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Spanish workers cooperatives have grown by 7% during the first three months in 2010

8 March 2011 [ English ] français ]

The number of workers cooperatives increased by 7% last year compared to the same period in 2009, according to the Spanish worker’s cooperatives association, COCETA. At the same time, the confederation announced that it had contributed to the creation of 10,000 jobs per year since 1986, with an average of 500 new enterprises created every year.

At the same time, COCETA has equally participated in an increase of 4,5% in the quantity of jobs created within the same time period. The sector of workers cooperatives in Spain now represents around 17.000 businesses which generate a turnover of nearly 54,000€. These businesses employ around 205.7000 workers compared to 70,000 when COCETA was first created in 1986.

In addition, according to the last COCETA directory, 49% of people in workers cooperatives are women. Amongst these, 39% have directors positions, though in other enterprises which do not adopt this model, the percentage of women that work in these positions is barely 6%.

During a ceremony which took place in Valence, where the activities for the 25th anniversary of the organisation were unveiled, its president Juan Antonio Pedreño underlined the financial difficulties across the sector. “Cooperatives keep up thanks to the efforts of their members” he added and asked the public to support the cooperative model. “Our challenge for 2011 is to achieve a larger role in institutional dialogue, and in order to achieve it, we should familiarise political organs of our potential."

Pedreño underlined the role of these enterprises in the local development and declared that they represent a model for the future: “Cooperatives obtain mainly positive results whereas other models demonstrate their limits at a time when it will be difficult to increase jobs in the public sector”.

The president of COCETA underlined the role of the organisation in the creation and the continuation of jobs within its 25 years of activity. “In this time of crisis, cooperatives committed themselves to balance incomes and outgoings and to maintain jobs’’, he underlined.

Felice Scalvini, co-president of Cooperatives Europe, who assisted at the COCETA event, insisted on the fact that everywhere in Europe, cooperative enterprises are more able to resist the crisis: “Everyone says that things are not going well. However, in asking our organisations in different countries during the past three years, I have established that even if difficulties exist, the situation is not that bad. To a certain extent, history proves us right”.