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CWCF Conference Press Release 2014

Annapolis Valley set to host national worker co-op conference, fall 2014 WOLFVILLE, NS. – The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) has announced plans to host its 23rd annual fall conference in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley from November 5-8, together with co-host CoopZone. The three-day (+) conference, which brings together many of the Federation’s 60 member organizations and 100 indirect members from across the country, aims to strengthen Canada’s growing worker cooperative sector. It features a number of workshops, collaborative planning sessions, and guest speakers. This year’s keynote speaker is José Orbaiceta, President of the Worker Co-op Federation of Argentina. A worker co-op, for the uninitiated, is a form of business where a company’s employees own and democratically manage the business. Typically, they share in both the business’ decision-making and its profit. Currently, there are an estimated 350 worker co-ops across Canada, employing 10,000 people. The Annapolis Valley is home to…

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Report – The Rationale for Worker Co-operatives – Creating Democratic and Co-operative Workplaces Based on Equality

February 3, 2011 The Rationale for Worker Co-operatives report, poster and brochure are attached below. To help raise awareness of democratic and co-operative workplaces based on equality, please print and distribute widely! Rationale 2012 Version_fnl The Rationale for Worker Co-operatives – Brochure The Rationale for Worker Co-operatives – Poster

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Strategies for Developing Immigrant Worker Co-ops

Immigrant Worker Co-op Strategies paper drafted by Hazel Corcoran of the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation. Excerpt: I. Background Through the current Co-operative Development Initiative (CDI) Innovation and Research (I & R) Project, the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF), in consultation with its Diversity Committee, is prioritizing worker co-op development in immigrant communities, including approaches and resources to improve their success rates. The reason for this priority is because the need among immigrant communities for economic and socio-economic improvement is great, and the potential of worker ownership to meet these needs as well as to help empower the worker-owners is also significant. In terms of need, income disparity between native-born Canadians and immigrants to Canada is large, and on the increase. The 2006 Census data released on May 2, 2008 revealed that earnings for recent immigrants (about 80% of whom are racialized) show a grim economic reality. According to a Globe…

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Guidelines for Determining Whether or Not There Is an Employer-Employee Relationship in a worker Co-op

This Brief attempts to highlight the criteria used to determine whether or not a worker co-op has an employer-employee relationship or is classed as a group of independent contractors. Excerpt: Purpose of This Document 1. The purpose of this Brief is to outline the nature of worker co-operatives and the method for determining whether or not a given worker co-operative embodies an employer/employee relationship between the co-operative and its members. Definition of a Worker Co-operative 2. A worker co-operative does not have a legal definition in most jurisdictions. In terms of a functional definition, a worker co-operative is a business functioning as a co-operative which is owned and controlled by its worker-members. In other words, a worker co-operative is a worker-owned business which is governed on the basis of the internationally recognized, democratic principles of co-operatives. 3. The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) classifies as a “worker co-operative” any business…

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The Worker Co-operative Movements in Italy, Mondragon and France: Context, Success Factors and Lessons

Abstract The objective of this paper is to analyze the public policy environment, capitalization environment, availability of federation support, and the context for the worker co-op movements in each of Italy, Mondragon (Spain) and France. These three countries or regions have the largest, most dynamic worker co-op movements in the world. To grow a large worker co-op movement, a system of supports is required to enable the transfer of appropriate knowledge to many people, in addition to having access to worker coop-friendly sources of capital. Although there were some success factors in each region which could not be easily replicated in other places and although there were significant differences among regions, there were many common elements contributing to the success of the worker co-op movement in all three places. These were: (1) sufficient capital accessible to worker co-ops; (2) technical assistance provided to worker co-ops in the start-up phase; (3)…

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