Case Study Hormel corporation

Why did the business press call Hormel a “red capitalist” in the 1930s? Wouid you call CostCo a “red capitalist?” 

The Mother Jones article explains the “red capitalist” charge. Note that Hormel has shifted at least twice in its approach to corporate social responsibility.


The business press call called the Hormel Corporation a “red capitalist” in the 1930s because of the actions that Jay Hormel took when he had taken over the company in 1929. Jay Hormel thought he was above his workers and was going to be able to get what he wanted out of them with no uprising. He was trying to get away with giving his workers little to no benefits and cutting money from them without his workers being notified. Hormel thought since he had the money and was the head of the company he could do and say what he wanted to his workers with no problems. But that however did not last for long. His workers grew tired of his actions and went on strike. Since Hormel didn’t want to engage with their problems he left it alone until the people on strike threatened to do something to his meat. They threatened to cut of his refrigeration system for the meat that would make him loose $3.6 million in meat. Hormel couldn’t loose that kind of money so he finally gave into what his workers wanted. Many workers probably thought he went above and beyond which they didn’t mind. Even as the war started he not only sent his meats to the soldiers but also gave them jobs when they returned from the war. With all these actions it was obvious that Hormel was being more socially responsible. But the question is, did he have any other choice? If Hormel doesn’t make his workers happy and his customers happy, will there continue to be a Hormel corporation? At the end of all this Hormel was looking out for the best of his company because if all these people aren’t happy he won’t be making any money.

I believe that Costco is a red capitalist because of the harm they’ve done to people’s lives just to open up shop where they want. There have been numerous cases in which Costco has been setting up their business in an area that the community may have churches in the areas they will be demolishing. In the end, Costco being the company that has money and connections they end up getting what they want. They try hiding all this negativity not only by providing excellent benefits for their employees but the business they bring to other stores that may be around the area. Wherever there’s a Costco there’s usually other stores around which benefit. So like any big company they find ways around certain things. In all this Costco is being socially responsible but being ethical now that’s questionable.