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CWCF commits $250,000 to the National Fund

CWCF Contributes $250,000 to National Co-op Investment Fund At its AGM on November 10th, 2012, CWCF approved a recommendation from its Board of Directors to pledge an investment of $250,000, contributed over a three-year period to the National Co-op Investment Fund, lead by CCA. This includes $175,000 from the $500,000 in CWCF’s Tenacity Works Fund, and $75,000 from an anonymous investor.  This pledge is an expression of faith in the NCIF as a sector-driven co-op development Fund supporting the expansion of new and existing co-ops (including worker co-ops, and with some focus on business successions), with leadership by people who understand the co-operative development process. The CWCF sees this fund as a vehicle for all of the co-op sector to share in the success of the co-op movement, through investing in new and existing co-ops.  The Fund will get started once the co-op sector has pledged a minimum of $20…

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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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