CICOPA at the OECD’s conference on ‘Worker co-operatives across continents: Policy and practical experiences from Japan’

2 April 2024

On 12 March, CICOPA participated in a conference on ‘Worker co-operatives across continents: Policy and practical experiences from Japan’.

The webinar was organized by the OECD’s Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED) Programme and the Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training. It is the first event the OECD is dedicating entirely to worker cooperatives. Its aim was to present the effects so far of the recent legislative changes related to worker cooperatives in Japan, and to exchange knowledge on international experiences related to worker cooperatives and their development.

Following an overview by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on worker cooperatives in Japan and the ‘Worker Cooperatives Act’ which came into effect in October 2022, speakers shared their experiences with worker cooperatives in France, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom. CICOPA’s members, COCETA (Spain) and (UK), have presented good practices and addressed challenges, successful incentives and policy measures that strengthen worker cooperatives.

CICOPA’s Secretary-General, Diana Dovgan, presented some features, trends, and challenges of workers cooperatives across the world. In particular, she drew attention to the longevity, resilience, and inclusivity of worker cooperatives. She also pointed out the modern and innovative characteristic of worker cooperatives allowing them to adapt to evolving labour and societal needs, despite being a more than 100-year-old model.

Ms Dovgan also elaborated that in order for worker cooperatives to develop and grow, there is a need for adequate legal frameworks, favourable policies and the consolidation of worker cooperatives in federations or networks.