29 October 2021
The Declaration has been translated for a better comprehension in China.
Dr. Defeng Zhang, Professor of Economic Law, Law School of Hunan Normal University, and member of the International Committee for the Promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (ICCIC), one of the CICOPA’s member organizations in China, has translated the World Declaration on Worker Cooperatives, with the aim to make it accessible to Chinese people, and provide an ideological foundation for the development of worker cooperatives in China.
As Professor Zhang explains it, the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and Vision 2035, of the People’s Republic of China, passed in March 2021 by the Chinese parliament, the National People’s Congress, has put forward the “implementation of the employment priority strategy” for the first time.
According to the Outline, China will “improve the promotion mechanism conducive to fuller and higher quality employment, expand employment capacity, improve employment quality and alleviate structural employment contradictions.”
The social and economic functions and objectives of worker cooperatives are to create decent and sustainable employment opportunities and promote community and local development. In terms of employment contribution, worker cooperatives can increase jobs, stabilize employment, reduce unemployment, and help the unemployed reintegrate into work.
CICOPA’s latest data shows that there are 377,984 industrial and service cooperatives in the world, with 11,496,067 worker members, 2,410,131 employees and 6,020,163 producer members. There are 19,926,361 jobs in total.
In China, there isn’t a legal basis for the establishment of worker cooperatives. However, in the context of the current implementation of the “employment priority” strategy, the development of worker cooperatives is a new idea for China to construct a long-term mechanism for employment promotion.
The World Declaration on Worker Cooperatives will then deepen the Chinese people’s understanding of worker cooperatives, and the understanding of their economic and social functions and objectives, which will lay an ideological foundation for the development of worker cooperatives in China. At the same time, the definition of worker cooperatives, and their internal and external relations in the Declaration also provides a solid reference for the legislation of worker cooperatives in the country.
The Chinese text of World Declaration on Worker Cooperatives has been published in “Presentday Law Science”, a public journal, and can be found on the website of the International Committee for the promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (ICCIC).