October 27, 2012 (Romereports.com)
Over 50 years ago, during the Spanish Civil War, a young priest by the name of José María Arrizmendiarrieta coordinated workers in the Mondragón area of northern Spain
to join forces in forming a cooperative which is now the seventh largest company in the country.
The founder believed that the human person is at the center of importance, not just his or her work. Therefore, he understood that a company always needed to respect that. Since 2009 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome has been considering his cause for beatification.JUAN CARLOS SINDE
Postulator Commission, José María Arrizmendiarrieta“The vision of Fr. Jose Maria was that of dignity and equal treatment for all workers, solidarity, cooperation: values that favored not only personal development, but also worked in favor of growth in business.”
The Mondragon Cooperative shows how to combine economic interests and solidarity. It is a business project that focuses on the application of Christian values in the company, without neglecting profitability.
The cooperative operates on some basic principles: all workers have a say, all employees have the same rights and elect the directors. At the same time, the differences in wages are limited in order to avoid instances of unjust disparities.JUAN CARLOS SINDE
Postulator Commission, José María Arrizmendiarrieta“There is a type of solidarity in the policies of determining wage differences - in particular1 to 6, when in the multinational companies that can be from 1 to 200, or even 1 to 1000. There is a culture of cooperation, compared to a culture of confrontation which is typical in conventional businesses.”
The Mondragon Cooperative is trying to solve the economic crisis without a human cost. It encourages the protect of the common good versus individual benefits.JUAN CARLOS SINDE
Postulator Commission, José María Arrizmendiarrieta“In bad times, the concept of solidarity, for example, has required cooperative workers to be willing to give up a significant part of their compensation, which is sometimes 20 to 25 percent, in order to avoid layoffs of permanent staff.”
The Mondragon Cooperative has more than 83,000 employees and annual revenues in excess of 15 billion euros.