Examining a Bankruptcy at Mondragon
A valuable discussion by members of GEO (Grassroots Economic Organizing) and readers of its website examines why a key company comprising part of the world’s strongest worker-owned complex in Mondragon, Spain, has declared bankruptcy, but much broader issues as well. A hint about the cause of problems at Mondragon is to consider what the lost of 37 percent of sales would do to most consumer goods companies. But at Mondragon, all the workers (at least the ones in Spain) will receive 80 percent of their former pay for two years, and they will be retrained for other Mondragon enterprises.
For valuable contributions on cooperative potential and development strategies, Thomas M. Hanna and Gar Alperovitz of GEO have published a thoughtful examination of this failure of one Mondragon enterprise and what it means to efforts to reconstitute the larger economy in a democratic framework. Find the essay at the GEO site: http://www.geonewsletter.org/story/mondragón-and-system-problem. And for a followup by Hanna, see: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-02-10/cooperative-movement-should-embrace-discussion-of-systemic-issues