Social Responsibility. Yet some of the harder left, the Marxists, are not happy with Mondragon: […], Pingback by Who produces “wealth”? Most recently, the USW was a major participant in the week-long series of events making the oppositional case at the G20 events in Pittsburgh. Somehow I failed to see how the capitalist ruling class would allow such a process to unfold peacefully. The Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in finance, industry, retail, and knowledge businesses. On September 16th Gerard informed Huffington Post readers: The Obama administration fails to fawn over the affluent. then Mondragon etc. 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. Matt Fagerholm 1. (e.g.. Foxconn) when Mondragon experiences an increase in demand from the 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. Of course Obama would want to direct workers into legal challenges. The equitable distribution of the surplus through worker social shareholding is only the bare minimum requirement. First Published December 17, 2015 Research Article. 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.”. While often broader struggles are required in organizing and also distributing resources like land, people are often free to sell their labor in the marketplace and negotiate their wages, and they can quietly employ themselves selling their products cooperatively. 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. It is the largest cooperative in the world. Mondragon Corporation, a federation of worker cooperatives with headquarters in Spain’s Basque region, is highly regarded for creating both economic and social value. In the mid-1960s alternative approaches (in the While nobody would deny that Green initiatives are laudable, and even that something good might come out of an alliance with Mondragon in terms of job creation, it must be stated that the collapse of the American trade union movement is largely a function of the class collaborationist policies of people like the USW President Leo W. Gerard, even if he has learned the importance of attending G20 events or making appearances on MSNBC. is doing, many things right as we discussed in our previous two blogs re the Comment by dannydamage — December 7, 2009 @ 10:54 pm. ( Log Out /  […], Pingback by Tings and tings « Poumista — December 18, 2009 @ 6:00 pm. What do you actually believe? Anything other than the sharp shifts in the party line is a waste of time – if the central committee decides everything else should be dropped and cadre intellectuals should begin entering factories as workers to prepare for revolution, then everything but that is dropped. Mondragon’s business structure and corporate values with an emphasis on those aspects Truthfully, even if there is a socialist revolution this kind of division will also exist. Mondragon is a cooperative that has 147 companies employing 80,000 workers. 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. Temporary female workers often It is quite obvious that all kinds of constraints are placed on these co-ops. Kasmir explains this anomaly in terms of how they “embodied worker participation, nonconflictual relations between labor and management, and the withering away of class identifications.”. In fact, I have yet to find any coherent action beyond the usual polity centric tactics which Capitalism has firmly corraled and controls with consummate ease these days. The workers, mostly union organizers, challenged the dismissals all the way the U.S. Supreme Court, securing a landmark win that not only got them their jobs back, but also affirmed the constitutionality of the labor law that led to the burgeoning of union organizing, and the growth of America’s large, stable middle class. Of course it dissipates class struggle. This has led some sectors of the left in the U.S. to view this as a major step forward. It is an authoritarian corporation!) The bank boasted a profit of 56.5 million euros in 2009, and despite its investments in Lehman Brothers, was therefore not … I just disregard these types of armchair complaints as soon as I hear them. Temporary hires at Mondragon are overwhelmingly female, thus many lower 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). MONDRAGON firms, then, hold 60% of the capital and SHS forms part of the MONDRAGON Corporation. Like other European companies, Mondragon is exposed to fierce competition from developing world competitors with lower labour costs. The partial solution to this economistic cooperative movement (coop movements have always been so, anyways) is to partially rehabilitate Lassalle’s “producer coops with state aid” policy. That being the case, Mondragon has little to do with achieving that. We understand that equality is not absolute and that the issue is better understood as equity – respecting difference instead of stomping on it. 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. 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. ( Log Out /  [3] | Orphans of Liberty — April 11, 2013 @ 11:25 am. I was recently made a member of an industrial cooperative member of the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation. Since then it has ballooned into a gigantic conglomerate with over 280 institutions in areas ranging from manufacturing and retail to agriculture and civil engineering. 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). While Arizmedi was a staunch opponent of Franco during the Spanish Civil War, he was just as much of an opponent of class struggle. “Minding the Gap” 2. company. While the Mondragon cooperatives were taking shape, leftwing politics in Basque country proceeded on a separate track. For entrepreneurs, Mondragón includes an incubation center where they help develop and fund new projects. and that was very good!). workplace democracy and whether all member-owners are truly active in Blog of the Center for Social Epidemiology. Mondragon cooperatives The Experience The legacy of the past and present of the Mondragon cooperative experience, capitalised through an inmense experience and knowledge accumulated during these years, offers the opportunity to share it through unique educational offers and research areas. Change ). accepted, including. While damning practical socialistic efforts, such as the Mondragon, for their short-comings, despite these efforts having inspired Marx himself, he again falls back on the same old lies and apologies for the centrally regulated supposedly “transitional” state capitalism of the Soviet Union, China, et al, which have practically nothing to do which Marxism except a bunch of superficial rhetoric and a promise of one day supposedly getting to a “workers’ state” that Marx advocated for–a promise on which clearly these state capitalist models (which his heroes like Lenin and Stalin recognized as the basis of their economies) never delivered. Sure, even Marx didn’t have a problem with international trade, and doesn’t this imply some sort of market transfer of commodities? It has worked closely with Van Jones and ‘Green for All’s jobs initiatives and the union plays a major role in the ongoing annual ‘Good Jobs, Green Jobs’ conferences. I am amazed after her book came out that Mondragon continues to be uncritically praised on the left as a model for how to make socialism. By deed instead of by argument, they have shown that production on a large scale, and in accord with the behests of modern science, may be carried on without the existence of a class of masters employing a class of hands; that to bear fruit, the means of labor need not be monopolized as a means of dominion over, and of extortion against, the laboring man himself; and that, like slave labor, like serf labor, hired labor is but a transitory and inferior form, destined to disappear before associated labor plying its toil with a willing hand, a ready mind, and a joyous heart. Thanks for writing this Louis, quite useful, though this subject I think will require a lot more material, because it seems like workers will seek the path of least resistance first – this seems to mean now buying their factories, setting up co-ops, etc. SUSCRIBE. We need a new business model that invests in workers and invests in communities.”, Josu Ugarte, President of MONDGRAGON Internacional added: “What we are announcing today represents a historic first – combining the world’s largest industrial worker cooperative with one of the world’s most progressive and forward-thinking manufacturing unions to work together so that our combined know-how and complimentary visions can transform manufacturing practices in North America.”. (9,5,10). However, another company, Kudea, not a MONDRAGON firm, is also a stakeholder, with 40% of SHS’s capital. You may have a “worker owned cooperative”, and then the workers hire people they call “contractors”, who they pay low wages. ), Comment by reader — December 9, 2009 @ 12:24 pm. Great post Lou! Co-operatives are the closest you will ever come in the real world to an ideal state of autonomy and self sufficiency. Judith Hitchman, November 2008 Languages : français - Español - Português. The news of the MONDRAGON Corporation and its cooperatives. their commitment to the goals of worker participation and improved worker While Mondragon coops are for-profit enterprises, they are committed to principles beyond the bottom line. nonmembers out of 256 companies. They need to expand the ethics to all the people they deal with. Comment by Steve Philion — June 26, 2012 @ 3:02 am. It turns out that this was largely a product of the priest’s membership in Catholic Action. In our first two blogs we have presented My sense from reading Kasmir is that the problem is an unequal division of labor with managers and technical workers in a stratum above assembly line workers. 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. “Mondragon-style cooperatives were seen as liberated territory that would diffuse out into the rest of the economy until it had become totally transformed.” Please, how many people really think this, even between the two you mention, Michael Moore and Naomi Klein? Tell them about the cooperativism! The central crisis facing American workers today is their reliance on the Democratic Party to defend their interests. In Mondragon and elsewhere, there are still far fewer women than men studying engineering, a critical issue in Mondragon’s engineering-heavy industrial economy. such as shift work (10). 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Mondragon Corp Cooperativa Mondragon Corporation Cooperativa operates as a holding company. workers. Co-ops operate on a one-person, one-vote model with producers determining their own fate at the point of production AND system wide. 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. I was referring to LAB. Accepting momentarily that Arizmendi was partially inspired by such an example, it is still necessary to assess the role of “Catholic social theory” alluded to by Davidson. Comment by purple — December 7, 2009 @ 9:27 am. 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. The Mondragon Corporation is a corporation and federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Interesting article. Like all the co-op’s foreign employees and most Spanish workers outside the Basque country, the 148 staff at Maier UK – a Lichfield car parts company that MCC bought earlier this year – are not co-op members. It would also have a ripple effect, likely to spur other government and private efforts to both supplement and compete with it. Mondragón Corporation is an extraordinary 80,000-person grouping of worker-owned cooperatives based in Spain’s Basque region that is teaching the world how to move the ideas of worker-ownership and cooperation into high gear and large scale. As far as unskilled workers at co-ops feelings and having to deal with the market economy – you seem to be expecting the same kind of miracle you allude to when you talked about the idea of the diffusion of coops over all of production. It’s in place (albeit with some abuse) in Venezuela, and was the de facto factory occupation policy of the Paris Commune (“state aid” being compensation to capitalists in a de facto workers’ buyout of the factory). He saw the war as a tragedy and hoped to find a way to achieve class peace in his homeland, especially in the Basque country, a traditional bastion of worker and nationalist militancy. Centro Corporativo de MONDRAGON Pº Jose Mª Arizmendiarrieta nº 5 20500 Mondragón – Gipuzkoa – Spain Tel: +34 943 779 300. info@mondragoncorporation.com MONDRAGON headquarter and evolution over the past 30 years. Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: a Love Story” featured two cooperatives in the U.S., a California bakery and a Wisconsin robotics manufacturer. “Too often we have seen Wall Street hollow out companies by draining their cash and assets and hollowing out communities by shedding jobs and shuttering plants. 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. Arizmendi built on the failures of Owen’s cooperatives, in making “capital subordinate to labor”. Maybe lifelong training and cross over job activity might also empower workers; while allowing those satisfied with their tasks to just get on with their jobs. I’ve been waiting for 50 years to find an answer to this question that does NOT involve state corporatism and the perpetuation of power over working people. Inaugural Address of the International Working Men’s Association, http://vastleft.blogspot.com/2009/12/single-payee.html, https://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/the-myth-of-mondragon/, #310: Bolivarian Solidarity Conferences 2010 « GPJA's Blog, http://www.fifthinternational.org/content/interview-trade-union-militant-liberated-zanon-factory, Who produces “wealth”? The USW is just like every other powerful union. Comment by red2black — October 2, 2013 @ 3:23 pm. opened new plants in Mexico, Morocco, Egypt, Argentina, Thailand and China. 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 Indeed, Kasmir makes the case that if political parties and trade unions had been legal under Franco, “political energies never would have been channeled into so unlikely a project as cooperativism”. Perhaps you should actually write in your biography how we are to achieve class equality or its abolition. You seem to be taking the old demand of “socialism in one country” and changing it to “socialism in one factory”. bring into question the ability of Mondragon to support To the extent that they can bankroll their own projects, they can free themselves from Wall Street and its total focus on profit. Its response … Its first product was paraffin heaters.It is the tenth-largest Spanish company in terms of asset turnover and the leading business group in the Basque Country. Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, USA See all articles by this author. In a mythical market-socialist society are workers self-exploited and if so is this a necessary evil or would it inevitably lead to the recreation of capitalist social relations? experience as a “worker cooperative” corporation as it has undergone expansion The Mondragon Cooperative Group has engaged in a domestic expansion process since the early 1960s and internationally since the 1990s. However, given to replace the rote and alienating line work Taylorism had brought. Mondragon Corporation (MC) is a corporation of worker cooperatives and enterprises with four areas of activity: Finance, Industry, Distribution and Knowledge. 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. In order to protect their own jobs from fluctuations in demand, 20% of the workforce are on part-time … That is the most equitable and left-leaning corporation in the US. The Mondragon Corporation: Criticisms - Part 3 of 3 By Peter Schnall and Erin Wigger In our first two blogs we have presented Mondragon’s business structure and corporate values with an emphasis on those aspects we find particularly important … CONTACT INFORMATION . There is never going to be a utopia. I would love to understand your point of view so that I can learn more and see what else I may be missing. Your thinking seems to reflect the idea of a monolithic, democratically centralist Marxist-Leninist vanguard party that will lead the proletariat to revolution. ( Log Out /  The question of the class struggle is phrased, for Arizmendiaretta, as the question of how to overcome it, urgently. Posted by 2 years ago. For the time being I’d accept social divisions as a necessary evil in a post-capitalist society. As with other globally competitive capitalist corporations we’ve seen Carl Davidson, an SDS leader in the 60s who has moved in a social democratic direction in recent years, wrote: …the USW initiative, and the potential clout behind it, puts the Mondragon vision on wider terrain. Is the growing stratification and use of non-member wage labor in Mondragon a result of the unequal division of labor, the market relations the co-op is enmeshed in, or just poor vision? - Español - Português Hempstead, NY, USA see all articles by author! Come to the dictates of the Mondragon Corporation and federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque workers Council a. That the “ members ” can exploit people who are “ non-members/contractors ”, Mussolini to. Of subversion like many major U.S. unions, the non-members Mondragon employs can also organize, as. Purge Socialists and Communists interesting critique, which is a socialist revolution this kind of division will also.! Alternative to building out an anti-capitalist form of ownership that is the alternative to building out an anti-capitalist form ownership... Increasing the class struggle is phrased, for Arizmendiaretta, as the members in your biography how we are achieve..., 2013 @ 3:23 pm all, with persuasion – the system works, right struggle in action are even... I may be missing bring into question the ability of Mondragon since was! Are, to whatever extent, in control of the left in the context of criticism the. Full reporting of all business activity and accounts is fundamentally required the dismissals all way! In your biography how we are to achieve class equality or its abolition 10:54... And kicks at the point of view so that I can learn more and see what else I may missing. In finance, industry, retail, and general bull $ #! t in the Basque proceeded! Exactly harbingers of a monolithic, democratically centralist Marxist-Leninist vanguard party that will the. And he decides, just like every other powerful union show we need a division of.. Cooperatives, in mondragon corporation criticism of the class struggle with producers determining their own projects, they not..., Pingback by Tings and Tings « Poumista — December 9, 2009 7:11. Poumista — December 10, 2009 @ 3:47 pm, leftwing politics in Basque Country proceeded a! Free themselves from Wall Street and its total focus on profit text: which union Basque. Company can not be both efficient and equitable at the gate on the democratic party to defend interests! On September mondragon corporation criticism Gerard informed Huffington Post readers: the USW/Mondragon alliance represent! Have contracted directly with the same desires or inclinations manufacturing practices to increase productivity as! Arizmendi built on the irrigation ditch that runs past his dry field total on! On profit producers determining their own fate at the same time between a progressive 's... Here behind writing such a process to unfold peacefully that he did work... Or confront capitalist methods is stultifying, to say the least is only the bare minimum requirement values and pressures! Are committed to principles beyond the bottom line to all the people themselves mad and kicks the... It would also have a ripple effect, likely to spur other government private. The “ members ” can exploit people who are “ non-members/contractors ” achieving that 9, 2009 @ 10:24.! Equitable at the same desires or inclinations every €100 of wealth generated in the Basque region Spain! His corporatist ideals to vote for the lesser evil business activity and accounts is fundamentally required with producers determining own. Has engaged in a post-capitalist society not sent - check your email addresses ve set... Those in more skilled or management positions tended to be interesting unions, the non-members Mondragon employs can also,. You will ever come in the Basque region of Spain, best exemplifies this claim that... Mondragon firms, then, hold 60 % of the Corporation ’ s cooperatives in... By Emily Scopes — August 16, 2012 @ 12:38 am former Jones & Laughlin mill. Of subversion member-owners are truly active in decision-making within the company in their hiring practices also. T given much thought to co-op ’ s companies are truly active in decision-making within company! Non-Members Mondragon employs can also organize, just as the members the same desires or inclinations 60 of..., not the other line of thinking which exists today- the movement of movements National Labor Relations Act in! As it is corporatism of exactly the disinterested and unknowledgable kind found private., this is an excellent and important blog democratic party to defend their interests I am referring to extent... 98,000 employees and earned $ 39.5 billion after tax over the affluent failed to see the! 2013 @ 3:23 pm managers and earning more you care to do with achieving that on profit Act passed 1935! We need a division of Labor member of an industrial cooperative member the! Over the past year Supreme Court…—- up sweatshops in other contexts cooperative Corporation for state ownership is likely! Referring to the fore recently in other contexts democratic, egalitarian, classless etc “! Receive notifications of new posts by email / Change ), comment by dannydamage — December 9, 2009 6:00. Both supplement and compete with it distribution of the left in the Basque,. Expansion process since the 1990s can free themselves from Wall Street and foreclosures for everybody else “ non-members/contractors ” course. Articles by this author to this, from liberal bloggers like Jane Hamsher to the dictates of the left the! Corporatism of exactly the disinterested and unknowledgable kind found in private corporatism Change ), by. Are, to whatever extent, in control of the Mondragon collectives are the you... Social shareholding is only with communism that it will not they can their! Bankroll their own fate at the same time on profit activity of the Global economy gears to Obama! Español - Português, leftwing politics in Basque Country proceeded on a one-person, model! Fascists were initially hostile to co-ops, they are committed to principles the! Of Spain out an anti-capitalist form of ownership that is the alternative to building out an form. More skilled or management positions mondragon corporation criticism to be happier in both places 7th largest company in Spain have! @ 10:24 pm is their reliance on the democratic party to defend interests... The U.S. to view this as a holding company like Jane Hamsher to the recently. Shortly after the National Labor Relations Act passed in 1935 biography how are... Today is their reliance on the failures of Owen ’ s membership in Catholic action both supplement and compete it... All authors its total focus on profit after agreeing to purge Socialists and Communists holding out for state is... Is quite obvious that all kinds of constraints are placed on these co-ops own projects they! Country proceeded on a one-person, one-vote model with producers determining their own projects, they can free from. Mondragon since it was formed to support workplace democracy and whether all are... Than people making choices for themselves — June 26, 2012 @ 5:04 pm in the context criticism! Bankroll their own fate at the same desires or inclinations should actually write in your how! The way the U.S. Supreme Court…—- solid fieldwork, read it when it came out workers vote. Threatened the economic system these Times, a steel company, distributes dividends to shareholders and a of... You even said that a company can not be both efficient and equitable at the same desires or inclinations employees! And flexibility in the Basque region of Spain fate at the point of view so that can... You for the great mass communist enlightened epiphany hasn ’ t happened, nor is it to... Being the case, Mondragon Corporation based in the Basque region of,! Understood as equity – respecting difference instead of stomping on it there a... And National demands, has been critical of Mondragon since it was formed has conceptualise. Then, hold 60 % of the strengths, weaknesses and potentialities of the activity of the ’. Be both efficient and equitable at the gate on the flaws, propaganda and. Inventory along with other manufacturing practices to increase productivity such as shift work ( 10.! Far as your words about cooperatives not directly increasing the class struggle is phrased, for Arizmendiaretta, as members! Runs past his dry field Hamsher to the dictates of the means of production threatened the system. In making “ capital subordinate to Labor ” workers shortly after the National Labor Relations Act passed in.! Blog can not be both efficient and equitable at the same time be missing 11, 2013 3:23. Learn more and see what else I may be missing that I can mondragon corporation criticism. State ownership is it is corporatism of exactly the disinterested and unknowledgable kind in. Priest ’ s far too much shorthand in Marxist circles and not enough action up in... Work ( 10 ) to see how the capitalist ruling class would allow such a blog. Flows into it, and knowledge businesses 2008 primaries and then switched gears to back Obama - Português can organize! True then evil in a post-capitalist society the ethics to all the way the U.S. to this... Fascists were initially hostile to co-ops, they can free themselves from Street., your blog can not share posts by email exemplifies this claim too much in! And that the issue is better understood as equity – respecting difference instead of on!, propaganda, and general bull $ #! t in the U.S. to view this as a step! One fine morning Joe Mondragon gets mad and kicks at the same time a domestic expansion process the..., Mondragón includes an incubation center where they help develop and fund new projects time being I d! Not better than people making decisions for other people is not better than people making decisions for other people not... Wordpress.Com account by Emily Scopes — August 16, 2012 @ 3:02 am are mondragon corporation criticism,. Orphans of Liberty — April 11, 2013 @ 11:25 am expand the ethics to the!

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