Workers’ Participation in a Globalized Market: Reflections on and From Mondragon
The Mondragon Cooperative Experience (MCE) is a general but recognized term that refers to the totality of contexts surrounding the Mondragon cooperatives in the Basque Country, Spain. The centrepiece of that movement and institution is the Mondragon Corporation (hereafter called simply Mondragon) – a large, diverse conglomerate of cooperatives federated into a cooperative group. There are 120 cooperatives in total, the majority of which are medium sized, representing four sectors: finance (banking and insurance); industry (including automotive, machine tools, appliances and electronics); distribution; and knowledge (including primary, secondary and tertiary education, plus 12 technical schools). Mondragon is currently the largest private firm in the Basque Country, in terms of both employees and sales, and the seventh largest private firm in Spain. The headquarters of the group, and indeed the seat of cooperative movement in the Basque Country, is the small city of Mondragón (in Spanish) or Arrasate in Euskara, the Basque language.