workers’ struggle is set against the dramatic backdrop of a crucial presidential election in Argentina, in which the architect of the economic collapse, Carlos Menem, is the front-runner. His cronies, the former owners, are circling: if he wins, they’ll take back the companies that the movement has worked so hard to revive
For more information on the film, visit: http://www.thetake.org/
Beyond the Bottom Line is a 30 minute documentary about a little known twist on the American Dream – businesses in which workers own the stock, reap the profits and decide for themselves how the company runs.
It is the story of worker-entrepreneurs in dozens of communities and nearly every kind of business… from manufacturing to health care to high tech. Some are tiny firms, while others employ hundreds and record millions of dollars in yearly revenues.
By giving the viewers a glimpse into the inner workings of these successful companies, Beyond the Bottom Line shows American workers, entrepreneurs and business owners that viable, community-oriented businesses are within their grasp.
This film will be followed by a discussion panel by local worker cooperative representatives.
The film looks at the life of a group of workers, men and women, inhabitants of the Argentinean Patagonia. These workers start a fight to stop the deaths and accidents that happen in the factory where they work. They live complex and dangerous conflicts and they are taking more and more commitment, something many of them had never imagined could happen.
These strong episodes are affecting their perception of the reality, of the world. No one now can see himself or herself like the human he or she used to be. Something broke, something has changed and can not return to the original place.
In a poor country looted by its own governments and businessmen, the workers of Zanon Ceramic take the factory in their own hands when the owner closes it. They start to produce ceramics again, but without bosses.