Enrique Suarez Presenting:
Mondragon: A Company Without Owners
The Basic Principles of the MONDRAGON Co-operative Experience were approved at our first Co-operative Congress held in October 1987. They include a set of ideas forged over more than 30 years of operation as a co-operative, and are set out below in a condensed version:
The MONDRAGON co-operative experience is open to all men and women who accept these Basic Principles without any type of discrimination.
The basic equality of worker-members in terms of their rights to be, possess and know, which implies acceptance of a democratically organized company based on the sovereignty of the General Assembly, electing governing bodies and collaborating with managerial bodies.
Sovereignty of labor
Labor is the main factor for transforming nature, society and human beings themselves. As a result, the systematic recruitment of salaried workers has been abandoned, full sovereignty is attached to labor, the wealth created is distributed in terms of the labor provided and there is a will to extend the job options available to all members of society.
Instrumental and subordinate nature of capital
Capital is considered to be an instrument subordinate to labor, which is necessary for business development. Therefore it is understood to be worthy of fair and suitable remuneration, which is limited and not directly linked to the profits obtained, and availability subordinate to the continuity and development of the co-operative.
The steady development of self-management and, consequently, of member participation in the area of company management which, in turn, requires the development of adequate mechanisms for participation, transparent information, consultation and negotiation, the application of training plans and internal promotion.
Sufficient and fair pay for work as a basic principle of its management, based on the permanent vocation for sufficient collective social promotion in accordance with the real possibilities the co-operative has, and fair on an internal, external and MCC level.
As the specific application of solidarity and as a requirement for business efficiency, the Principle of Inter-cooperation should be evident: between individual co-operatives, between subgroups and between the Mondragón co-operative experience and Basque co-operative organizations, and co-operative movements in Spain, Europe and the rest of the world.
The willingness to ensure fair social transformation with other peoples by being involved in an expansion process that helps towards their economic and social reconstruction and with the construction of a freer, fairer and more caring Basque society.
Its solidarity with all those who work for economic democracy in the area of the Social Economy by adopting the objectives of Peace, Justice and Development which are inherent to the International Co-operative Movement.
To promote the establishment of the principles stated above, it is essential to set aside sufficient human and financial resources for co-operative, professional and youth education.