The bank boasted a profit of 56.5 million euros in 2009, and despite its investments in Lehman Brothers, was therefore not … Like other European companies, Mondragon is exposed to fierce competition from developing world competitors with lower labour costs. Good blog, I will follow you! It is good you put Marx’s words there and what Marx said is as true now as it is true then. This has led some sectors of the left in the U.S. to view this as a major step forward. My first encounter with Mondragon occurred in the early 90s on the Progressive Economists Network mailing list (PEN-L) when a professor at a Catholic university harped on its role in the transition to socialism in countries like the U.S. I would love to understand your point of view so that I can learn more and see what else I may be missing. Bosses there fired a dozen workers shortly after the National Labor Relations Act passed in 1935. It was established by a Catholic priest, Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta (JMA), … Great article. MONDRAGON firms, then, hold 60% of the capital and SHS forms part of the MONDRAGON Corporation. I would be curious to hear your thoughts on some of the underlying theoretical issues brought up by the idea of co-ops as a transitional device toward market socialism: Are workers in Mondragon self-exploiting, is there exploitation of some workers by others, or are they exploited by international capital? I just disregard these types of armchair complaints as soon as I hear them. Furthermore, the non-members Mondragon employs can also organize, just as the members. By the early 1990s several lean production practices had been accepted, including. Comment by red2black — October 2, 2013 @ 3:23 pm. then Mondragon etc. Bosses there fired a dozen workers shortly after the National Labor Relations Act passed in 1935. But until I see something truly different from this RADICAL departure from capitalist ownership, I will put my reliance on what these people do as a model we can achieve to dislocate us all from the global capitalism that is strangling the world to death. receive less pay and, by definition, have less job security. Co-ops operate on a one-person, one-vote model with producers determining their own fate at the point of production AND system wide. Last decades Eroski group has bought other firms that are not part of the cooperative, and all the there workers are out of the associated system, with a great part of subcontracts, temporal jobs, etc. By the way, the information in my post was entirely drawn from Sharryn Kasmir’s book “The Myth of Mondragon” that about 75 percent of which can be read here: http://books.google.com/books?id=xTp3hf8X0AgC, Comment by louisproyect — December 9, 2009 @ 4:50 pm, […] The Myth of Mondragon https://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/the-myth-of-mondragon/ […], Pingback by #310: Bolivarian Solidarity Conferences 2010 « GPJA's Blog — December 10, 2009 @ 6:31 am, there is a recent interview with worker from the Zanon factory in Argentina, one of the reclaimed factories, here In the mid-1960s alternative approaches (in the In 2008-2009 period, the group fired thousands of workers, mainly people with temporal and lower contracts, exactly the same politic than other ‘fully capitalist’ corporations. It is certainly possible that Mondragon might not be the ideal (worker-owned but not necessarily worker-managed), but I think it should be said that it is a step forward from current business practices. While the Mondragon cooperatives have been successful in terms of business objectives, they are not exactly harbingers of a classless society. You seem to be taking the old demand of “socialism in one country” and changing it to “socialism in one factory”. Under Mr Cancelo’s guidance the MCC [Mondragon Cooperative Corporation] members have learned to think like the shareholders of any other global business. inventory along with other manufacturing practices to increase productivity Search Google Scholar for this author. In their magazine, they charged the cooperatives with: Becoming like any private firm, from the point of view of daily work, the cooperative member is exploited in his/her job in a capitalist firm by increased production, mobility, schedule changes, etc. Cooperatives are a living demonstration that “another world is possible”. Stupid people making decisions for other people is NOT better than people making choices for themselves. Mondragon Corporation (MC) is the most successful business group in the Basque Country, and the seventh largest in Spain; as a cooperative group it is unique in the world (Mondragon Corporation 2010). Consistent with market socialism schemas that were popular at the time, Mondragon-style cooperatives were seen as liberated territory that would diffuse out into the rest of the economy until it had become totally transformed. With the encouragement of International President Leo Gerard, following on the anti-WTO street battles in Seattle in the 1990s, the USW helped found the Blue-Green Alliance together with the Sierra Club and other environmentalists. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. mondragon-corporation.com. In order to protect their own jobs from fluctuations in demand, 20% of the workforce are on part-time or short-term contracts and can easily be shed. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. In 1993, the Guardian reported that Mondragon, the “darling of Western universities’ sociology departments in the 1970s, has been radically restructured in preparation for the European Single Market.”, It stated that “increased salary differentials, advertising campaigns in Fortune and co-operate alliances with companies like Hotpoint have had many co-op workers wondering whether in the new Mondragon Cooperative Corporation some members are more equal than others.”. http://www.fifthinternational.org/content/interview-trade-union-militant-liberated-zanon-factory, It was occupied years ago but the workers have only just received legal backing for their take over of it, Comment by keefer — December 10, 2009 @ 11:34 am, “All the while, the Mondragonites were focusing on the immediate objectives of selling their products, delivering social services to their members and generally avoiding the class struggle.”. Jose Luis Lafuente, Mondragon's Corporate Management Model specialist Some things speak for themselves: "Mondragon Corporacion Cooperativa or the Mondragon Co-operative Corporation (MCC) is a business-based socioeconomic initiative with deep roots in the Basque Country, created for and by people and inspired by the Basic Principles of our Co-operative Experience. I do think that the logic you’re implying is simple and binary – “the friend of your enemy is your friend,” and you’re “either with us or against us.” Just because the fascists supported worker owned coops over socialists, and that coops did not participate in the socialist “class struggles” you speak of does not mean that they are with them. On October 27th, the United Steelworkers and Mondragon Internacional, the worldwide network of cooperatives based in Basque territory, announced a new alliance: PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers (USW) and MONDRAGON Internacional, S.A. today announced a framework agreement for collaboration in establishing MONDRAGON cooperatives in the manufacturing sector within the United States and Canada. Nucor, a steel company, distributes dividends to shareholders AND a percentage of the profits to the employees. I especially find the part that they employ so many part time workers to be interesting. Interesting article. Whilst Capitalists are only too aware of Marxist’s methods and tactics, and have become adept at countering these tactics, Marxists know little about the Capitalist mentality in full. (e.g.. Foxconn) when Mondragon experiences an increase in demand from the First Published December 17, 2015 Research Article. their commitment to the goals of worker participation and improved worker On September 16th Gerard informed Huffington Post readers: The Obama administration fails to fawn over the affluent. Comment by dannydamage — December 7, 2009 @ 10:54 pm. Just about everybody has begun to wake up to this, from liberal bloggers like Jane Hamsher to the Congressional Black Congress. We understand that equality is not absolute and that the issue is better understood as equity – respecting difference instead of stomping on it. to never employ. Temporary hires at Mondragon are overwhelmingly female, thus many lower In answer to the question “In your job, do you feel that you are working as if the firm is yours?”, manual workers at Mayc replied 75 percent in the negative as opposed to 78 percent at Fagor. AMA. The corporation president, Antonio Cancelo explained: “Our clients cannot guarantee us steady workloads, so we have to have a number of people on temporary contracts. Despite the fact that everybody is an “owner”, the blue-collar workers on the assembly line do not feel that they have that much of a stake in the company. Lastly – I echo much of what “Rudolph Rocker” said… and your response of “Ha-ha-hah!!!! Blog of the Center for Social Epidemiology. positions within the company are being occupied by females while blue-collar jobs I don’t know about fawning over the affluent, whatever that is supposed to mean, but the general consensus is that Obama’s economic policies are a continuation pretty much of the administration that preceded his. I have some friends who worked on Eroski supermarkets (which is part of the MCC) and the labour conditions ar not better than other big corporations, that is: very low salaries, diferent workers categories (only a part are associated to the cooperative). marketplace they draw from a pool of temporary workers to fill the labor gap. Innovation. experience as a “worker cooperative” corporation as it has undergone expansion At the end of 1998, MONDRAGON represents 3.1% of employment, 4.5% of GDP and 9.3% of exports of the Basque Country economy. The equitable distribution of the surplus through worker social shareholding is only the bare minimum requirement. Comment by louisproyect — December 7, 2009 @ 3:47 pm. and evolution over the past 30 years. By the This of course was to be expected. Gender equality in their hiring practices is also The movement of movements would see the co-op movement as a natural ally – people who are not theorizing, but actively demonstrating that workers can control the means of production, and thrive. CONTACT INFORMATION . Do we remain idle in the meantime? I really appreciate the efforts made here behind writing such a wonderful blog. Of every €100 of wealth generated in the Basque Country, €4.50 is because of the activity of the Corporation’s companies. Not that I necessarily think it is applicable to Mondragon in general, but a lot of what you are talking about seems to echo some of the arguments around the time of the French autogestion movement in the 1970s, which the Unified Socialist Party was involved in, especially revolving around the LIP factory. While Arizmedi was a staunch opponent of Franco during the Spanish Civil War, he was just as much of an opponent of class struggle. Everybody in town knows the water belongs to a big land development corporation. As for a coherent plan, fuggedaboutit. Comment by purple — December 7, 2009 @ 9:27 am. to replace the rote and alienating line work Taylorism had brought. The Mondragon Cooperative Group has engaged in a domestic expansion process since the early 1960s and internationally since the 1990s. The news of the MONDRAGON Corporation and its cooperatives. I was talking to a friend about Mondragon yesterday, and there was an interesting moment where he had me realize that one has to be careful in semantics. There are lots of examples included in Sam Dolgoff’s book, ‘Anarchist Collectives. An integrated chain of worker-owned enterprises that might promote a green restructuring of the U.S. economy, for instance, would not only be a powerful force in its own right. decision-making within the company. ), Comment by reader — December 9, 2009 @ 12:24 pm. It is informative blog for us and we need this type of blog thanks for share this blog, Keep posting such instructional blogs and I am looking forward for your future posts.อาหารเสริมชะลอวัย. mid-1980s it had become apparent to Mondragon’s that many of its products were You may have a “worker owned cooperative”, and then the workers hire people they call “contractors”, who they pay low wages. Comment by Steppenwolf — December 6, 2013 @ 8:53 am, […] to on a number of occasions by people on the Left as justification for opposition to cooperatives, here for […], Pingback by Arguments against workers’ cooperatives: the Myth of Mondragon Part 1 | Sráid Marx — January 19, 2014 @ 9:44 pm, […] may even address some, though probably not all, of the criticism from the sectarian left that cooperatives have to play on a market-capitalist field. 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