The strong commitment of the Mondragon Corporation cooperatives to employment has matersalized, in spite of the economic situation. Only four months after filing for protection from creditors, Fagor Electrodomésticos has achieved a total of 937 relocations for worker-members (temporary and permanent). Most of the relocations were focused on the industrial and distribution sector, followed by the finance sector; 55 cooperatives have been involved in this process. Taking into account those relocations, 200 early retirements were agreed on Monday at the Lagun Aro General Assembly, and 136 people working as seconded Commission staff at the subsidiary company Geyser, it is estimated that from de 1,895 worker-members of Fagor Electrodomésticos, the group has already found a solution for 67% of cooperators, in 4 months.
These figures are the result of solidarity and especially the strong effort made by the receiving cooperatives, as in the past, they are the ones to create real solutions for employment. The cooperatives’ priority line of action is seeking solutions for the redundant workers and to achieve that the group works on three courses of action: relocations, early retirement and training programs to boost the employability of the affected persons.
“The crisis of Fagor Electrodomésticos needs to be understood in the framework of the electrical appliance sector in Spain and in Europe. At the same time, the Mondragon Corporation has already solved the redundancy problem of Fagor Electrodomésticos by more than 2/3 in just a few months. If, as it is expected, the group manages to solve 100% of cases, that will be sound evidence of the fact that worker cooperatives can maintain employment even in situations of extreme crisis. To achieve that has required a high level of cooperation amongst cooperatives”, says Bruno Roelants, Secretary General of CICOPA.
In addition, the relocations made to date have been achieved by maintaining a high percentage of contracts (reaching 50%) with temporary workers. Ones can also note that, years before Fagor Electrodomésticos filed from protection of creditors, the firm had performed hundreds of relocations in order to provide solutions to the surplus of employment, and thus cushion the effect on jobs.
In collaboration with other institutional agents, the Mondragon Corporation is working very hard in the implementation of a training plan for the redundant workers with two objectives: to facilitate relocations adapting professional profiles according to demand and raising the professional qualifications through a formal qualification. It is estimated that around 200 people will participate in the proposed training activities and thus foster the completion of relocations and raise the employability of members.
It is important to remember that the Mondragon Corporation is in the first position among the industrial cooperatives in the world according to the report of the World Cooperative Monitor, undertaken by the International Cooperative Alliance and Euricse with information from over 2,000 cooperatives in 56 countries. The group ranks first among industrial cooperatives ahead of the Brazilian Copersucar and the U.S. National Cable Television Cooperative. Among the distribution cooperatives, Eroski is the tenth in the world and the first in Spain.
International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives
Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037