27 March 2009

Economist Article on Worker Co-operatives

The Economist has posted an article on worker co-operatives; talking mainly about Mondragón , in Spain and the effects of the recession.

"Spain’s seventh-largest industrial group, with interests ranging from supermarkets and finance to white goods and car parts. It accounts for 4% of GDP in the Basque country, a region of 2m people. All this has made Mondragón a model for co-operatives from California to Queensland. How will co-ops, with their ideals of equity and democracy, cope in the recession?"

The Article comments that it is harder for worker co-operatives to make employees redundant but, pay freezes and other labour negotiations can be conducted faster and usually easier than in traditional business. From our own surveys at Co-operatives UK similar results are shown, with respondents more likely to make pay cuts (of up to 30%) rather than laying off staff. This is probably more to do with solidarity than how easier it is to make people redundant.

If you want to read the full article and comment, it can be found here.

No comments: