Co-op employs 10 % of global labour : ICA

On International Workers’ Day (1 May), the International Cooperative Alliance is celebrating the commitment of cooperators to creating sustainable jobs and formal work, lowering income inequality, and showing their capacity to be a large laboratory experimenting with innovative and sustainable forms of work.

The International Cooperative Alliance serves and represents over 3 million cooperatives and over 1.2 billion cooperative members around the world, in all sectors of the economy, claims a press release from ICA.

The world is suffering from high levels of unemployment and underemployment, particularly among youth. There is also increased job insecurity, a deterioration of social protection and widening inequalities. But cooperatives, as one of the biggest actors in work representing almost 10% of the global employed population, can be part of the solution to many of the challenges of the future of work, reads the release.

Cooperatives’ inherent capacity to innovate and adapt themselves to meet community needs can be a tool to bring democracy, equality and sustainability into the workplace. Cooperatives offer another paradigm, where inclusion, participation and growth go hand in hand”, declared Ariel Guarco, President of the International Cooperative

The International Cooperative Alliance has welcomed the International Labour Organization’s Centenary Initiative with its focus on the Future of Work, and, within this context, the establishment of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Global Commission on the Future of Work.

The cooperative movement has presented a position paper on the Global Commission’s Inception Report, called Cooperatives and the Future of Work, showing the relevance of cooperatives in work and employment, and has proposed policy recommendations aimed at promoting cooperatives’ contributions to the future of work.

As the ILO recognised the cooperative contribution for job creation through Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation 2002 (n° 193), the International Cooperative Alliance calls on the Global Commission and governments to extend this recognition to the discussion on the future of work.

The International Cooperative Alliance requests governments to:-

Actively promote the cooperative model as a creator of quality jobs and collective wealth at the local, national and international levels;

Change the conditions of access to social protection so that all workers can have access to it, independently from their work status;

Approve legislation allowing for the monitoring of the proper functioning of cooperatives, including in the field of workers’ rights;

Strongly encourage dialogue and alliances between the cooperative movement and the trade unions.

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