7. Mondragon is doing better. In the rest of Spain unemployment is at 22%, but the 83K
or so members of Mondragon are still at work despite the problems in the rest of the nation. Here they have a real motivation to make things work for everyone because everyone is an owner.
4 days a week is better than sitting in California until unemployment runs out or getting a student loan that you can't pay back when you are finished, eh?
Instead of a Mi$$ Rmoney sucking all the wealth out of the core with his probiscus of junk bonds, the workers own the company. They own the bank - the 9th largest in Spain - (by today it might be 6 or 7). The wealth is owned by the workers. They provide their own insurance, their own university.
The company is not in debt to any outside party. They finance their own start-ups.
It's not the cure for the common cold, but it's perhaps the most sustainable and humane business model for large numbers of people in a competitive world.
... One of Mondragon's co-operatives is called Fagor Electrodomestic - 3,500 employees make very modern looking fridges, stoves, washing machines and while they sell to 120 countries, Europe is their main market. So when new construction starts in Spain fell from just under 700,000 units in 2007 to just 40,000 units this year, Fagor was hit hard and appliance sales have fallen by 50%. Their response was to reduce workers by 10%- that meant laying off 300 temporary workers and transferring 250 worker members to other coops in Mondragon (worker members are frequently transferred from one coop that isn't doing well to one that is). It also meant reducing wages by 8% in Fagor and reducing the number of models produced. Another interesting strategy is the hours bank- if there is less work at one time of the year , workers will reduce their hours and make it up later in the year. If the total is less than a full salary, Mondragon's internal welfare system will compensate the workers for 80% of the gap between a full time salary and however much they worked- for up to two years!...