Where: Waimea Neighborhood Center
When: Saturday January 18, 2014 @ 6:30 PM Who: Sponsored by Kauai Alliance for Peace and Social Justice
Free Admission Q & A after film presentation
At a time when Kauai faces challenges of becoming fully sustainable and providing safe jobs, this film offers answers! While many people are disillusioned with big banks, big business, and growing inequity in the United States, employee ownership offers real solutions for workers and communities.
Recently released film tells the stories of employee-owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces. SHIFT CHANGE visits thriving cooperative businesses in the U.S. and Spain; sharing on-the-ground experiences, lessons, and observations from the worker-owners on the front lines of the new economy.
Filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin gained unprecedented access to the world’s oldest and largest network of worker cooperatives in Mondragon—in the Basque Country of Spain—where 60% of local residents are employee-owners. With high job security and competitive salaries, the Basque Country boasts half the unemployment rate of the rest of Spain, and the Mondragon Corporation is the country’s 10th largest employer.
SHIFT CHANGE explores many of Mondragon’s diverse production facilities; along with its network of cooperative infrastructure, education, and social services agencies, highlighting the qualities that have helped to drive Mondragon’s business success while also perpetuating the democratic, socially responsible, community-oriented principles upon which it was founded.
SHIFT CHANGE highlights some of the vibrant worker-owned companies across the nation: from bakeries to solar energy to manufacturing and engineering. Through in-depth interviews with worker-owners, attendance at co-op meetings, and visits to the factory floor, the film conveys the promise that these businesses offer to reinvent our failing economy, provide a pathway to long term stability, and nurture a more egalitarian way of life.
Businesses featured in SHIFT CHANGE include the Bay Area’s Arizmendi Bakery Association—inspired by the Mondragon model and comprised of six cooperative bakeries and a development and support collective—and the non-profit Women’s Action to Gain Economic Security (W.A.G.E.S), an Oakland-based organization dedicated to promoting the economic and social well being of low-income women through cooperative business ownership.