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An Ongoing Challenge: Managing Equity

In a previous column, Alain Bridault, President, ORION cooperative research and consulting, we stressed the importance of managing the acceptability of decisions taken by the board of directors or senior management in their respective powers fields .We pointed out that the only right decisions are decisions well accepted by the members, that is to say, understood by all, so well explained through internal communication channels established by the cooperative. For more information, download the file. C7_0

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Starting a Worker Co-op: A Canadian Handbook

So you want to start a worker co-op? This handbook outlines the basic information and the processes required to start a worker co-op. Excerpt: II. What are the Co-op Principles and Values and where do they come from? In the previous section, we noted that worker co-ops are enterprises that operate by following the Co-operative Principles and Values. Without providing a long history of co-operatives, this section will provide an answer to the question in the above heading, as well as providing some brief comments on the practical issues of applying the co-op principles and values to a worker co-op. The most recent version of the Co-operative Principles and Values were developed by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA). The ICA is an umbrella organization that brings together co-operatives from all over the world to collaborate with one another and to support the development of the co-operative form of enterprise. Although co-ops…

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The Worker Co-op Sector in Canada: Success Factors, and Planning for Growth

Abstract The objective of this paper is to provide an analysis of the current state of the worker co-op movement in Canada with a focus on successful worker co-ops. A deepened review of a 2008 survey was conducted. Worker co-operatives which have failed were analyzed, and a full-day workshop with the CWCF Board of Directors was conducted to assess the factors that would lead to faster growth in the sector. The research project also involved surveying 13 worker co-operatives across Canada to identify common factors of success. The survey results indicated that a large majority of founding members in these successful worker co-operatives did not have business experience. Overriding this was the willingness of members to work together and to continuously learn on the job in a working environment that allows them to express their values and social concerns. Through this, successful worker co-operatives were able to carve a niche…

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CWCF Report on Member Relations Project

This 2008 report, including Appendices A-C, provides information from the CWCF’s Member Relations project and worker co-op survey.  It is available in English, below, and in French on the French part of the CoopZone site. Excerpt: I. Introduction CWCF carried out this project, entitled “Strengthening Membership, Strengthening the CWCF” or the “Member Relations Project” from June, 2007 through March, 2008. a. Background CWCF has been in existence since 1992. As a member-based Federation serving the emerging worker co-op sector, CWCF has focused heavily on worker co-op development. As of one year ago when we proposed this project, we had not placed as much emphasis on services to existing worker co-op members, and the relationship with regional worker co-op federations, as on new development. As of spring 2007, CWCF had a growing membership; 65 members; but there were approximately 250 -300 worker co-ops in the country (the majority in Quebec) which…

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Cooperative enterprises in industry and services prove their strong resilience to the crisis

Cooperative enterprises in industry and services prove their strong resilience to the crisis Since October 2008, the financial crisis has been affecting the economy and the financial system at the world level. As a response to the concerns regarding this situation and the serious challenges for employment, enterprise sustainability and social cohesion, CICOPA initiated a consultation process amongst its members in 2009, updated in 2010, in order to gain a better idea of the effects of the crisis on the affiliated enterprises. Most CICOPA members have participated in this consultation namely 27 organisations from 21 countries. According to the results of this study, cooperative enterprises in industry and services show better results in facing the crisis than other types of business in the same sectors. This is possible thanks to the intrinsic characteristics of cooperatives and notably what is called “the cooperative innovation”. The cooperative system promotes sustainable employment in…

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CWCF Good Governance May 19, 2010 Tele-learning Session Summary

Please see the notes and PowerPoint presentation below. “Governance” means: the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented) United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Human Settlements, What is Good Governance. “Governance is the task of defining the goals and standards of an organization and ensuring that there are effective management and other structures that will enable the organization to achieve these goals and standards”, Code of governance for housing co-operatives: Confederation of Co-operative Housing, February 2001. Excerpt: Presenter: Reba Plummer, Urbane Cycling: I will be presenting on Urbane Cycling’s experience on governance issues. Going to the CWCF annual conference has helped because you get to meet other worker co-ops and find out how they deal with governance issues. We are a bicycle shop in downtown Toronto. We started with 3 or 4 members. One person was the leader…

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2010 CWCF Tele-learning Session #2 – Conflict Resolution Summary

Please see attachments below for the summary, PowerPoint, accountability chart procedures, accountability chart, employment contract, and job description examples. To listen to the session please view here http://www.divshare.com/download/11127983-bde. Job Description Form Co-opEmployment ContractAccountability Chart ProceduresConflict in Worker Co-opsAccountability Chart2010 CWCF Tele-learning Session – Conflict Resolution – Notes

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