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Work together newsletter of CICOPA
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June - July - August 2015
SPECIAL DOSSIER >  Cooperative Equality

Fostering equality by putting solidarity and democracy in the workplace

Worker and social cooperatives, as enterprises owned by staff members, have the priority of answering to employment needs giving every worker-member the same say in the present and future of the enterprise. All around the globe, democratically owned and controlled enterprises are putting solidarity in the workplace to spread equality in their communities. Read more

The Cooperative model as a tool for shared awareness

The worker cooperative Creando Conciencia (Creating Awareness) was born in the year 2005 in Argentina, upon the initiative of a group of neighbours greatly worried about the final disposal of urban solid waste, the problem of urban garbage collectors ("cartoneros") and the possibility of generating alternatives that could address these problems with social responsibility and sustainability.  Read more

Speaking of gender equality, considerations from Mexico

Equity entails equality and justice; and in each of these values there is the recognition of difference as an element on which the personal characteristics and the particular conditions of each person lie.The choice in favour of cooperatives linked to the choice for equity has a special meaning that challenges us to move from a subjective ideal to objective practice, while carrying with us our differences, talents and even our doubts and uncertainties, in order to both organize work based on collaboration and build certainty. Read more

Worker cooperatives build a stronger Economy, lessons from Zambia

According to the Zambian researcher Phahlani Moyo, there is need to diversify to other forms of cooperatives other than historical agricultural cooperatives that comprise the bulk of the this mouvement in Zambia. There is a need for establishing worker cooperatives, municipal, banking, insurance and housing cooperatives in order to create more owners especially in communities as ownership builds wealth and cooperative ownership is the alternative to a reliance on low-paying retail and service industry jobs say hotels. Read more

european news section

First global report on industrial and service cooperatives

The first global biannual report on industrial and service cooperatives has been launched. Published by CICOPA provides a picture of this worldwide movement. The close to 65,000 enterprises affiliated to its member organizations, 95% of them being SMEs, employ over 3 million people. However, there is evidence that this world phenomenon is quantitatively much wider: worker cooperatives, social cooperatives and cooperatives of self-employed producers in industry and services together employ over 16 million people worldwide.‬‬‬ Read more

Governments, as well as employers’ and workers’ organizations agree to promote the creation of cooperatives 

Cooperatives are widely included in the Conclusions of the ILO Committee on SMEs and Employment Creation. They are mentioned in terms of clustering, networking, value chain and local economic development, as well as service providers to SMEs and sectoral development. This text is the result of the discussions which took place in a dedicated Committee of the 104th Session of the International Labour Conference from 1 to 13 June. Read more

Cooperatives mentioned in the ILO recommendation to tackle the informal economy

The ILO has adopted a new international labour standard that is expected to help hundreds of millions of workers and economic units move out of informality and into the formal economy. Cooperatives are mentioned in this Recommandation as part itself of the transition, both in terms of enterprises & in terms of employment. Cooperatives are also mentioned by stressing that an integrated policy framework for the transition to the formal economy should include the promotion of entrepreneurship and of different types of business models. Read more

Care through cooperatives: answer the survey

The ILO Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch and Cooperatives Unit has launched a survey about the provision of care services through cooperatives. Cooperatives are asked to thare their inputs, they will contribute to a better understanding of care through cooperatives, and help identify the resources cooperative organizations need to be viable employers and providers of care. Read more

european news section
This section has been built with CECOP – CICOPA Europe

Democratic enterprises promoting intergenerational and gender equality

Worker and social cooperatives provide to youth and women a more equal access to employment. As an example, in Spain young persons represent 43% of employment in worker cooperatives, women nearly 50% and they also allow them to reach easier managements positions. Read more

More than 1,000 cooperators celebrate 30 years of social cooperatives in Italy

On 18 and 19 June, around 1,200 social cooperators from all around Italy are participating in the conference “Thirty years in the future - From Assisi to Assisi: dreams and successes of social cooperatives". It was launched the Assisi chart, a Code of Ethics anti ‘Mafia Capitale’.‬‬ Read more

Slovenian government interested in the development of worker and ‪social cooperatives 

After a recent law on social enterprises, under which 26 social cooperatives are already registered, there is a new interest towards developing cooperatives under the new government. In 2014, there were 332 cooperatives in Slovenia employing 3,087 people. However, it looks as though the push towards developing cooperatives in industry and services has come. Read more

Worker cooperatives drive employment recovery

Spain’s worker cooperatives have seen a ten percentage point lesser drop in employment compared to other business models. Juan Antonio Pedreño, president of COCETA, the Spanish Confederation of Worker Cooperatives, said “it shows how the loss of 1.8 million jobs could have been avoided – by all businesses operating like cooperatives. The municipalities with the lowest losses of employment are the ones where the cooperative movement is strong”. Read more

Workers buy-out: 30 years creating wealth in Italy

Between 2007 and 2013, the survival rate of Italian enterprises was 48.30%, whereas all Italian industrial cooperatives born after 2007 had a survival rate of 87,16% after 3 years, being the majority of them the result of workers’ buyouts supported by CFI, a society providing management support and follow-up to workers’ buyouts. This year the Italian cooperative movement is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Marcora law, allowing enterprises to be transferred to their workers. Read more

3,000 jobs created in worker cooperatives in France

In 2014, 2,800 jobs were created, including 1,940 in new worker cooperatives in France, according to the latest figures from the French confederation of worker cooperatives CG Scop. "We are very pleased with the results in 2014, we are very optimist. In 2014, 277 cooperatives have emerged. Whereas ex nihilo creations remain the majority, there is a record for transmissions of healthy enterprises: 20% of worker cooperatives created last year", says Patrick Lenancker, president of CG Scop. Read more

South America news section
This section has been built with CICOPA Mercosur

Argentina’s cooperative industrialization

The worker cooperative Coopertei has been active in the mechanical repair and maintenance of rotating industrial equipment and similar machinery since 1991, when it inaugurated facilities near the port of Berisso city in the province of Buenos Aires. Coopertei is one of the companies established by former workers of the State Oil Company YPF (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales). Its members decided to create a worker cooperative which performs mechanical maintenance for the largest refinery in Argentina to this date. Read more

North America news section

Intercooperation in North America : the creation of the first worker-owned bakery in Calgary

The Grain Exchange Worker-owned Co-op in Calgary (Canada) has used a crowdfunding campaign to help launch the first worker-owned bakery in the region. The Canadian Worker Cooperative Federation has for several years sought to replicate the Arizmendi Bakery / Pizzeria Co-ops of the San Francisco Bay Area (USA) in Canada, and it has identified a group in Calgary to do it. The cooperative hopes to open the bakery next year. Read more

Oceania news section

Supporting community groups to develop renewable energy projects in Australia

The Community Power Agency is an Australian worker cooperative in the field of community energy advocacy and development. It was set up in 2011 after returning from visiting all shapes and sizes of community energy in the UK, Europe, North America and India. Inspired by the action of other communities, the cooperative was created to support the growth of community-owned renewable energy projects in Australia. Read more

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