Case Study: Hormel corporation

Why did the business press call Hormel a “red capitalist” in the 1930s? Would 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.


Hormel was referred as ”red capitalist” in the 1930’s because he attempted to institute a progressive pension plan would contribute $1 to a worker’s 20 cents per week but he did not bother pitching its benefits to employees. Workers refused, one gave in and labor organizers incited a work stoppage. Hormel threatened to spoil $ 3.6 million of meat. In the mother Jones article, Hormel had to address workers after three days, brought the strike to an end by agreeing to a series of incentives. Hormel also agreed when the output increased, to pay more wages to workers. During the World War 11, the company sent canned meat supply securing Spam acclaim. Hormel also created a “special workers” program, designed to assist veterans.

CostCo is a red capitalist because workers have workloads making the workers tired and low pay. CostCo uses negative corporate power and responsibility by dominating employees and dividing markets around it. The positive aspect of CostCo it produces at lower costs and brings new products.