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Mondragon: Spain’s giant co-operative where times are hard but few go bust |Guardian

From The Guardian:

Whereas workers at other Spanish companies must answer to shareholder needs – often by sacrificing their jobs – that is not true at Mondragon, which acts as the parent company to 111 small, medium-sized and larger co-ops.

And as Spain struggles through double-dip recession, fierce austerity and 26% unemployment, this is one company that is not about to collapse. Nor has it shed many jobs, with the workforce remaining steady at around 84,000 people worldwide – about a sixth of them outside Spain.

The reason? “We are more flexible,” said Emilio Cebrián, the social director at Mondragon’s biggest individual unit – the Eroski supermarket-based group. “When times are bad, we cut wage costs by deciding it among ourselves.” And, as owners, they also forsake dividends.

Read Mondragon: Spain’s giant co-operative where times are hard but few go bust.

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