“Worker and social cooperatives put employees at the heart of the decision-making process. Together, they decide about the present and future of their enterprise”, said the President of CICOPA and Vicepresident of CECOP, Manuel Mariscal. The study found out that cooperative employment in general (including also employees and self-employed producers) includes a mix of participation, a family-like feeling, strong identification with one's enterprise, a sense of pride and reputation, a feeling of implementing values though one's work, while, at the same time, having a strong awareness of the economic demands of the enterprise, its need to be efficient and flexible; it showed that these characteristics were particularly strong in worker-members. Based on worldwide fieldwork, some indications that these qualitative components of cooperative employment tends to reinforce the economic sustainability of cooperatives were obtained.
The study also shows that worker members, considered as the third category of cooperative employment alongside employees (15 million) and self-employed producers (223 million), are already a significant portion of the total cooperative employment that directly concerns 250 million people in the world. It also calls for the development of multi stakeholder cooperatives, in which the staff is involved as one of the key stakeholders, like in the Mondragon group, in Italian social cooperatives, and in Quebec solidarity cooperatives, to mention a few emblematic cases.
“Considering the worsening situation of employment in the world, especially for the youth, governments cannot afford to look aside when the cooperative movement can offer a significant part of the solution”, concludes, Manuel Mariscal. The full report is available here