MONDRAGON

The Global Reference for Cooperative Working

MONDRAGON

The Global Reference for Cooperative Working

MONDRAGON

The Mondragon Corporation employs 75.000 employees. It's based on the principles of a worker co-op. In total it counts 260 businesses and cooperatives. With a total yearly revenue of 11.875 million euro.

There's no board of directors/CEO etc. Workers decide what to produce, where to produce, and what to do with the profits. Workers hire, fire if need be, their own bosses. No employee earns more than 8x the lowest paid. The result over their 60 years existence has meant all workers have become middle class to varying degrees. All workers won a part of the company and ran a decent twice yearly bonus dependent on how well the company does as a whole.

No worker does the same task for more than 2 hours before rotation. They believe it's bad for your mental health. The result has been happier multi skilled workers. In the 2008 collapse Mondragon fired zero people, they just mothballed unprofitable parts and moved workers internally to profit making decisions until recovery. They have their own university, free for workers, their family, and the locals.

MONDRAGON

"Humanity at work" derives from the birth itself of the MONDRAGON model. It is based on associated labour or worker co-operatives and developed through the spirit and work carried out by José María Arizmendiarrieta, a young priest who in 1941 came to Arrasate-Mondragón, a town of 8,500 inhabitants in the Basque Country, which at the time was living through the painful aftermath of the Spanish civil war in the form of poverty, hunger, exile, hatred and tension –and who within this context, decided to really set to work on coexistence and development of formulas that could enable fair employment to be created. Before setting up the first co-operative, José María Arizmendiarrieta devoted several years of his life to training young people in caring and participatory humanism based on Christian values. And to acquiring the necessary technical know-how. Equipped with an extraordinary mixture of idealism and pragmatic talent, recently arrived in Arrasate-Mondragón he set about to revitalise the community.

Ivo Valkenburg

Also view these projects