The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed our lives. Those of us who are healthy should consider ourselves to be lucky. CICOPA, together with CECOP and CICOPA Americas would like to send our love, support and solidarity to those who are less fortunate, including members of our family and friends, who are experiencing a difficult time because they have lost a loved one or have a loved one who is ill.
We also want to thank all the people in our cooperatives in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific region and Africa, who are helping to solve this critical situation, either by staying at home or going to work to support the health system, the social care system, as well as INDUSTRY and essential SERVICES in general.
We are particularly grateful to cooperatives in the frontline of this crisis, providing care and support to people affected by COVID-19 under difficult circumstances, placing their own lives at risk. We also stand in solidarity with cooperatives and our colleagues from other sectors in this period of crisis.
In these terrible times, we need to take care of each other more than ever, paying special attention to the weakest groups: the disadvantaged, citizens and workers and the elderly.
We are facing an entirely NEW SCENARIO, in which the solutions, for the time being, are quite simple and known: washing our hands and isolation. However, we really believe that another important solution is missing, namely cooperation.
It seems that many people are now beginning to appreciate the KEY VALUE of COOPERATION. Of course, we are all well aware of these values and it is for this very reason that it is now the time, more than ever, to keep our cooperative VALUES STRONG.
Nothing is going to change without SOLIDARITY. This virus has shown that there are no borders that we can close or global problems that we can solve alone.
Many things can be said about the cooperative movement, but there are two that are particularly relevant today: we are resilient organizations and we grow in difficult times.
Indeed, difficult times await us. Many of our cooperatives are suffering the consequences of an economic slowdown, while others are at risk of closure, leaving the workers in a state of fear and uncertainty for their future.
This pandemic is a tsunami generating two terrible waves. The first is destroying lives through the disease, whilst the second will destroy lives as a result of its economic consequences. In these circumstances, our cooperative values will once again be our lifesaver.
As WORKER COOPERATIVES, we SERVE our communities and our society.
Let’s move forward with the values of our cooperatives: with WORK (often hard work) as our MAIN DRIVER and our SERVICE vocation to help our people and our communities.
To all of you, we would like to extend a message of gratitude and support for your work and, above all, of great encouragement.
We know we will never walk alone, but please take care of yourselves anyway!
Iñigo Albizuri Landazabal, President of CICOPA
Giuseppe Guerini, President of CECOP
Luis Alvez, President of CICOPA Americas