Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan released a book on Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS) at an impressive book launch function at India Habitat Centre in Delhi on Thursday.
Written by Thomass Issac- Kerala Co-operative Minister and Michelle William of South African University, the book explores the possibility of establishing the co-op model as an alternative to capitalist way of organizing business. Titled “Building Alternatives-The story of India’s oldest construction workers’ cooperative”, the book pays glowing tributes to ULCCS for its workers who are also its share-holders.
Releasing the book Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan lauded his ministerial colleague for having postulated a theory of alternative system in times of increasing gaps between haves and have-nots.
“ULCCS stands out as a beacon of hope for the collective prosperity with thousands of workers as its members. It stands tall defying the mainstream economists’ pet assumption that no model other than capitalism could endure”, said Vijayan. ULCCS which started with 37 paisa in 1925 has almost completed 95 years, CM added.
Vijayan also lauded the cooperative movement of Kerala and recalled how during the demonetization the entire co-op sector of the state stood together and challenged the Centre. “We took the matter to the Supreme Court and fought it out successfully there”, he underlined.
The Chief Minister quoted communist icons including Marx and Lenin arguing that even they thought the cooperative model a precursor to a communist society.
The occasion had many other notable speakers including Prabhat Patnaik, Balu Aiyer and of course the ULCCS Chairman Rameshen P.
Prabhat Patnaik – a well-known communist ideologue felt that a true cooperative is not possible in a capitalist system which tries all tricks to stop it from growing and in that sense ULCCS has accomplished wonders staying put and growing for the past 93 years.
Balu Aiyer, Regional Director of ICA said he was shocked pleasantly when in 2016 he had a chance to see the ULCCS work ethics. He vowed to spread the model to other countries of Asia-Pacific.
ULCCS Chairman Rameshan P traced the history of ULCCS and expressed happiness to be able to qualify for the attention of an author like state co-operative minister. He also thanked the CM to have consented to release the book on ULCC.
ULCC MD Shaju S and Mr Kishor were active overseeing the arrangements. The hall was packed with eminent cooperators including NCUI Chief Executive N Satyanarayan. The media especially conneted to Kerala was also present in strength.
T P Sethumadhavan, Director of ULCCS proposed a vote of thanks.