CWCF launches a rationale explaining what worker cooperatives are

We are at a crossroads in history. Corporate business models seem to be inherently incapable of being responsible in a long-term, sustainable way. Based on democracy, cooperation and equality, the worker cooperative is a model that can meet people’s needs.

15 May 2011

by David Wilson, CWCF

The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) has recently released a paper entitled ’The Rationale for Worker Cooperatives’ to provide some context to allow readers from around the world to better understand the worker cooperative movement. The guide gives some worldwide examples of success among the cooperative model like the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in Spain and the cooperative movement in the Emilia Romagna region in Italy.

There are over 8.500 cooperatives and credit unions in Canada with over 17 million members, which represent half of the Canadian population. “Unfortunately the relationship between consumer cooperatives -the dominant cooperative model in Canada- and their members can often be a weak one”, says the CWCF Communications and Member Services Manager, David Wilson

This was demonstrated by a survey in 2010 that found 44% of Canadians did not know the difference between a cooperative and other types of businesses. Despite so many Canadians being members of cooperatives, it seems difficult for them to distinguish between a cooperative and a conventional business. “If worker cooperatives are to grow in Canada, it is critically important that they are able to clearly distinguish themselves from traditional businesses. ’The Rationale for Worker Cooperatives’ paper attempts to do just that”, reports David Wilson.

To read the full report, please visit:

International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives

Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037
E-mail: cicopa[at]

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