Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation

 La Fédération canadienne des coopératives de travail

2015 Newsletter
Vol 7, Issue 5



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Month Year Vol 1, Issue 1
 CWCF News
CWCF's upcoming Conference
The 2015 Conference is coming up fast.  Registration closes on October 21, 2015. Click here to register. For more information about our Conference, visit our website here.
  Welcome new members
  • Moss Digital is a workers' co-op based in London, Ontario that specializes in crafting custom websites, mobile applications, and content management systems (CMS). Their services also include digital marketing and branding consultation.
  • Your Local Market Co-operative is a six-member worker co-op, now entering its 5th year. They operate a grocery store in Stratford, selling only local and seasonal produce, meat, eggs, cheese & dairy grown or produced by local companies, and grocery products made by small Ontario companies, and in particular, by other co-operatives. They have a bakery - bread, sweets, and savouries - a funky coffee shop - Slave to the Grind - as well as a take-out counter and a small production kitchen at their grocery store.
  • The Grain Exchange is Alberta's first worker-owned co-operative bakery & pizzeria. Look for their storefront soon. They are proud to help revive sourdough and craft small-batch baking, as well as expand dignified living-wage food sector jobs in Calgary. 
Announcing our new column "Member Marketplace". 
This will be a regular column that will provide our members with the opportunity to submit information about their co-op in order to encourage members to do business with each other. If you are interested in submitting an article please contact Kaye Grant at
In This Issue
CWCF-CoopZone Conference 2015 - Registration Deadline / Date limite pour le Congrès 2015 FCCT-CoopZone
Tele-learning session on the Co-op Index
Member Marketplace: Unite Digital Marketing Worker Co-op
An Evening of Learning in Memory of Mark Goldblatt.
Co-op Week to Celebrate and Promote Co-ops across Canada
CMC's Election Letter-writing Campaign / Campagne de lettres de CMC pour l'élection 2015
CECOP's New Website
Mondragon a créé 1000 nouveaux emplois en 2014 / Mondragon created 1,000 new jobs in 2014
Premier rapport mondial sur les coopératives dans l'industrie et les services/ First Global Report on Industrial and Service Co-operatives
Advocacy Support for Worker Cooperatives
Conflict Resolution for Cooperatives
Coops Find New Options in Investment Funds and Crowdfunding
Cooperatives and the World of Work
The World's First Solely Prisoners' Worker Co-op
New Document on Business Transfers to Employees - in Europe
The 3rd International Summit of Cooperatives 2016
CoopZone-CWCF Conference 2015, in collaboration with the Réseau /  
Congrès 2015 de CoopZone et de la FCCT, en collaboration avec le RESEAU

Le français suit. 
The deadline to register is October 21st.     

Featured speakers include keynote Esteban Kelly, the new Co-Executive Director of the US Federation of Worker Co-operatives, and members of a worker co-operative in France, SCOP-Accolades , which does training and development for participatory governance.

En français: 
La date limite pour s'inscrire est le 21 octobre.

Parmi les conférenciers il y aura le conférencier principal Esteban Kelly, le nouveau Co-directeur général de la Fédération américaine des coopératives de travail, et deux membres d'une coopérative de travail en France, SCOP-Accolades, qui fait de la formation pour une gouvernance participative.  

Tele-learning session on the Co-op Index - for CoopZone and CWCF members - Oct. 16th, noon Eastern Time
There will be a tele-learning session for CoopZone and CWCF members, on October 16th at 12 noon Eastern Time, for up to 90 minutes.

The Co-op Index is a tool developed within the worker co-operative sector - which may be used to diagnose how a co-operative abides by its values and how it is reflected in using co-operative principles. It also gives multiple perspectives on key areas of co-operative performance.   The Co-op Index is a research methodology created in a collaborative process by co-operative members, co-operative consultants, and researchers of the co-operative movement. The purpose of the tool is to assess the health of the co-operative based on perceptions of its members and employees.
For more information, see
In this session, the presenters will give an overview of the Co-op Index, how a co-op can access the Index and how developers can be involved with it.
  • Ryszard Stocki, Lead developer of the Co-op Index, and Research Fellow, St. Mary's University, Halifax and University of Mondragon, and
  • Peter Hough, Affinity Consulting, Member of the Co-op Index development team.
To register for this session, which is free to members of CWCF and CoopZone, please write to Kaye Grant, as soon as possible, and by October 15th at 5 pm Eastern Time at the latest. You will receive dial-in information by the morning of the session.

Member Marketplace: Unite Digital Marketing Worker Co-op
How Did We Start?
Unite started in July 2013 when four friends came together to do high quality creative work for the community. The decision to incorporate as a worker cooperative was based on equity and participation. 

Who Are We

Unite helps positive messages spread and purpose driven organizations succeed through strategic marketing, creative ideas, and high-quality media. Unite is one of the first marketing worker owned cooperatives in Western Canada. This model helps us deliver high quality marketing solutions by bringing together highly experienced professionals in marketing, strategy, social media, design, web development, video production, and other services on-demand.

Some of Our Work
Continuing our principle and tradition of working with cooperatives we recently delivered a very successful crowd funding campaign for one of Canada's largest credit Unions, Affinity. The Affinity Business-for-Good Social Venture Challenge was a crowdfunding competition between three social enterprises addressing social and environmental issues in Saskatoon & area. We closely worked with three social enterprise initiatives, each with a unique story and impact, who crowdfunded over $90,000, and engaged over 1,300 contributors for the campaigns. The campaign went on to win two national awards

For more information or to contact Unite Digital click here.


An Evening of Learning in Memory of Mark Goldblatt -
October 15th, Ottawa

"A different way to build for the future in today's economy will be on the table October 15th when the Ottawa Co-op Network hosts a free and open panel discussion at Ottawa City Hall.

The Learning Event, scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start, will explore a business model that provides an advantageous alternative to the conventional corporate structure. Reflecting "The Co-op Advantage" theme of International Co-op Week (Oct. 12-17), the audience will hear and engage with the proposition that now is the best time ever to build on the co-op advantage.

This Learning Event is free and open to the general public. It is being held in memory of Ottawa co-operator Mark Goldblatt, a nationally recognized co-op leader, visionary, and innovator who left his stamp on almost every co-op sector. Goldblatt died in February 2015. His last project was as volunteer president of the not-for-profit Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa, which opened in 2013."  (The above are quoted from the event press release.)  Goldblatt was also President of CWCF for 13 years.  

Panelists include worker co-op members (Kelly Storie of La Siembra and Reid Van Melle of Brierwood Design), as well as CWCF associate member Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op.   The panel will be facilitated by Denyse Guy, Executive Director of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada. 
For more on the event, click here.  For the press release, click here

Co-op Week to Celebrate and Promote Co-ops across Canada
Co-op week takes place from October 11 to 17, 2015 and is an opportunity for Canadian co-operative and credit union members to celebrate the fact that they have collectively helped to build this country.  Co-op Week is recognition of their continuing contributions at home and abroad.
Co-op Week is always celebrated during the same week as International Credit Union Day, which is the third Thursday in October of each year. 
This year Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) has launched its theme "Our Co-op Advantage" and they are asking people to share their views on the co-op advantage with others across the country.

The BC Co-operative Association is hosting a Movie Night with a screening of Shift Change and Worker Co-op Panel, in the evening of October 14th at the Heartwood Community Cafe in Vancouver.  The panelists will be:   To learn more, click here.   

The Saskatchewan Co-operative Association has created the Co-op Week Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Planning Your Co-op Week Celebrations. This comprehensive toolkit is a co-op's guide to creating a memorable and successful celebration and includes information on what Co-op Week is, why it is celebrated, great ideas for community involvement, building membership, educating youth, advertising your event, having a civic proclamation and much more.
You can also download logos and posters for free free, here at On Co-op.

CMC's Election Letter-writing Campaign / Campagne de lettres de CMC pour l'élection 2015   
Le français suit. 
"Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) is drawing attention to important co-operative sector projects that will benefit all Canadians in all regions during the election. CMC has made two important requests of the federal government that can come to fruition during the next parliament. To make that happen, we need the help of determined co-operators who can help us build awareness.

How can you help? Email candidates this letter!"  To learn more, click here.

Sending the emails only takes a few minutes.  The two projects are to have the federal government invest in the Canadian Co-operative Investment Fund, and to work with the co-op sector on a co-op development strategy.  This strategy includes support for business succession to co-operatives and other key elements.  Both of these projects are very important to the worker co-op sector. 

En français: 
Coopératives et mutuelles Canada (CMC) attirant l'attention des candidats sur d'importants projets du secteur coopératif qui profiteront à tous les Canadiens dans toutes les régions. CMC a fait deux demandes importantes au gouvernement fédéral qui peuvent se concrétiser au cours de la prochaine session parlementaire. Pour que cela se produise, nous avons besoin de l'aide de coopérateurs déterminés qui peuvent avoir des discussions avec quelques candidats et nous aider à accroître la sensibilisation.

L'envoi de ces courriels ne prend que quelques minutes.  Les deux projets sont le Fonds d'investissement coopératif canadien (un investissement par le gouvernement fédéral) et l'appui à la stratégie nationale de développement coopératif.  La stratégie comprend de l'appui à la transmission d'entreprise aux coopératives et d'autres éléments clé.  Le Fonds et la Stratégie sont très importants pour les coopératives de travail.

CECOP has a New Website
CECOP - CICOPA Europe is the European confederation of industrial and service cooperatives. Founded in 1979 in Manchester, it affiliates 26 national confederations or federations of cooperatives representing 50,000 enterprises employing 1.3 million workers in 15 European countries.

"CECOP launched its new image and website on September 23, 2015. Our new, more modern and dynamic, logo alongside the slogan "Working Together", embodying the Cooperative Marque -the global identity of the cooperative movement launched by the International Cooperative Alliance-, celebrates the work being carried out within the European worker, social and producers' cooperative movement represented by CECOP. Visitors will notice that the new website has a much clearer approach, therefore making it easier to learn about us. The content is simpler, more direct and user friendly."  Click here to see the site and read more about it.

Mondragon a créé 1000 nouveaux emplois en 2014 / Mondragon created 1,000 new jobs in 2014
**English Follows.**

En 2014, Mondragon a créé 1000 nouveaux emplois alors que le taux de chômage en Espagne dépasse les 20 %. L'entreprise emploie actuellement 74 117 travailleurs. Mondragon explique cette performance par sa recherche d'innovation, qui inclut une participation à plus de 30 projets européens de recherche et développement coopératifs. Javier Sotil, président du conseil général de Mondragon, a déclaré qu'il croit que l'entreprise est en mesure de maintenir la création d'emplois :
« Nous pouvons compter sur des capacités de gestion et d'innovation pour promouvoir un développement d'affaires concurrentiel, un engagement commun et une solidarité intercoopérative », dit-il. Cliquez ici pour lire plus, en anglais.

In English

While the unemployment rate in Spain remains above 20%,  Mondragon Corporation created 1,000 new jobs in 2014 and is currently employing 74,117 workers.
In 2013, Fagor Electrodomésticos, Mondragon's domestic and commercial appliance manufacturer, went bust. Around 2,000 workers were affected - but to date 1,700 of these were relocated in other co-ops or have chosen to retire.
Set up in 1956, Mondragon has become the world's largest worker co-operative, with a presence in 97 countries. The federation comprises over 250 co-operatives and subsidiaries across four areas of activity: industry, retail, finance and knowledge. Click here to read more.  

Premier rapport mondial sur les coopératives dans l'industrie et les services/ First Global Report on Industrial and Service Co-operatives
**English follows**

Alors qu'une partie importante des coopératives actives dans l'industrie et les services connaît un taux de croissance très élevé en termes de nombre d'entreprises et d'emplois, d'autres traversent des moments difficiles en raison de l'environnement économique ou politique dans lequel elles se trouvent. Les difficultés rencontrées les plus courantes sont l'accès au financement, un environnement politique inapproprié, la réduction des déficits publics, la concurrence déloyale et les faiblesses techniques. Ce rapport contient :

* des statistiques détaillées par continent sur l'emploi, les membres travailleurs et la taille des entreprises;
* des informations complètes par secteur d'activité;
* l'observation des dernières tendances, par pays;
* les principales difficultés et les mesures mises en place par pays.
Cliquez ici pour obtenir le rapport.

In English
The first global biannual report on industrial and service cooperatives (2013-2014) is out. Published by CICOPA, it provides a picture of this worldwide movement. The close to 65,000 enterprises affiliated to CICOPA member organizations, 95% of them being SMEs, employ over 3 million people. However, there is evidence that this world phenomenon is quantitatively much wider: worker cooperatives, social cooperatives and cooperatives of self-employed producers in industry and services together employ over 16 million people worldwide. The vast majority of these persons are members and, therefore, the owners of their enterprise, which they jointly and democratically control. Click here to get the report.

Advocacy Support for Worker Cooperatives
Creating a Full-Fledged Support System: View from the U.S.
by David Morgan

As worker-owners, we're used to doing things ourselves. We start businesses, figure out democratic decision-making, and confront systemic issues that deny wealth to communities. We're tenacious and self-governing, so why limit our influence to our workplaces? As our movement grows-and it is, rapidly-we're innovating faster than the law can keep up, often operating in gray areas that can be as uncertain as they are productive. What would it look like to stitch up these loopholes and create a full-fledged support system?

Click here to read more.

Conflict Resolution for Cooperatives  
I n this video series, Esteban Kelly outlines a powerful conflict resolution process that can be used effectively by cooperatives.

Coops Find New Options in Investment Funds and Crowdfunding
With all the hoopla around online crowdfunding as a means of capitalizing startup businesses, the cooperative -- that once anti-establishment business model -- can seem downright dated. But look closely, and you'll see a new energy around coops. That creative energy is also being applied to one of the biggest challenges that new and expanding coops face: raising capital.

From coop investment clubs to crowdfunding, new funding options for cooperatives are being explored.
To read the full article click here.
Cooperatives and the World of Work Series by 
the International Labour Organization
ILO COOP has started a new series on Cooperatives and the World of Work.
  1. Leveraging the cooperative advantage for women's empowerment and gender equality. Click here to download it.
  2. Cooperating out of isolation: Domestic workers' cooperative. Click here to download it.
  3. At work together: The cooperative advantage for people with disabilities. New models for cooperative enterprises designed to promote the inclusion of women and men with disabilities into the work-place are being developed. Click here to download it.
  4. Rediscovering cooperatives: Young people finding work the cooperative way.  This brief on youth employment and cooperatives is the fourth in the series. Click here to download it.
The World's First Solely Prisoners' Worker Co-op
Transforming prisoners' lives through cooperation in Puerto Rico
by Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo

Roberto Rodriguez Rosario helped organize the world's first worker cooperative composed solely of prisoners in Puerto Rico - Cooperativa de Servicios ARIGOS.
Now 39, Rodriguez is spreading the word about how cooperatives can rehabilitate prisoners and give them hope.
"The cooperative model can be used to create spectacular change," Rodriguez told the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy conference participants in Worcester July 13 in a workshop that he led entitled Cooperative Ownership and the Prison Industrial Complex:  A Case Study from Puerto Rico.   "Co-op theory is magical." .. . read more.

New Document on Business Transfers to Employees in Europe
CECOP-CICOPA Europe presents in this document the opportunities and challenges for successful business transfers in Europe under the cooperative form. Several good examples are presented from Spain, Italy, France and the UK together with the cooperative characteristics and the legal environment facilitating business transfer to employees. The document also offers an overview of the financial and support services for business transfers to employees and policy recommendations addressed to the European Commission and the member states.

Click here to download the document 

The 3rd International Summit of Cooperatives 2016 
The International Summit of Cooperatives is a biennial gathering where leaders of cooperative and mutual enterprises get together to discuss their concerns about the current and future business challenges they all share.

The 2016 International Summit of Cooperatives, being held October 11-13, 2016, will welcome international experts to share with participants their vision, knowledge, and perspective on challenges and future prospects facing cooperative and mutual enterprises.

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 cooperatives.  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: 


Kaye Grant 
Editor of CWCF Newsletter
(204) 257-1198