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Mondragon: Spanish Cooperative of 83,000 Employees

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The Comany Serves The Workers, Not The Other Way Around.

Imagine a workplace where you and your coworkers vote on what your boss - and everyone else in the company including yourself, should earn.

At Mondragon, a huge integrated network of cooperatively owned companies in Spain, there are agreed-upon wage ratios between the worker-owners who do executive work and those who work in the field or factory and earn a minimum wage.

These cooperatives are owned by their 83,000 worker members and power is based on the principle of one person, one vote.

The network is comprised of 255 companies, about half are cooperatives, working in different fields like manufacturing (high tech machine parts, auto parts and more) banking, and insurance.

From the website

"The Corporationís Mission combines the core goals of a business organization competing on international markets with the use of democratic methods in its business organization, the creation of jobs, the human and professional development of its workers and a pledge to development with its social environment."

In these coops, the business is there to serve the workers, not the other way around. Times are tough and work hours are diminishing, but no one loses their job. In this clip, we meet people at a company who simply agreed to work less hours for the better of the whole.

Unemployment in the Mondragon vicinity is half of what it is in the rest of Spain.

-Bibi Farber

For more information, in 15 languages, visit:
This video was produced by DW-TV