Sat. May 25th, 2019

Gwlad yn cynnig model economaidd wahanol

Maniffesto 2019

Mae’r model gyd-weithredol yn rhan o lwyddiant economaidd Gwlad y Basg

The Co-operative model is a part of the economic success of the Basque Country

Erthygl Gymraeg. English language version below.

UN o’r modelau economaidd mwyaf diddorol i ymddangos dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf ydi Menter Gyd-weithredol Mondragon yng Ngwlad Y Basg.

Erbyn hyn, mae’r Mondragon Co-operative yn cyflogi 75,000 o weithwyr yng Ngwlad y Basg ac mewn gwledydd eraill gyda throsiant o £12 biliwn y flwyddyn. Gweithwyr-reolwyr ydi’r enw a roddir ar bawb sy’n gweithio i Mondragon. Mae’r mentrau yn arbenigo ar feysydd megis peiriannau diwydiannol, technoleg, ymchwil, cyllid, man-gynhyrchu, ac addysg.

Menter gyd-weithredol yn cyflogi 75,000 o weithwyr

Mae llwyddiant rhyfeddol Mondragon, gyda tua 260 o fentrau gwahanol o dan ei adain bellach, wedi cyfrannu at y ffaith bod economi Gwlad y Basg wedi ei weddnewid yn llwyr dros y ddwy genhedlaeth ddiwethaf. Yn 1956, Gwlad y Basg oedd y rhan dlotaf o Wladwriaeth Sbaen. Heddiw, Gwlad y Basg ydi un o’r rhannau cyfoethocaf. Gwlad o 3 miliwn o bobl- fel Cymru’n union.

Mae’r model cyd-weithredol hwn yn un y dylid ei efelychu yma yng Nghymru, ac fe basiwyd cynnig i’r diben hwn wrth fabwysiadu maniffesto plaid Ein GWLAD yn Y Drenewydd yr wythnos hon.  Roedd hynny’n briodol iawn mewn ffordd o gofio bod Robert Owen, un o arloeswyr y mudiad cyd-weithredol ym Mhrydain wedi ei eni yn y dref.

Dechreuwyd Mondragon yn 1956 gan offeiriad lleol o’r enw Y Tad Jose Maria Madriaga. Dysgodd rhai o fyfyrwyr y coleg technegol lleol am egwyddorion cyd-weithredol, gyda 5 ohonynt wedyn yn mynd ymlaen i sefydlu’r busnes gwreiddiol. Mae’r elfen addysgol hon dal yn ran amlwg o ethos y fenter gan fod gan Mondragon ei phrifysgol ei hun sy’n addysgu ac hyfforddi ei holl weithwyr.

Prifysgol eu hunain i addysgu ac hyfforddi staff

Egwyddorion sylfaenol Mondragon:

*CEO’s yn ennill dim mwy na rhwng 5 i 8 x y gweithiwr cyffredin ym mhob  menter. Cymharer hyn gyda’r raddfa arferol yma ym Mhrydain, gyda CEO’s fel arfer ar gyflog sy’n x 200 gweithwyr cyffredin y cwmni .

*Pwyslais trwm ar gyflog teg a buddiannau cymunedol ehangach

* Does dim cyfranddalwyr, yn hytrach y gweithwyr eu hunain sydd berchen y busnesau. Pob blwyddyn bydd y gweithwyr yn dewis pwy fydd eu CEO am y flwyddyn, yn penderfynu beth i’w gynhyrchu, faint i godi amdano, lefelau tal pawb a ble i fuddsoddi unrhyw enillion.

*15 o ganolfannau ymchwil cysylltiedig yn cyflogi 2,000 o ymchwilwyr a gwyddonwyr

*Cronfa Les Anferthol sy’n cynnig incwm ar gyfer anableddau, gweddwadod ac ymddeoliad( ar ben unrhyw gyfraniadau gan Wladwriaeth Sbaen).

Lefel diweithdra llawer yn is nag yn Sbaen drwyddi draw

Yn ol yr economegydd Manuel Escuedero un o’r elfennau sydd wedi arwain at lwyddiant Mondragon dros y blynyddoedd ydi’r “deep culture of egalitarianism” sy’n bodoli yng Ngwlad y Basg, gyda hynny yn ei dro wedi golygu bod y fenter gyd-weithredol wedi gallu osgoi llawer iawn o effeithiau’r dirwasgiad a welwyd yn Sbaen yn ddiweddar, a fawr ddim o’i gweithwyr wedi colli eu gwaith yn yr argyfwng economaidd hwnnw . Yn wir, o’i gymharu gyda’r lefel ddiweithdra cyffredinol yn Sbaen o 25%, dim ond 9% ydi lefel diweithdra Guipuzoca, sef y rhanbarth ble y lleolir Mondragon.

Barn Ein GWLAD:

Byddai’n wir i ddweud bod y “deep culture of egalitarianism” hwn yn bodoli yma yng Nghymru hefyd ac felly’n cynnig tir ffrwythlon ar gyfer gwireddu cynlluniau tebyg fan hyn. Mae pob math o feysydd lle gallai rhywun ddychmygu mentrau cyd-weithredol Cymreig yn codi yma, megis y cyfryngau, cymdeithasau tai, rheoli asedau cymunedol, gwasanaethau gofal ac yn y blaen.

Archfarchnad Gymreig yn un model amlwg

Efallai mai’r maes mwyaf amlwg ydi’r maes bwyd a chynnyrch Cymreig sy’n tyfu’n sydyn heddiw. Mae hwn yn gyfle i greu archfarchnad Gymreig allai hyrwyddo’r cynnyrch hyn o dan y label “Brand Cymru” gan ddefnyddio’r Ddraig Goch( ar hyn o bryd ar y blaen mewn pol piniwn byd eang i ddewis y faner orau yn y byd) .

Mae Archfarchnad Eroski sy’n gwerthu bwydydd a chynnyrch o Wlad y Basg trwy’r wlad a thu hwnt yn y 2,100 o siopau a gorsafoedd petrol sydd ganddynt, yn cynnig un model amlwg iawn i’w ddilyn.  Ac yn yr un modd a welwyd yno, byddai creu endid fel hyn yng Nghymru wedyn yn arwain at pob math o “spin-offs” economaidd  eraill o ran creu nwyddau penodol/ labeli pwrpasol/marchnata’r cynnyrch ayb.

Gyda Brexit ar ein gwarthaf- a Brexit ar reolau WTO( World Trade Organisation) yn edrych yn fwyfwy tebygol: bydd rhaid ail-ddychmygu’r economi Gymreig ar fyrder. Gallai’r model gyd-weithredol, sydd wedi profi mor llwyddiannus yng Ngwlad y Basg fod yn rhan o’r model economaidd newydd fan hyn hefyd.

Mae’r Ganolfan Gyd-Weithredol Cymru sydd eisoes yn ei le yma yn gwneud gwaith da yma’n barod, ond rwan mae angen scalio fyny eu gweithrediadau ac ymestyn y dylanwad cyd-weithredol i lu o sectorau newydd.


A co-operative model for Wales

ONE of the most interesting economic models to appear over the last few years is the Mondragon Co-operative in the Basque Country.

By now the Mondragon C0operative Group with its’ “Humanity at Work” company logo, employs no fewer than 75,000 workers throughout the Basque Country and wider afield, with an annual turnover of £12 billion. All employees are described as “owner-workers”, with Mondragon specialising in the fields of industrial parts, technology, finance, research, retail and education.

C0-operative now employing 75,000 workers

The phenomenal growth of Mondragon, with no fewer than 250 co-operative subsidiaries now in existence, has been a big part in the economic transformation of the Basque Country over the past two generations. In 1956, the Basque Country was the poorest part of Spain, but by today it is now one of the richest part of Spain. A country with exactly the same population as Wales, i.e 3 million.

This co-operative model is one which should be emulated in Wales, and a motion to this end was passed at Ein GWLAD’s manifesto ratification conference held at Newtown this week.  This was very fitting in a way, considering that one of Newtown’s most famous sons was Robert Owen, one of the founding fathers of the co-operative movement in the UK.

The Mondragon Co-operative was started in 1956 by a Catholic priest named Father Jose Maria Madriaga, who said: “Not only do people have a stomach and a few material needs, they also have a growing awareness of their self-dignity”. 

He taught some local technical college students about the principles of co-operative working and 5 of those students then went on to establish the first Mondragon venture. This educational element is still a core feature of the Mondragon vision as it now has its own university in place which educates and trains all of its workers.

Its own university to teach and train all staff

The core Mondragon principles:

*Each CEO is paid no more than between 5 and 8 x the average worker in each co-op. Compare this to the present situation here in the UK where CEO’s are paid some 200 x the average worker in their companies.

*Clear emphasis on the necessity of fair pay and the needs of the wider community

*No shareholders- rather it is the workers who own each business. Every year, workers in each enterprise choose their CEO for the year, they choose what to produce and what to charge for the product and the level of salaries and where any profits are to be invested.

*They have a huge Welfare fund used for payments for disabilities, widowhood, and retirement, over and above any state provision.

*Mondragon has 5 research centres which employ 2,000 researchers and scientists

A deep culture of egalitarianism

According to the economist Manuel Escudero, one of the key elements in Mondragon’s success is the “deep culture of egalitarianism”  which is such a feature in the Basque Country. This way of thinking enabled Mondragon to ride out the deep recession which hit Spain over the past few years, with very few workers losing their jobs despite the economic crisis. Indeed, with Spain’s unemployment rate currently at 25%, the rate in Guipuzoca, the region where Mandragon has its headquarters is only 9%.

Ein GWLAD comments:  It would be true to say that this “deep culture of egalitarianism” is just as strong a feature here in Wales as well and there is fertile territory for the extension of the co-operative model here. There are all kinds of areas which one could imagine could be suitable for co-operative principles from media provision, to housing associations, management of community assets to various care services.

A Welsh supermarket chain as one model

Perhaps the area that comes to mind immediately at this point in time is the growing Welsh food and drink products market. This offers the possibility of establishing a Welsh supermarket chain which could promote these products and others under a “Brand Cymru” label,making use as well of the Welsh Dragon,( currently topping a world-wide poll to find the best flag in the world). The Eroski supermarket chain in the Basque Country which sells Basque products in over 2,000 supermarkets and petrol stations throughout the nation and beyond would be a good model to follow. And as is the case over there, such an entity could lead to a number of wider economic spin-offs in Wales arising from the need for specific products/ purposeful labelling/marketing the goods for sale etc.

With Brexit almost upon us- and a WTO Brexit(World Trade Oraganisation Rules) looking increasingly likely: the Welsh economy will need to be fundamentally re-imagined very swiftly. The co-operative model, pioneered so successfully in the Basque Country can be part of that new economic approach.

The Wales Co-operative Centre is already doing some excellent work here. Now the scale and range of its activities need to be ramped up considerably to meet the challenges ahead.

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