"The Mondragon Cooperative was started in 1954 by a Jesuit priest named Don Jose Maria Arizmendiarreta. ... When he arrived [in the Mondragon region] in 1941 he found great unemployment, poor education, and no positive vision of the future. The assets of the region were few but important: industrious people who knew how to work hard, solidarity based on being treated badly by the Spanish government for hundreds of years, and a strong social structure.
"There is also a 'watchdog' council of workers that watches upper management and a social council made up of representatives of teams of twenty to fifty workers."
"All workers must put some of their own money into the cooperative they are part of. The money accumulates interest but can only be removed upon retirement. It guarantees that everyone has something to lose if the enterprise fails; it also carries with it a reward at retirement if the enterprise is successful.
"Second, a bank was created within the cooperative structure that serves the cooperative and is itself a cooperative. It has a very clear mission, which is to fund new jobs so that all people who wish to wrok in the Mondragon area can do so. This mission is even more important tha manking the best return on intestment, thus violating the prevailing paradigm of banking. Simply put, the Mondragon cooperative bank risks its capital to protect the job base of the community."
Specific pay ratios: "The person at the top could earn no more than six times the salary of the person at the bottom of the cooperative." ... eventually increased to 15 to 1.
"Raises ... are determined by many standard measure of productivity and absenteeism, but they also include unusual measures such as 'relational skills,' or how well the worker gets along with other people.
"Salaries are called anticipos, payments in advance of profits. Workers who choose to leave their job can be penalized up to 30% of the accumulated profits in their retirement fund. ...
"Before someone is laid off, any profits accumulated during the year in the specific cooperative would be used to pay for the job position. If that is not enough, then all wages in that cooperative are dropped to 85% of standard. If that still isn't enough ... the worker is transferred to another of the co-ops int he Mondragon structure. ... Finally, if all of those efforts fail, the worker goes on unemployment [sounds like Complex is self-insured?] and immediately begins receiving educational benefits to acquire new skills as fast as possible."
"It holds the savings and retirement funds of the workers and processes all the funds flowing through all the Mondragon enterprises.
from "The Mondragon Model" by Joel A. Barker, a 9-page essay in The Drucker Foundation's The Organization of the Future, edited by Frances Hesselbein et all (1997) ... book is available through the LA Public Library
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