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A cooperative conglomerate, also known as a super-mutual in the United Kingdom, is a conglomerate of various cooperatives, often from more than one industry. These mutualized companies, often worker cooperatives, may join together under a larger cooperative governance for the stability and flexibility of the workforce; under such setups, as in the commonplace corporate conglomerates, workers will enjoy a larger social safety net for their skills and welfare in the larger cooperative if their jobs in one subsidiary co-op are made redundant, and can be easily transferred to other subsidiaries, while still retaining their rights and liberties as equal shareholders in the larger cooperative.
In the case of the MondragÃ³n Cooperative Corporation, a major cooperative conglomerate in the Basque Country, the conglomerate owns not only factories but also schools, grocery coops, and other schemes of social importance; the schools, including the MondragÃ³n University's campuses, are used to train future or currently-redundant workers within the cooperative with necessary and liberal skills, making them capable for employment by one of the many subsidiary worker cooperatives within the larger corporation.
Potential relationships with other types of cooperatives
A worker cooperative conglomerate that expands into multiple industrial and non-industrial concerns could easily assimilate other types of cooperatives:
- ownership of housing schemes and developments could lead to housing cooperatives among workers inside the coop
- ownership of agricultural properties will lead to agricultural cooperatives among designated workers in such-styled subsidiary coops
- ownership of food properties will lead to food cooperatives among workers
- ownership of utility properties will lead to utility cooperatives among workers within the coop
- ownership of banking and insurance properties will lead to credit unions, mutual savings banks and mutual insurance agencies among workers within the coop
Ultimately, the cooperative conglomerate can turn many more consumers into workers or workers-in-waiting/apprentices, thus making it more numerically competitive to, or overlapping of, the consumer cooperative alignment. As most or all workers in the cooperative conglomerate are also customers of the various cooperatives inside the conglomerate, conglomeration of worker cooperatives gives a sense of self-sustenance to the welfares of the working participants.