Hungary: Industrial Co-operatives (1992)


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      This document has been made available in electronic format
           by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA      

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                     HUNGARY:  INDUSTRIAL CO-OPERATIVES
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Source : Janos Juhas :  Co-operatives in Eastern and Central
Europe, Hungary; Studies & Reports, Twenty-first in series; ICA,
Geneva, 1992, 61pp., price 20 Swiss Francs

Industrial Co-operatives:

Industrial co-operatives are workers' co-operatives and, as such,
their characteristics are similar to those of the agricultural
production co-operatives. They carry out joint production in
common workshops, are involved in all types of industry and work
in a wide range of activities. However, they are predominant in
light industry, in the various fields of the engineering industry
and in industrial services. An important and rapid transformation
process has been going on in the industrial co-operative sector.
In the course of the 1980s more and more "traditional" industrial
co-operatives have converted themselves into so-called "small co-operatives". While output
and the numbers employed in the sector have not changed significantly, the number of small
co-operatives grew from nil to over 3000*. More detailed data are given in the table below:

     (*   Due to the change in the system of statistical
          observation, no precise data are available after
          1988.)


               Industrial co-operatives (1988)
             -----------------------------------  

                         Traditional         Small     Total
No.of Co-operatives      co-ops              co-ops

Industrial                    258            1,224     1,482
of which:
Mining                         -                 1         1
Metallurgy                      2                5         7          
Engineering                    66              655       714
Chemical industry               9               93       102
Light industry                161              362       523
Food production                -                11        11

Construction industry          45              989     1,034
of which:
Architectural design           -                85        85 
Transport                       2               64        66
Trade                           8               98       106
Water management               -                 1         1 
Services                       30              427       457                    
                         --------------------------------------
TOTAL                         343            2,888     3,146
                         --------------------------------------

Active members and            124.2            158.6     282.9 
employees (thousands)    

Total output                   55.9             95.9     151.8 
(HUF billion)  

(Source: Az ipari szovetkezetek gazdasagi fejlodese nek fobb
adatai, OKISZ,Budapest, 1988)


The traditional industrial co-operatives tend to be large-scale
operations, although they were intended to be small- and medium-scale enterprises within the
centrally-planned economy. The typical traditional industrial co-operative employs some 350
people, which includes both the active members and the employees of the co-operative. Of
them, 300 are blue-collar and 50 white-collar workers. Its annual production comes to HUF163
million. The typical small industrial co-operative has 60 active members and employees, of
whom 50 are blue-collar and 10 white-collar workers. Its total output is some HUF 34
million.