Shift Change

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= documentary which explores a kind of company where the workers are also the owners


Trailer via


"Shift Change, a new movie from filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin, looks at the world of worker cooperatives, where reasonable salaries, job security, and general work satisfaction prevail."


Interview of Melissa Young conducted by Ariel Schwartz.

" What is Shift Change about?

I think a lot of people are very concerned about high unemployment and growing inequality and are looking around to see if maybe there are better business models. One of them that we have come across is the worker-owned and -run business model. It’s one in which you as a worker buy into a business, have a stake and a say in what happens in the business. These types of businesses are not nearly as likely to move overseas or change location because the people who work there actually own it and are making business decisions.

The complex in Mondragon has been in operation now for 50 years. That complex of worker-owned co-ops employs 85,000 people. We’re hearing about all of these huge demonstrations and really high unemployment in Spain, but this part of Spain has half the unemployment of other parts of the country.

We found in the businesses that we visited around [the U.S.], including businesses in a whole range of sectors--from engineering firms to bakeries to home health care--people develop what works for them in their sector and their community. They’ve been able to cope better with the economic challenges that we’ve got going right now. It made me feel hopeful." (