A For-Profit Organization That Embodies Catholic Social Thought

Here is a comprehensive review of the mechanics of the Spanish Mondragón Cooperative, and how their system relates to Catholic Social Doctrine.

Two years ago, San Sebastián's Bishop Juan María Uriarte opened the cause for canonization of the founder of Mondragón, Fr. José María Arizmendiarrieta.

Mondragon Cooperative


Race Mathews,  Friday, January 2, 2009 at 3:21:00 AM CST  

By way of update, the overall Mondragon Co-operative Corporation workforce currently totals 103,000, of whom between 30,000 and 40,000 have full membership as worker-owners of their respective co-operatives, and more currently have part-owner status or are being readied for ownership of various kinds. For example, the workforce of the MCC's's Eroski chain of supermarkets, hypermarkets and shopping malls currently comprises some 8-9000 worker-members, 4-5000 part owners and some 35,000 salaried employees, but a co-operativisation process has been introduced through which a further 25 to 30,000 workers will shift from employee to member status over the next few years. There is also a commitment on the part of the MCC to extend employee ownership to the 15,000 workers in its subsidiaries in Spain and overseas, on a case by case basis, consistent with local customs, laws and expectations.

As I explained in my 1999 historical and operational account of Distributism, 'Jobs of Our Own: Building a Stakeholder Society' - currently sold out in both its Australian and European editions, but still available secondhand through on-line booksellers, and shortly to re-appear in a US edition - that so great an achievement should have stemmed from a standing start when, in 1956, some twenty workers in a disused Mondragon factory began using hand tools and sheet metal to manufacture paraffin-fired heating and cooking stoves testifies eloquently to the power of the Distributist idea as developed in its evolved form at Mondragon by the Basque priest Don Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta - and to why in these troubled economic times attention should be paid to its example and inspiration.

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