Democratic Structure

Regular Worker Co-op Membership

The goal guiding the structuring of the CWCF is to develop a national bilingual organization that is responsive to needs of the individual worker co-ops and provides a unified voice for the worker co-op sector on national issues of common concern. The regular membership is open to any worker co-op (this may include other corporate forms provided that the organization is democratically controlled by the workers) which supports the objects of the Federation.

Regional Federations

The CWCF currently has four regional federation members, la Fédération québécoise des coopératives forestières (forestry co-ops), la Fédération des coopératives des Paramédics du Québec (paramedic co-ops), le Réseau de la coopération du travail du Québec (other sectors), and the Ontario Worker Co-op Federation.

Other Classes of Members

Besides Worker Co-ops and Regional Federations, the CWCF also has two other classes of membership: Associate Members and Worker Co-op Developer Members. Associate membership is open to any organization that supports the objectives of the Federation. Worker Co-op Developer membership is open to individuals that are working in or supporting cooperative development initiativest; to join CWCF as a Worker Co-op Developer member one now joins through CoopZone. The members, from all classes, must be approved by the CWCF’s Board of Directors.


The CWCF has a delegate voting process at its general meetings. There is a maximum of 50 delegates for the Worker Co-op Member class. They are allocated equally between the five regions of the country; thus each region has a maximum of ten delegates. If at a general meeting, a region has more than ten worker co-ops represented, then the representatives from that region (one from each worker co-op) elect ten delegates from among the representatives to vote at the general meeting.

The Associate Member, Worker Co-op Developer Member and Regional Federation member classes each have up to five delegates. As noted above, if there are a greater number of representatives than the allowable delegates at a meeting, the representatives from the particular class will elect from among themselves their five delegates.

Board Structure

CWCF’s Board is made up of 7 directors, who come from the Worker Co-op member class (currently 6 directors) or the Regional Federation member class (currently 1 director).  This 7-person Board is made up of 2 at-large directors, plus 5 regional directors, representing respectively BC/ Yukon, Prairies/ NWT/ Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic.  A key goal informing CWCF’s board governance model is that worker co-ops should be in control of their national Federation.  There is a diversity criteria matrix which the membership has approved and which is shared with all members during the call for nominations as well as at each annual meeting.  The term of office is three years, and there are 3 officers chosen by the Board:  President, Vice President and Treasurer.  For a list of the current Board, as well as staff, please see: Board & Staff.