Posted on

Webinar: The Social and Solidarity Economy (“SSE”) and Worker Co-ops

Fri, 28 February 2020 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM MST Co-ops inevitably overlap with other movements and in this webinar we will explore how worker co-ops fit into the Social and Solidarity Economy and with social enterprises. We invite participants to come with ideas of how to better partner in these spaces for mutual benefit, and will have shared with CWCF some ideas on how CWCF can partner for the benefit of the worker co-op movement. Given that collaboration with the social and solidarity economy is a significant aspect of our strategic plan, we would like to provide the opportunity for more members to attend this session.  This presentation is quite similar to what was offered at our fall Conference.   Here are a few comments from the Conference session: “With her vantage point as chair of the International Co-op Alliance Research Committee, Sonja explains this important topic with clarity and…

Read more

Posted on

2020 CWCF Membership Renewal Is Open

These are exciting times for CWCF.  We’ve begun implementing our strategic plan, and we’re already starting to see results in a number of areas, from working to grow our Tenacity Works Investment Fund, to partnering with Green Jobs Oshawa on a feasibility study for a worker-owned electric vehicle production facility at the old GM plant. We’re also working on implementing the Parcours worker co-op startup training program, and we recently concluded a successful conference in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, we’re already looking ahead to the 2020 conference in Vancouver. In short, we’ve been busy. While these may be exciting times for CWCF, we’re aware of the challenges currently facing both worker co-ops and society as a whole: rising unemployment, precarious employment, growing income inequality, the impacts of the climate crisis, and more. But these are challenges to which the worker co-op movement is well-positioned to respond. Through building equality and…

Read more

Posted on

Wood Shop Workers’ Co-op Builds Community

Vancouver’s Wood Shop Workers’ Co-op produces a wide variety of products out of reclaimed wood, crafting everything from bed frames to kitchen tables. The unifying theme, however, is to create furniture that looks good, feels good, and does good. Incorporated in 2014, Wood Shop  emerged out of a local social enterprise incubator called Groundswell. The Wood Shop  founders came together around the idea of creating social good and were inspired to create a worker co-op, something co-founder Chris Nichols says has always been a key part of their operating philosophy. “It was very important for us at the beginning, and still is,” he says. “I think none of us were enthused about the idea of working for other people, while at the same time we wanted to create an organization that could bring more people in, and therefore grow our impact through growing our organization and doing so in a…

Read more

Posted on

What If We had an Antidote to Worker Co-ops Selling out? The case for indivisible reserves in worker co-operatives

By Hazel Corcoran I read with great concern about the sale of New Belgium Brewery to Kirin-owned Lion Little World Beverages.  The concern is not only for the loss of this ESOP, as disappointing as that is.  Rather, it is because we know that every ESOP, worker co-operative and enterprise in the solidarity economy is vulnerable to the same fate.  Humans being what we are, sometimes when a collective enterprise becomes very successful after years of blood, sweat (equity), and tears, it is hard to resist the temptation to cash out as the opportunity presents itself.  A similar situation unfolded with Careforce Home Care Worker Co-op of Kentville, Nova Scotia, now Careforce Inc.  The Co-op converted from a conventional business to a worker co-op in 2008, with a loan and other support from the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (CWCF).   It was our poster child for business succession to a worker…

Read more

Posted on

Worker Co-op Meet & Greet (and Free Dinner*) CWCF is coming to Edmonton!

Soirée de réseautage pour coops de travail La FCCT vient à Edmonton!** Worker Co-ops in the Edmonton area are invited to a Meet-&-Greet to get (re)acquainted with CWCF Executive Director Hazel Corcoran & CWCF Board member Yvonne Chiu (MCHB Co-op), meet each other, & share stories & resources.  Date: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 at 5:30–7 pm (optional dinner), & 7-9 pm (Meet & Greet) Location:  Surinder’s Suite, Multicultural Health Brokers’ Co-op (MCHB) Office, Edmonton Intercultural Center (9538 – 107 Avenue – McCauley School site) Directions: Please kindly come to either the door at the back of the school building from the parking lots, or the Girls’ Entrance at the front of the school.  Each of these doors has a buzzer for gaining entrance. The office is on the main floor at the end of the hallway to your left.  Please contact Yvonne at (780) 710-1577 if you have difficulties finding Surinder’s…

Read more

Posted on

Remembering Two Pioneers in Quebec’s Forestry Industry

By Chloé Lemon and Dany Rousseau Within the span of two weeks, Quebec’s forestry industry lost two notable people. On November 23 Jean-Yves Lévesque, founder of the newspaper Le monde forestier, passed away, followed by Gérard Paris, first president of RESAM, on December 9. In 1987, Jean-Yves Lévesque founded the newspaper which would later become Le monde forestier or the “Forest World”. At the time, he had the idea of ​​taking a newsletter from the Quebec Forestry Cooperatives “Conference” or CCFQ”(now Quebec Federation of Forestry Co-ops or “FQCF”, a CWCF member) and publishing it in the form of a newspaper. Thus was born The Forest Co-operator, the predecessor of the Forest World. Initially, Mr. Lévesque took care of everything: he visited all the cooperatives. He managed the local collaborators, advertising, salespeople, and a part-time graphic designer who worked for the newspaper. For a while the office was in his house. …

Read more

Posted on

Board Member Profile: Frank Bezanson-Harris

CWCF is pleased to welcome Frank Bezanson Harris to its board of directors, acclaiming him as a director-at-large at its AGM. Frank has been with Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op for over 16 years, and a member of its board of directors for much of that time. He has also served on the board of the Wolfville Farmers Market, a nonprofit co-op, for much of that time, currently serving as its vice president.  Frank’s experience with Just Us! has convinced him that membership in CWCF is an important part of its success. He’s found in connecting with nearby co-ops that they often have answers to problems Just Us! has faced, and he hopes to continue fostering this collaboration. “Being in the Atlantic provinces and being in a small town, you can be very isolated,” he says. “Being involved in CWCF offers the opportunity to network and share resources with people…

Read more

Posted on

Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair in Toronto February 1

The Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair is a FREE, one-of-a-kind sexy fair that brings together artists and crafters just in time for Valentine’s Day. Knitters, crafters, zinesters, card makers, and artists of all types will be creating erotic objects for this one day celebration of DIY sex and romantic culture.When: Sat, Feb 1st. 10AM to 4PMWhere: The Gladstone Hotel, TorontoRSVP on Facebook or follow the fair on Instagram! The first 50 attendees to check in at the Come As You Are booth will receive a FREE loot bag worth over $50! Why We Love the Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair.Hi. I’m Noah, and I’m the person who organizes the Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair each year. We’ve been hosting the fair in Toronto since 2007, born out of a desire to offer a space for DIY culture, sex, pleasure and anti-capitalism to culture and be co-created by makers and their admirers.I love the EACF because through it we are building…

Read more

Posted on

Directors and Officers Liability, and Insurance Solutions

Please join us when Jillian Rudolph, Associate Insurance Advisor, and Manon Monette, Strategic Client Manager, both with The Co-operators, will be hosting a webinar on Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, and to describe the advantages and features of various types of insurance available to CWCF members through The Co-operators, including for D&O Liability insurance coverage. Read more…

Read more

Posted on

Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States

This book, published in 2014, attempts to bring Marxism and the solidarity economy together in both theory and practice. Since the financial crisis of 2008 and the global popular protests of 2011, more people have begun to wonder and speculate: what’s next for civilization? The economic, social, and political status quo seems unsustainable, but what can emerge to take its place? In this book, a historian examines the past and present to argue that the seeds of a more humane society are already being planted, on local and international scales. Whether they will bear fruit depends, ultimately, on grassroots initiative. Read more…

Read more