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Business Succession and North American Worker Co-operative Conference – October 11-15, 2011 in Quebec City

Join us for these two exciting worker co-operative conferences in beautiful and historic Quebec City. There will be empowering and engaging speakers from worker co-operative hot spots in the world – Quebec, Italy, Spain, France and more! The Business Succession and Employee Ownership Conference will take place in Quebec City from October 11-13, 2011. The focus will be on how to convert businesses into worker co-operatives. With nearly 200,000 business owners set to retire in the next 10 years, a tremendous opportunity exists to create more democratic workplaces. We are excited to announce that worker co-op conversion experts from around the world will be in attendance to share their knowledge. In particular, Serge Kirouac (Promo-Plastik) and Luc Fournier (Federation of CDRs) from Quebec, Roy Messing (Ohio Employee Ownership Center) from the United States, Patrick Lenancker (President, CG-Scop) from France, Felice Scalvini (President, Cooperatives Europe and Vice President, ICA) from Italy are just a…

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Quebec Declaration – The Creation of CICOPA-North America

October 13, 2011 Quebec Declaration In the lead-up to the UN International Year of Co-operatives 2012, and on the occasion of the first North American Worker Co-operative Conference (Quebec City, October 13-15, 2011), the Worker Co-op Federations in North America have come together to create CICOPA-North America1 and have drafted this joint Declaration on the socio-economic future of our communities and on public policy concerning co-operatives. Who We Are, What We Believe, and the World We Want to Build Worker co-operatives are enterprises that are owned and controlled by their workers. Their purpose is to provide their member-owners with a work environment which facilitates their professional and human development, and provides the best wages and benefits possible within the capacity of their businesses. Worker co-ops are run democratically on the principle of one member – one vote. Worker co-operatives around the world embrace and accept the seven Co-operative Principles recognized…

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An Equal Exchange Story: When a founding member gets pushed out

Paper posted on March 6, 2011 was prepared for the Babson-Equal Exchange Cooperative Curriculum titled ‘The Worker Cooperative Life Cycle’ by John R. Whitman Ph.D. This is an academic- style paper that explored whether the Cook and Burress’ theory (2009) of the five phases of a co-operative fit the life cycle of Equal Exchange. The paper can be found at: http://cooperativecurriculum.wikispaces.com/file/view/The+Worker+Cooperative+Life+Cycle-Whitman.pdf As a non-academic I was more interested in the story of founding a worker co-operative, how democratic the worker co-operative is, and how a founding member can be forced out of a worker co-operative. John R. Whitman interviewed the founders of Equal Exchange in the paper. The following are excerpts from the paper in regards to this. Equal Exchange was founded from its founders compelling motivation to use their existing food warehouse co-operative skills to advocate on behalf of the interests of developing country farmers. The challenge faced by founders Jonathan…

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CWCF President Alain Bridault becomes a member of the CICOPA Executive Committee

CICOPA is the world organization of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers’ Cooperatives, or the “international worker co-op confederation”. It is a sectoral organization of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA). At the meeting of the Executive Committee of CICOPA held in February, CICOPA appointed Alain Bridault as a member of its Executive Committee. Alain represents North America on behalf of the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (CWCF). President of CWCF since November 2009, Alain Bridault represents Region Federation member Le Réseau de la coopération du travail du Québec on the CWCF Board. Alain, who is also President of his worker co-op, La Coopérative Orion in Quebec City, is the first CICOPA Executive Committee member to come from Quebec. In recommending Alain to the Committee, CICOPA President Javier Salaberria (of Mondragon) described him as an “extraordinary new colleague”. His appointment was approved unanimously. A co-founder of the Bachelor’s degree in Co-operative Administration at…

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CWCF Presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance on February 15, 2011

CWCF Executive Director Hazel Corcoran and President Alain Bridault made a presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance in Ottawa on February 15, 2011. They recommended that the federal government: Launch a Co-operative Investment Strategy with two components : A Canadian Co-operative Development Fund; and A federal Co-op Investment Plan 2. Make the federal Co-operative Development Initiative (CDI) permanent; 3. Expand the CDI into the new area of conversions to worker co-ops. See the entire written presentation attached below. For the audio visit scroll down to Meeting 58 at: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/CommitteeBusiness/CommitteeMeetings.aspx?Cmte=FINA&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=3 In the picture is Hazel Corcoran, Peter Hough and Alain Bridault meeting Victoria MP Denise Savoie and Burnaby-New Westminster MP Peter Julian. They also met with Kings-Hants Nova Scotia MP Scott Brison (Peter Hough’s representative) and Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), a ministry that includes co-operatives. Finance Committee Submission by CWCF 02 15 11 – English

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February 2011 CCPA Monitor Article – The Case For Worker Co-operatives

Attached below, please see CWCF’s article titled ‘The Case for Worker Co-operatives’ in the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ February 2011 issue of the Monitor. For more info on the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives go to: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/ CCPA_February_2011_The_Case_For_Worker_Co-operatives

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