By Sharryn Kasmir
This is often the 1st severe account of the the world over popular Mondragon cooperatives of the Basque zone of Spain. The Mondragon cooperatives are obvious because the best substitute version to straightforward commercial association; they're thought of to be the main profitable instance of democratic selection making and employee possession. in spite of the fact that, the writer argues that the titanic scholarly and well known literature on Mondragon idealizes the cooperatives through falsely portraying them as apolitical associations and through ignoring the stories of store flooring employees. She indicates how this construction of an idealized picture of the cooperatives is a part of a brand new worldwide ideology that promotes cooperative labor-management family members with a view to discredit hard work unions and working-class agencies; this constitutes what she calls the "myth" of Mondragon.
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Extra info for The Myth of Mondragon: Cooperatives, Politics, and Working-Class Life in a Basque Town
Typically, a co-op has departments of engineering, marketing, and personnel; the head of each department is appointed by the General Manager. Making the Myth of Mondragon 37 Management Council. A Management Council is a consultatory body to the General Manager and is made up of department heads and other executives who are nominated jointly by the General Manager and the Governing Council. Social Council. Workers are represented to management by the Social Council, which is elected directly from the geographic sections of the shop floor.
Bradley and Gelb (1982) argued that the model is transferrable elsewhere, and Ellerman (1984) pinpointed the cooperative bank as the key ingredient for replicating success. For the most part, managers were the informants for these and many other studies of the cooperatives. " This undertaking yielded surprising results. I found that the cooperatives looked quite different from this perspective than the literature had led me to believe: There was considerable discontent among co-op workers; they perceived class inequalities in a system that was supposed to have eradicated class; and they felt they had little control over their work lives yet were largely uninterested in exercising the rights to which they were formally entitled.
One is a legend that imagines that Mondragon gained its independence from a ferocious dragon through the labor and ingenuity of the town's iron workers. Centuries old, this legend is central to the contemporary popular recounting of Mondragon's history, because it confirms an identity that townspeople currently embrace for themselves; in its present telling, it affirms the strength of Mondragon's working class. A second myth is that of Basque egalitarianism. Originally articulated in the sixteenth century, Basque egalitarianism depicts Basque society as emerging from a kinordered mode of production without ever fully developing feudalism.