Cooperatives and Decent Work in Mercosur

The Specialized Meeting of Mercosur Cooperatives (RECM) issued a “Declaration on Cooperatives, Employment and Decent Work” on August 23, 2005, in the context of its X Plenary Session in the city of Montevideo. The declaration was presented taking into account the December 2004 Resolution of the Common Market Council of Mercosur, which called for hte creation of a High Level Group (GAN) to elaborate a regional strategy for the employment growth.

16 September 2005

The RECM is a body that is formally integrated into the Mercosur structure related to the Common Market Group (a body that exercises executive functions in the process of regional integration). The national confederations and public offices involved in the control and promotion of cooperatives of the various signatories to the Treaty work together under the RECM’s purview.

In its initial passages, the Declaration indicates that “The cooperatives of MERCOSUR are first order agents in the creation of dignified employment/work. Due to their nature and businesslike behavior, they serve as an example of respect for current labor legislation and transparency in compliance with tax and social security laws.”

Later the Declaration states that, “In the last period, especially from 2000 to 2004, and as a consecuence of the deepening of the economic crisis, numerous private capital enterprises closed and some even abandoned, especially in the industrial and service sectors. Work cooperatives recovered by their workers extended into these areas, and acted to salvage businesses, in many cases without legal certainly or appropriate public policies.”

The Declaration reaffirms that, “Cooperatives are, then, essentially organizations which provide roots for their people and act as a means for the maintenance of the productive culture and sources of work that are respectful of the environment and the community. We reaffirm their role as businesses which bring together national capital and, therefore, their strong ties to the local territorial development.”

The Declaration closes by claiming that “We take into account the contribution that the RECM can make toward the consideration of the issue of employment by the GAB and urge the member states to create an environment propitious for the development of the cooperatives as part of the social economy, incorporating the ILO’s Recommendation 193.”

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Complete text of the Declaration
Spanish version

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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