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Forum Post: Labor rules capital workers have rights

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 29, 2012, 3:43 p.m. EST by abin22 (15)
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Democratic economics is not socialism.The workers at the Mondragon Co-operative Corporation, make equal salaries according to their services and time. They split the dividends every 15 years equaly. It is a capitalist system based on worker ownership and democratically controlled capitalism. Our system we have now is failing. The financial institutions in the world have been bailed out by the taxpayer,the workers. Yet the M.C.C. is growing right now not failing. Mondragon has 120 different companies, 42,000 worker-owners, 43 schools, one college, does more than 4.8 billion dollars of business annually in manufacturing, services, retail and wholesale distribution, administers more than $5 billion in financial assets. In 1941, a bishop sent a young priest to teach in a vocational school in Spain's "Basque Country." In addition to the technical curriculum, young Father Jose Maria Arizmediarrieta taught the social doctrine of the Catholic Church to his students. Some of the students began a small cooperative that built kerosene stoves. In 1959, they started what we would today call a credit union. Today, the associated Mondragon Cooperatives manufacture automobile parts, electronic components, valves, taps, appliances. They have a full line of retail outlets (small & large) offering consumer products, food, appliances, and a wholesale food business catering to restaurants. Their bank has more than 100 branches, they offer a full range of insurance, and take care of their own social security and health insurance programs. They are not only holding their own within the "globalizing" economy, they are expanding. This principle is an evident truth, the priority of labor over capital, that emerges thru the whole of man's history. This is one of the success stories of people who take social doctrine seriously, in particular, the teachings regarding (1) the dignity of the human person and his or her labor, (2) social solidarity, (3) the primacy of labor over capital. In most for profit businesses, labor is hired at the service of capital. For the Mondragon cooperatives, capital is something they rent to benefit the worker-owners. To Americans, this sounds like an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, but the Mondragon model is not only about distribution of the profits, it is also about the control of the business. Management is elected by the workers, not hired by the money men, and the managers are part of the cooperative process in the enterprise. Each enterprise has a social committee that considers issues of health, safety, environment, and the social responsibilities of the enterprise. Capital is borrowed, stock is not sold for financing. All new employees become worker owners. A new cooperative begins with a group of friends. Experience in starting 120 businesses over a 40 year period has taught the Mondragon cooperators that the pre-existing bonds of friendship are a good basis for building a productive working relationship. The Mondragon association provides business and marketing research and assistance; their bank provides capital. The workers themselves must invest some of their own money, either as an upfront contribution or as deductions from wages paid over a 2 year period (about $5,000). Their bank sticks with the new co-op until they can go it alone; if the business gets into trouble, interest on their loans is waived, payments may be suspended, and parts of the loans may be forgiven. The group may be assisted into another line of business or work. As a result, since 1956, they have had only one total failure of a cooperative. Put that against the system we have in place today. Acorrding to the Mondragon history co-operation is more succesfull than competion.This system creates job security as well as capital security. Remember it is still a capialist sytem. Just based on employee ownership with democratic control.

Check out my Workers Bill of Rights based on the Mondragon system.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/371547969526901/doc/371550456193319/ Join myn group to show your support of this bill.

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[-] -1 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 2 years ago

Workers have the right to participate in the ownership of companies NOW....all they need to do is purchase and own stock in the company...then they can vote in representation on the boards and in-turn affect who the Executives are...but, since they fail to do that....when you work for another man, with his machines, in his facility, you either take what he offers in compensation or you market your skills to another person and company.....

[-] 1 points by abin22 (15) 2 years ago

I must say that we are not going to get out of this changing our view of economics. Co-operation instead of competition is the order of the day.Without Co-operative democratically controlled economics, controlled by the local worker, we are doomed to failure. Economically , environmentally, and we fail our children. You must research the Mondragon Co-operative Corporation to understand this. If we create Mondargon styled businesses in our communities, we would finally graduate from this feudalistic economic system of capital over labor. http://www.mcc.es/ENG.aspx

[-] -1 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 2 years ago

I don't need to research anything to understand collectivism, it's been tried and failed in many forms and manifestations....

Because one company, or one small nation applies dependent systems within the parameters of a world market-based economy does not make it the rule, it makes it an exception to the rule...and exceptions cannot exist without the rule that it is dependent upon...

What those who advocate Socialism, Commonwealth, Communism, Statism, Leninism, or any other CollectiveISM that values the group over the individual are attempting to return us to failed systems which have been proven throughout history to produce NO real value, and no human advancement....we tried it here under the Mayflower Compact, and it has been tried in a myriad of other instances, with both altruistic intentions and oppressive intentions and it always results it the same thing...failure and misery for all...

Under the system we now have, when participated in and unencumbered by governments everyone has an opportunity and the choice whether to take it or not....and the fault lies with the individual, not the system......

You can point to those in every sort of system who don't "make it" for one reason or another...but without the ability to rise from nothing to the limits only bordered by ones own imagination and contribution is something only available in a market system.....

I say no to bringing the misery to everyone equally, as this is the only outcome of the collectivist system...it doesn't spread prosperity it spreads the destitution, and it doesn't bring people up, it brings others down to be more "equal" even based on disparate contribution and effort.....

If you sacrifice the individual for the collective, which is what all "co-operative" systems do...the collective has the power to tyrannize the individual into compliance, by force....and let's get down to brass tacks...that is what you are advocating....since you, or others you claim to care for or represent cannot "make it" in this system on their own, while others (the majority) DO have decent lives...you want the authority of the state (which is the authority of force) to take from those who have and give to those who haven't....it's the same idea that has been put forward for millions of years, and the end result will be the same...PERIOD

Your good intentions don't change the reality of the all powerful state....which is the enforcement vehicle of "Co-operation"

[-] 1 points by abin22 (15) 2 years ago

This could not be more untrue about the Mondragon, it is not run by the state. And it is not at all as you speak. Mondragon is controlled by the worker one worker one vote. If you did research the Mondragon you would also see that it grew during this recession. So it is far from failing . What has failed is this system of the investor owns everything. Check your facts. The history of the Mondragon Co-operatives is a bootstrap story. Obviously you do need to research what you don't know. The workers of the Mondragon invested in their system and still do. They are now 76th in the top retailer in the world. I am sorry but that is a success story. As far as them being a collective they are based on the individual worker not the collective. What misery is the average worker going thru now? How can you say co-operative economics has NO real value. Without checking out the facts. It is easy the Mondragon has a site. http://www.mcc.es/ENG/Co-operativism/Co-operative-Experience/Co-operative-Culture.aspx

[-] 1 points by abin22 (15) 2 years ago

Mostly people think of this system as a socialist system it is not. It is a social capitalist system.70% of the capital is divided between the worker from the time they are hire till they retire. They cannot trade on those dividends, and it stays in capital gains for 15 years till they are paid to the workers. A much safer investment than our stock market . This Eroski report shows you that these Co-operative businesses are successful and can grow. The Eroski Group has climbed 14 places compared to 2009, when it was in 90th position. This growth was a result of the expansion of its chain of stores, as well as of the takeover of Caprabo. In the supermarket segment, Eroski is in 25th place in the world ranking. This and other information was presented yesterday Sunday in New York, at the sector’s annual convention in the United States, which was attended by 17,500 professionals from all over the world. The Deloitte report, which analyses the performance of and the prospects for the retail sector worldwide, shows a fall in profit margin, from 3.7% to 2.4%, due to the aggressive promotions necessary to encourage sales. This result is accounted for by the economic crisis which has made itself felt with a slowdown in growth. The report also indicates that the behaviour of consumers is changing in this global economic recession, as they are now demanding more value, opting more for own-brand products and keeping down consumer demand, especially in countries where this been very high, amongst which the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain are expressly mentioned. The Eroski chain now totals close to 2,300 stores and is made up of Eroski hypermarkets, Eroski/center, Caprabo and Eroski/city supermarkets, Eroski/viajes travel agency branches, petrol stations, Forum Sport stores, IF perfume stores, Abac leisure and culture outlets and 25 goods depots. In addition, there are also 482 self-service stores operated on a franchise basis. In France, Eroski operates 39 stores (hypermarkets, supermarkets and petrol stations) and 4 IF perfume stores in Andorra. For 40 years now, 10% of Eroski’s profits have been earmarked for initiatives of a social nature. A large part of these profits are channelled through the Eroski Foundation to be reinvested in society mainly to meet the needs of the community in three different areas: consumer information and education, protecting the environment and solidarity. The Eroski is Mondragons' retail store. Worker owned democratically controlled.