ULMA Forja, S. Coop. 50 years together 1962-2012 — ULMA Begira

Ulma Forged Solutions

ULMA Forja, S. Coop. 50 years together 1962-2012

This history goes back to 1962. The year when GAITU was established, meaning the initial letters of the promoters, (Guridi, Ayastuy, Irizar, Telleria and Urcelay). During these 50 years of life, the company has gone through many changes, both of its name (it was renamed ENARA in 1967 and finally adopted the legal form of ULMA Forja in 1995), and in the way it works.
ULMA Forja, S. Coop. 50 years together 1962-2012
Nov 29, 2012

This is what some of its partners relate:


Miguel Angel is one of the veterans of ULMA Piping. He started work in the ancient ENARA in 1971. Here are some of his experiences:

“The atmosphere back then was of hard work and great fellowship.  They were years of many ups-and-downs as regards work load.  We worked all the hours we had to, and without any extra pay sometimes.

Our work method has radically changed.

Before becoming part of the Grupo ULMA we went through several crises.  I was relocated in 1962. There were even times when the bank accounts were at zero or even in the red; we had to bring in money from home... We had to make many sacrifices so the cooperative was successful.  Nowadays reaching that level of sacrifice is unthinkable.

People were more linked than nowadays.  These days there is more individualism; there is no spirit of aid. Society has changed and we have changed with it.  The spirit of belonging is lost, like the pride of belonging to a cooperative.

Our work method has radically changed.  Much investment has been made to face the market needs.  What I do miss is a little “discipline” at work.  Respect for management has been lost a little.

My evaluation of these 50 years is positive.  We have several good years and mainly the perspectives are good.  The bad years have served to strengthen us and I hope that we are once again prepared for the bad moments that we face in the future.

Illusion and the desire to work are necessary for this to continue working".


We advanced 20 years in time and were able to know the experiences of another generation.  Ander started to work at ULMA Piping in 1991 and nearly without realising it has been with us for nearly twenty years:

“When I started in forging there were practically not any young people and we were all a bit temporary.  There was a very marked difference between the figure of the temporary staff and that of a partner, nowadays I think there are less differences.

The cooperative sense still exists, but unfortunately  in a more residual way.

The typical working conditions and environment of a forge mean, heat in the summer, cold in the winter, noise, physical effort... it is very hard.  But what has been the hardest of all in these 20 years are the accidents suffered by me and those of companions and above all that two of them died in work-related accidents.

I have the opinion that the sensation of cooperative is being lost due to the growth of the cooperative, currently the cooperative feeling still exists, but unfortunately in a residual way.

I positively evaluate my 20 years of my experience, because I started working in much more precarious conditions, in a filthier and noisier environment in a cooperative or around 100 workers.  Currently we are a much more consolidated company in our sector, with cutting edge installations and a headcount of around 300 workers.

I see a good future.  In the short-term I think we have good expectations, it seems there is a market.  The problem sometimes is how we catch the wave... either riding it or being turned around inside it... but there is a wave".


Pili is the first female forger in the history of this company.  In a male controlled environment, like a forge, she was well accepted by the veterans.  This is her experience:

I started work at ULMA Forja in 2004. I was the first female that entered the presses.  Above all I was very afraid of how I would be received by the veterans.  The forge section has been a male territory and the presence of a woman, doing “this man’s job” seem very strange.  I was greatly surprised because I was well received, by everyone.   I did not expect that. In this sense I am very happy.

I was greatly surprised because I was well received, by everyone.   I did not expect that. In this sense I am very happy.

I got to know cooperativism in this company.  I had worked in a limited company and there is an abysm between  the different methods. Solidarity exists in a cooperative, common effort that is made for the company.

My husband works in the same section.  We have been married for 22 years and we work together.  Sometimes we spend 24 hours together!  We get on well together, but the worst is that sometimes we take our work home.

I can see a lot of work in the future, it looks good.  We have to produce many tons.  I think that the representatives are bringing in many orders and we have a good 2013.

I hope it continues like that, approaching the project world step-by-step and to continue doing what we know.

My evaluation of my time in ULMA Forja is very positive.  If I had to make a wish, I would ask for business to be more constant, without so many peaks, either good or bad. “


Javi belongs to the latest generations of ULMA Piping. This is his experience:

“I started in ULMA Forja in 2006. As a business, we are going through a time of transition.  It was the start of the change of strategy that meant working for EPC projects.  This includes new equipment, a new way of working and deep organisational changes.

One of the keys is the continuous adaptation to change.

I did not know many of the cooperative values and characteristics.  This meant a notable change for me in the way of “living” the organisation, the participation in the social bodies and the responsibility of the partners when taking decisions.

Unavoidably, the cooperative values are seen differently in times of bonanza and times of crisis.  Now, the reaffirmation of those values is even more necessary, allowing, with much effort, to maintain employment, business and environment.

Perhaps the most special experience that I have lived was the 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of our company. A special date and an unforgettable event where we all could share very special moments with previous partners, new companions and even some of the founders of the cooperative and where we were even more conscious that the current situation would not be possible without the effort of many other people during several generations.

One of the keys for survival of the company is the continuous adaptation to change.  A dynamism that is not against maintaining cooperative values that, even with revisions, have shown their worth throughout all these years".