October 14, 2011
In preparation for the International Year of Cooperatives in 2012 , declared by the United Nations, and on the occasion of the first Congress North American Labour Cooperation (Quebec, 13-15 October 2011) North American cooperative federations work have come together to create CICOPA North America 1 and drafted the Joint Declaration on the socio-economic future of our societies and public policies regarding cooperatives.
What we are, our values and the e world that we want to build
Worker co-operatives are businesses owned by their employees. Their purpose is to provide to their employees-members an environment facilitating their professional and human development and the best possible wages and benefits in terms of capacity of their businesses. The very basis of their operation is based on the principle of one member, one vote.
Worker co-operatives put into practice the seven cooperative principles defined by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the basic values of cooperatives are support and personal and mutual responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Faithful to the spirit of the founders, members of work cooperatives believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and altruism.
Overall, members of labor cooperatives work for the establishment of a new mode of socio-economic development with a human face in which economic, social and cultural needs of the people will always prevalence on the requirements of capital owners. Together, our members work for the establishment of a new mode of sustainable socioeconomic development that is fair to all and compatible with the ecological balance of our planet.
Our umbrella organizations have a mission to help labor cooperatives to consolidate and aim to bring out all this new mode of development. The five North American federations of labor cooperatives signatories of this Declaration commit to make every effort, in accordance with these values, in order to accomplish this mission. They will thus facilitate the creation of new work cooperatives and harmonious development of their member cooperatives. They will also enter into future partnerships with carriers all organizations share the same vision. Our organizations will thus encourage governments to build a better future.
The six components of a coherent and effective program of public policies to promote the emergence and development of worker cooperatives
To encourage governments to build a better future, we offer a coherent and effective program of public policies the emergence and development of this new form of socio-economic development includes these components:
1) Recognition: To recognize the relevance and admissibility of labor cooperatives to government policies and programs in all ministries and government agencies.
2) Development: To facilitate the creation and development of cooperatives working in partnership with their federations is the main mission, including helping them to fulfill their mission of promoting labor cooperation, education for democracy economic, technical assistance in the creation and development of new cooperative work and support to governance and business development of existing labor unions.
3) Capitalization: Facilitate the capitalization and financing of working cooperatives the establishment of cooperative development fund dedicated in partnership with the cooperative movement as well as facilitative fiscal policies.
4) Legislation: Adopt a specific law governing the functioning of labor unions, or specific items to work cooperatives in the case of a framework law on cooperatives,
5) Transmission: Submit the cooperative as an alternative solution to the potential risk posed by the problem of plant closures following the retirement from the owners of generation baby boomers and the lack of potential buyers apprehended; set up ad hoc programs with the transmission of these companies to their employees via one or other of the various legal forms of cooperatives controlled by their employees.
6) Priority Purchases: Strengthen the network of cooperatives working primarily buying their goods and services.
- Canadian Federation of Worker Co-op
- Federation of US labor unions
- NETWORK cooperation Quebec labor
- Quebec Federation of Forestry Cooperatives
- Federation of Cooperatives Paramedic Quebec
CICOPA is the international organization of labor unions affiliated to the International Cooperative Alliance. CICOPA-Americas is its regional organization in the Americas. CICOPA North America, covering labor unions in Quebec, the rest of Canada and the United States, is the sub-regional entity.