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Slovakia: when a natural disaster strikes

10 January 2012 [ English ] français ]

After the earthquakes that hit Japan and Spain last year, CICOPA wants to give a little hope to the people who have suffered from natural disasters by sharing the story of Eurokov Orlov, a worker cooperative active in the construction sector in Slovakia.

A proverb says: a friend in need is a friend indeed. There could be some truth in this. The extensive flooding in June 2010 made history in the cooperative based in Orlov. The river Poprad showed its strength when beyond anyone’s control, it flooded the whole area: workshops, administrative offices, shore houses, etc. Simply in seconds, the long-time established and prosperous manufacturer changed into a disaster zone. The damage was extensive: the machines and the material were destroyed and the workers had lost all their hopes.

Thanks to the assistance and the solidarity of the cooperative movement, the difficult fight for survival began. Workers of the cooperative managed to rebuild the production premises and they even re-launched production. All this was done with the assistance of the Board of Coop Product Slovakia. Thanks to the solidarity and mutual help, the Eurokov Orlov cooperative still exists. Today, a year after intensive work, the impossible became possible.

The name “EUROKOV” has been used since 2001, but the cooperative started in 1961 as the part of the East Slovakian cooperative car repair society.

The cooperative Eurokov during and after the flooding