Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation

 La F�d�ration canadienne des coop�ratives de travail

June 2013
Vol 5, Issue  4                                                                             

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In This Issue
CWCF-CoopZone Conference
Congrès de la FCCT et de CoopZone
CoopZone Training Program
CCA-CCCM Congress
Second National Co-op Challenge/Défi national
The Co-operators Names the Most Sustainable
Europe's Co-ops Cash in on Austerity
Monopoly, Money, and Values
ILO and Co-ops
Seven Co-ops that Make a Difference
La reprise
Les coops, où comment humaniser l'économie
New Italian Worker Co-op
Making Way for Worker Co-ops
Worker Co-ops on the Radio
CWCF-CoopZone Conference 2013
The Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (CWCF) and the CoopZone Developers' Network Co-operative invite you to join us in St. Albert, near Edmonton, Alberta for our Conference with the theme Educating Each Other for Empowerment, on November 7th - 9th. Register by September 5, 2013 to take advantage of our early-bird rate.  


Entrance to Star of the North Centre

 Come to this Conference to share ideas, learn techniques, and:


* Take part in our new more participatory approach, with a focus on Effective Meetings and Decision-Making, and Marketing Strategies!

* Rebecca Kemble, President of the US Federation of Worker Co-ops, will speak about the new Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade (International Co-op Alliance) and CICOPA, the international federation! 

* Meet other worker co-operators and developers from across Canada!

* Learn about the Indivisible Reserve (permanent co-op capital) and take part in deliberations on this important topic! 

* Get inspired by other co-ops' stories!

* Learn practical new tools!   

* Attend the (optional) Worker Co-op Movie Night!


Do not miss our keynote speaker Yvonne Chiu of the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op, an inspiring worker co-op made up of immigrants and refugees who work as health brokers.   

All registration fees are reasonable, and the early-bird registration fee for members is even less expensive than last year, as long as you register by the early deadline: September 5th, 2013.  


Follow this link to download the full Conference Program, and to register on line! 

Congr�s de la FCCT 2013

La F�d�ration canadienne des coop�ratives de travail (FCCT) et CoopZone vous donnent rendez-vous en novembre 2013: du 7 au 9 novembre, � St.-Albert (pr�s d'Edmonton), en Alberta. 


L'entr�e, l'�toile du Nord

R�servez par le 5 septembre et profitez d'une r�duction sur le tarif.   

Voir ce lien pour le programme du Congr�s.

Pour vous inscrire au Congr�s et pr�senter une demande de subvention de voyage, inscrivez-vous ici .  


Nous ne pouvons pas offrir l'interpr�tation simultan�e, mais nous pouvons offrir un interpr�te personnel sur demande. 

CoopZone Training Program:  free Information Webinar on June 19th!
CoopZone is pleased to again be offering its co-op development training courses in 2013-14, starting in September.   The basic information about the courses is available here:  CoopZone is offering various levels of training: the Advanced Program (Years 1 and 2) for those who wish to become active developers; the Foundation Program for those who may become developers or work in the early stages of development, and the Introduction to Co-op Development course.   The shorter Introductory course will be appropriate for people interested in understanding the types and roles of co-ops, and the basic co-op development process.  All of these on-line courses are designed to fit around a full-time job.  The Course Director is Peter Hough, and experienced co-op developers provide mentoring to students.

CZ People
Here's what some of the students this year have had to say:  "I've been applying what I have learned from the course to my day-to-day work with co-ops right from the start of the program and would highly recommend it to anyone who works with co-ops, social enterprises, and those involved in community economic development on any level." (Mark Sparrow, NSCC).  "After working and consulting with non-profits for over 20 years, Co-op Zone training has given me the understanding and tools to finally be able to work with co-ops.  During the course I had 4  groups engage me to help start or transition their co-op, and my assigned mentor as well as the CoopZone network helped guide me through it.  Thank you!"  --Rick Juliusson, FreeRange Consulting, BC.   "I would absolutely recommend the CoopZone program to anybody interested.  The course is pretty amazing in the way that it creates a common community amongst us aspiring co-op developers and several fully established and tremendously experienced ones. The instructors are great, and the mentoring system gives me the chance to have hours of one-on-one time with an expert in my desired field."  --Joel Ratcliffe, Ontario  "The Advanced Co-op Developer training has enabled me to connect with other Co-op Developers and a Mentor which allowed me to apply what I am learning directly to the groups and projects I am working on, in real time.  I would recommend this program for anyone interested in Co-op Development as we are often working alone or in small teams in communities; the course allows you to feel part of a co-op team!"  --Amanda Hachey, CEC-NB

For those who are thinking about taking one of the courses, there will be a webinar  held on June 19th, at 12 noon Eastern Time for 60 minutes and possibly longer.  This webinar is open to anyone, not only CoopZone members.  Please RSVP to Hazel Corcoran ( by the end of the day prior; you will receive the dial-in information by the start of the day of the call.  (If you do not receive it by then, please write again at that time.)
Five Great Reasons to Attend the CCA-CCCM Congress
The CCA and CCCM are holding their 2013 Congress from 26-28 June in Edmonton. This will be a great opportunity to network and learn. You can find out more by visiting this website 
1 - Explore the issue of sustainability, government relations or capitalization with NEW co-op learning labs - mobile workshops showcasing innovative projects from Edmonton-based co-operatives. 


2 - An Alberta-flavoured welcome reception will give you the opportunity to unwind and mingle with co-operators from across the country.


3 - The chance to hear from MP Mauril B�langer - driving force behind the creation of the House of Commons Special Committee on Co-operatives - with thoughts from other great co-op leaders. 


4 - An interactive discussion panel will help Canadian co-operators build a strategy around the global Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade.


5 - Annual general meetings of CCA, CCCM and the Alberta Community and Co-operative Association, featuring key topics from within the co-op sector.


CWCF will be represented at the CCA AGM by Hazel Corcoran (delegate), and CWCF Director Yuill Herbert of the Sustainability Solutions Group Worker Co-op will be in attendance as a member of the CCA Board.  CoopZone will be represented at the CCA AGM by Lynn Hannley, a founding board member of CoopZone and also one of the mentors in the CoopZone training program.  Hazel will also be a delegate to the CCCM AGM, on behalf of le Conseil de d�veloppement �conomique de l'AlbertaA few other CWCF and CoopZone members will also be in attendance.  Given that there is a resolution at the AGM of each of CCA and CCCM to create a new, apex pan-Canadian co-operative organization, there should be a lot of interesting discussion at this year's Congress.   


The registration deadline for the Congress is June 19th, at midnight.  

The National Co-op Challenge is Back!
The Co-operators is returning with the National Co-op Challenge, designed to promote Canadian co-operative enterprises. It's an opportunity for co-ops to win valuable prizes aimed at growing their businesses. Along with increasing their exposure in their communities, participants could win funding. One winner will also receive a customized consultative services package on how to better market their products and services and a promotional video. In total there are eight 
regional prizes to be won. Last year there were numerous submissions from the worker co-op sector, and we encourage worker co-ops to enter this time as well. For more information, please check out this page.

L'un des traits distinctifs des coop�ratives est l'importance qu'elles accordent � nouer des liens avec d'autres coop�ratives, � appuyer leur r�ussite et � contribuer � leur croissance. Les Co-operators lancent une nouvelle �dition du D�fi national Co-op, dans le cadre duquel on offre 200 000 $ afin de donner aux coop�ratives �mergentes ou en expansion plus de poids dans leur collectivit� et une possibilit� de se d�velopper. Il y aura 8 prix r�gionaux � gagner. Nous esp�rons que les coop�ratives du travail vont soumettre des demandes encore une fois cette ann�e. Suivez ce lien pour en savoiur plus.  
Co-operators named Most Sustainable / les Co-operators nomm� le plus durable
The Co-operators Group was named the most sustainable co-op in the world by Corporate Knights Magazine. The Co-operators has invested in sustainable business practices for the past decade. Corporate Knights, which is for "clean capitalism," unveiled the preeminent list on sustainability performance at large co-operative businesses, the 2013 Most Sustainable Co-ops Ranking. The research team analysed the data based on environmental, social, and governance factors for the 35 largest co-operatives throughout the G7. You can read more about this by following this link.

La reviste Corporate Knights a nomm� les Co-operators la coop�rative la plus durable au monde. Une organisation qui milite pour le capitalisme propre, Corporate Knights a examin� les coop�ratives du monde entier de nombreux secteurs. Ils ont d�cid� que les Co-operators ont obtenu des r�sultats �lev�s sur les indicateurs environnementaux, sociaux et de gouvernance. Les Coop�rators ont investi dans des pratiques durables, gagnant du succ�s au cours des derni�res ann�es. Pour savoir plus, voyez ce lien.
Europe's Co-operatives Cash in on Austerity
As much of western Europe still grapples with austerity and weak economic growth, the co-operative economy is proving remarkably resilient sparking a revival of employee-owned businesses.

Hayley Platt visits U.K.-based Delta T whose turnover has doubled in the last five years. Delta T, a British technology worker co-operative, has been a benefactor of the movement toward austerity in the European Union. "We have made smart investment decisions" based on democratic decision making, they've said. While the current economic situation has produced trouble for risk-takers, co-operators, who have acted carefully because they are all economically involved in the decisions. One of the most noteworthy items being of course that they have consistently voted to keep the value in the business rather than paying out to shareholders. This has allowed the company to maintain its viability and be flexible. Follow this link to watch the video.

Monopoly, Money, and Values
Co-opoly, the board game that teaches us how to work co-operatively, has gained a lot of attention of late. One of the worker-owners of the co-op that created the game was recently interviewed by Truthout. Brian van Slyke, who has created educational resources on subjects ranging from people's history to social change movements and the co-operative movement, shares his impressions of the classic game Monopoly. "One of the interesting things about Monopoly is that people often promote it as a good way to teach about financial literacy, even though the way you win is by obliterating all of your opponents and leaving them in economic ruin". To read more, please follow this link to the article.
ILO Backs Co-ops as an Alternative to Austerity
In the current economic climate governments have been pushed to adopt austerity measures. While in many places there has been an outpouring of support for an interventionist social welfare state, austerity has touched every society lately. Co-operatives can make a positive change to the economy, according to the Director-General of the International Labour Organization, Guy Ryder. At a conference organised by the ILO and the UN Ryder remarked that social enterprises such as co-operatives, play a serious role in helping to alleviate the economic crisis. It has been an effective tool to fight problems like youth unemployment and rural development. Follow this link to see the article.
Rebuilding / Rebatissons
[Le fran�ais suit] An example of interco-operation, the "Rebuild Consortium" has been officially created in Italy to, along with the government, citizens, and technicians, reconstruct the areas surrounding Modena. In May 2012 this area was struck by an earthquake. They have chosen this name to represent the consortium of local co-operatives. They believe that the reconstruction of the centers should hold its historical memory, though innovating and improving infrastructures, that can guarantee the security and prevent a repeat ofwhat happened last year. It brings together 50 co-operatives based in Modena, which in turn employ about two thousand people. For the first time, all these consortia will work together with one main goal: upgrading. This case illustrates how union shows its force. To read more, follow this link

La cr�ation officielle du Consortium Reconstruire repr�sente un exemple de g�n�rosit�. Son objectif consiste � contribuer, avec le soutien du gouvernement, des citoyens et d'autres, � la reconstruction de la zone de Mod�ne en Italie. Cette region a �t� frapp�e par le tremblement de terre de mai 2012. Le consortium a choisi ce nom parce qu'il repr�sentate le groupe, compos� de coop�ratives actives dans diff�rents secteurs bas� � Mod�ne. Les membres estiment que ce projet peut pr�server des structures et innover. Le consortium est compos� de 50 coop�ratives bas�es � Mod�ne et qui emploient deux mille personnes. Toutes ces coop�ratives vont travailler ensemble avec un objectif principal : la mise � niveau des zones touch�s par le s�isme. Cette affaire montre comment l'union fait la force! Pour en savoir plus, suivez ce lien

Seven Co-ops that Make a Difference
Pourqoui la reprise sera lente
Ch�mage aux Etats-Unis, ralentissement en Chine, aust�rit� en Europe et hausse des prix des mati�res premi�res. Ce n'est pas une surprise que la reprise est mal partie. En septembre 2008, la faillite de la banque d'affaires am�ricaine Lehman Brothers entra�nait le monde dans une crise d'une ampleur sans pr�c�dent depuis les ann�es 1930. Deux ans plus tard, la croissance est revenue et le redressement de l'activit� �conomique a m�me �t� sensiblement plus important qu'attendu en France et en Europe au deuxi�me trimestre 2010. On aurait tort cependant d'en conclure que la reprise est solidement install�e. Pour en savoir plus, suivez ce lien.
Les coop�ratives, o� comment humaniser le travail et l'�conomie
En France les Scop sont actives dans le discours sur le r�le des coop�ratives dans l'�conomie sociale. Ils ont organis�, avec l'association ESSenciel, une soir�e sur "Les coop�ratives, o� comment humaniser le travail et l'�conomie". Ils ont commenc� par trois courts documentaires sur Okhra, Gers Initiative, et la P�niche Cancale qui a donn� un aper�u de diff�rentes exp�riences coop�ratives. En plus ils ont continu� par un d�bat en pr�sence de diff�rents acteurs de SCOP locales.  Pour en savoir plus, suivez ce lien.   
New Italian Worker Co-op in the Works
When the large UniCredit factory closed in Milan, its former employees took action in order to ensure that they would have steady employment. While the move is technically illegal, local authorities and the former owners have consented to the action. 330 workers at the plant were let go between 2010 and 2012. The re-opening process has only just begun but the plan is to recycle and repair electronic equipment destined for scrap. "There is no work elsewhere so we are going to invent it ourselves," says an employee, echoing the sentiment of many of his compatriots. To learn more about this project, check out the article.

Making Way for Worker Co-ops
Taliesin Nyala, a co-owner of the Massachusetts worker cooperative that produced Co-opoly, wrote a special piece on the state of the American economy, in particular to do with jobs. "Wall Street is booming while nearly 22 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. Corporations and the wealthy are thriving while almost 50 million of their fellow Americans are living in poverty".  Poverty, Nyala mentions, is something that we are all acquainted with in one meaningful way or another. Despite the connection to hardship, legislators continually propose ineffective solutions because they are financed by the large corporations that have a vested interest in maintain the status quo when it comes to poverty, unemployment, and inequality. For more information please follow this link to the article.

Worker Co-ops on the Radio

On a special edition of "Labour and Employment Law Podcasts" Dmitriy Kustov and Melissa Hoover discuss issues pertinent to the world of worker cooperatives. Included in this is governance, business strategies, the attendant advantages to co-op patrons, the distinctive nature of co-ops, and impact in on the global economy. Additionally, they discuss elements of American federal tax discipline that apply to worker cooperatives and their patrons. Kustov and Hoover outline what defines the worker cooperative as a business entity and factors that distinguish the worker co-op from other business entities. If you'd like to find out more, please follow this link to the podcast.

The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) is a national, bilingual grassroots membership organization of and for worker co-operatives, related types of co-operatives (multi-stakeholder co-ops and worker-shareholder co-ops), and organizations that support the growth and development of worker co-operatives.  CWCF's e-newsletter is available free of charge to anyone with an e-mail address and an interest in worker co-operative developments in Canada. 
Please send any comments and suggestions to: 


Hazel Corcoran 

CWCF Executive Director