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Workers rule: relations in production at a cooperative workplace in Mexico

The Transformation of Work

ISBN: 978-0-76230-766-1, eISBN: 978-1-84950-097-5

Publication date: 14 March 2001


This case study of a worker-owned factory in Mexico illustrates the distinct character of the cooperativist division of labor, bringing into question the tendency to equate cooperativism with de-differentiation. An analysis of this practical alternative shows how workers' participatory culture shapes the politics and relations in production at the shopfloor, transforming the vertical and horizontal division of labor. The conflictive and dynamic character of workers' participation not only limits oligarchic and authoritarian tendencies at the organization, but also sustains a balance between two apparently contradictory goals: to uphold efficiency and a more humane work environment. For the workers, the enterprise becomes a tool at their service, playing an educational and nutritional role. In the process it also reduces the division of labor in society.


Hernandez, S. (2001), "Workers rule: relations in production at a cooperative workplace in Mexico", Vallas, S. (Ed.) The Transformation of Work (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 215-240.



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Copyright © 2001, Emerald Group Publishing Limited