Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation

 La Fédération canadienne des coopératives de travail

May/June 2015 Newsletter
Vol 7, Issue 3



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Month Year Vol 1, Issue 1
 CWCF News

New CWCF Website

CWCF has a new logo (above) and a brand-new website! Please visit us on line at:, & tell us what you think!


 Road Trip to Meet Worker Co-operatives 

CWCF staff and board have started a "road trip" to visit members, other worker co-ops, & regional federations across Canada.  Already we have met with members in Toronto and Ottawa.  Watch your email for information about our visit to your area.   Other visits are planned, so far, for Saskatoon (June 19), Vancouver (early July); Maritimes (late July), Quebec (mid-Sept.), and the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario (date TBD).

CWCF's upcoming Conferences
The 2015 Conference will take place in Montreal, at the end of October - see next article.
Then in 2016 CWCF will celebrate its 25th anniversary Conference, November 3-5, 2016 in Vancouver!


Welcome new/returning members:

RED2I, Toronto: a co-op which integrates research, education, design, development & innovation to drive technological advancement  

Catalyst Centre One-Stop Pop-Ed Shop, also in Toronto, is a collective of educators committed to democratic, social justice education and community development.   


Congress of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada  

CWCF will be present at the CMC Congress, through our delegate, Director Yuill Herbert of SSG, and Executive Director Hazel Corcoran, who is on the Board of CMC. It takes place in Saskatoon, June 16-18.  You can still register, here

In This Issue
2015 CWCF-CoopZone Conference: Keynote, Award Nominations, and Resolutions
CoopZone On-line Training Program: New Course Director, & Free Information Webinars
SSG Launches New Look and Website
Construction Co-ops showing path to formal economy
Worker Co-ops now Part of "Each for All: Co-operative Connection"
Open Sky Co-operative Feature Video
Co-ops Enable Low-Income Women to Work as Owners and Decision Makers
The Municipal Turn: Cities Address Income Inequality
Coopératives de travailleurs: une loi locale modifie le code administratif de New York
Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy
International Worker's Day - May 1
Journée internationale des travailleurs, 1er mai 2015
"Les salariés sont capables de reprendre leur entreprise en SCOP"
Mondragon of the Future / La Corporation Mondragon de demain
Contributions of CICOPA-Americas
CCA to send Canadian interns overseas
Italian Artisans' Revival After Economic Crisis Reflects Resilience of Small Industry

2015 CWCF-CoopZone Conference  
"Building Bridges - Pour Réussir Ensemble"



L'hôtel Lord Berri Hotel, Montréal, QC

Oct. 28-31, 2015 


Including sessions hosted by the Quebec RESEAU
Y compris des sessions par le RESEAU



Keynote speaker: Esteban Kelly, USFWC's New Co-Executive Director! 


Conférencier clé: Esteban Kelly, nouveau Co-Directeur général de la USFWC!

The draft program and registration information will be available by mid-July, here

We are planning some local worker co-op tours and visits including one to a local worker co-op nightclub, with lots of networking time and opportunities to enjoy Montreal.

CWCF Awards - Please Submit Nominations!


Nominations are sought by June 22nd, 2015 for either or both of the CWCF Awards which can be given at each annual Conference.   CWCF strongly encourages worker co-ops to nominate either their own or another co-op for the Worker Co-op Best Practices Award, or an individual for the Worker Co-op Merit Award. Award winners, who are generally from the region in which the Conference is held, will have their registration and expenses covered to attend the Conference.


Submit your nominee(s) to Kaye Grant,, with a brief write-up as to why you are nominating the co-op or the individual. The details of each Award are below.


Award for Worker Co-op Best Practices


The Worker Co-op Best Practices Award goes to a worker co-operative which has demonstrated best practices in governance and/or operations, including in upholding the values and principles of the co-operative movement within their co-operative, and has shared, or is willing to share their experience and learnings with other worker co-operatives in Canada. The award winner will be chosen by the Board of CWCF. Co-operatives in which a current Board or staff member of CWCF is a worker-member are ineligible.


The recipient(s) is/are presented with the Award during the CWCF annual Conference, and then will be asked to present a profile of the co-operative to the Conference. Generally the recipient co-op is from the region in which the Conference is held. CWCF covers the registration fee and expenses to have one member of the recipient co-operative attend the Conference. The Award is presented with a brief explanation of the co-operative's best practices, and then the recipient is given the opportunity to make a speech or to present a workshop, which would be with the support of CWCF if required.


The Mark Goldblatt Worker Co-op Merit Award

The Worker Co-op Merit Award goes to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to worker co-operation in Canada, as judged by the Board of CWCF CWCF has just named this Award for our Past President of 13 years Mark Goldblatt, who passed away on February 3, 2015.  Mark, who received the Award in 2007, exemplified the values of worker co-operation, and he lived the co-op principles throughout his life.  


The recipient is presented with the Award during the CWCF annual Conference. Current Board and staff of CWCF are ineligible.  Generally the recipient is from the region in which the Conference is held. CWCF covers the registration fee and expenses to have the recipient attend the Conference. The Award is presented with an explanation of the person's contributions to the movement, and then the person is given the opportunity to make a brief speech. 



**Le français suit.** 

Call for Resolutions

The CWCF AGM 2015 will be held on October 28th to 31st at the Lord Berri Hotel in Montreal, Quebec The deadline to submit regular resolutions is August 29th, 2015, at 5 pm Eastern Time.  


Please see the CWCF Resolutions process, including the Resolutions Form on the last page, at this link:  If you have any questions about this process, please do not hesitate to ask either the chair of the Resolutions Committee, Eric Tusz-King,, or executive director Hazel Corcoran, Please submit resolutions to Eric, and copy Hazel.   If this Call for Resolutions should to go to anyone else in your co-op or organization, please share this message with them. 

Please note that the full Conference program and registration information will be posted in coming weeks on our website.  The on-line registration process will be available by mid-July.   




Messsage aux membres francophones:   

Appel de résolutions


Voir le document sur le processus pour les résoutions à l'AGA 2015 de la FCCT, ici:, disponible en anglais seulement.  La date limite pour soumettre les résolutions régulières à l'AGA est le 29 août 2015, à 17h, Heure de l'Est.  


 L'AGA aura lieu du 28 au 31 octobre, au Lord Berri, Montreal, Quebec. Si vous aimeriez poser des questions en françcais sur le processus, n'hésitez pas à me contacter.     

Le processus d'inscription sera disponible par le mi-juillet. 

Hazel Corcoran

CoopZone On-line Training Program 2015-16:  New Course Director, and Information Webinars
CZ People

CoopZone, the network of co-operative developers which is managed by CWCF, will  again be offering its co-op development training courses in 2015-16, starting in September; or October for the Introductory course.   Information about the courses is available here:  


CoopZone is pleased to announce that it has a new Course Director starting in the fall:  Eric Tusz-King.  You can read the announcement here.  CoopZone also wishes to express its deep gratitude to Peter Hough, who coordinated the creation of the on-line co-op development Training Program for CoopZone, along with other very experienced developers.  He has been its Course Director for the first four years of the Program, ending this summer as he retires.  


For those who are thinking about taking one of the courses, there will be an information webinar  held on June 24th, and another on July 15th, each time at 12 noon Eastern Time for 60 minutes.  Please RSVP to Hazel Corcoran ( by the end of the day prior; you will receive the dial-in information by the start of the day of the call.  (If you do not receive it by then, please write again at that time.)


CoopZone is offering various levels of training: the Advanced Program (Years 1 and 2) for those who wish to become active developers; the Foundation Program for those who may become developers or work in the early stages of development, and the Introduction to Co-op Development course. The shorter Introductory course, which starts in late October, is appropriate for people interested in understanding the types and roles of co-ops and the basic co-op development process.  All of these on-line courses are designed to fit around a full-time job.  Experienced co-op developers provide mentoring to students.


SSG Launches New Look and Website


SSG (Sustainability Solutions Group Worker Co-operative) has unveiled its new brand.

As SSG steps into its 14th year, it was time to show a mature, experienced and keen brand that reflected their confidence in climate action and the legacy of the work they have been building on over these years, as a pioneer in community energy and climate plans.... Click here for their new site.   Click here to read about it  



Cooperatives active in the construction sector showing the path to the formal economy in Canada

This article was written by CWCF upon request from the international worker co-operative organization, CICOPA, for a series on co-ops and the informal economy.

The Fourth Pig and Les Constructions Ensemble are featured here. Click here to read this in English, French, or Spanish. 


CICOPA's Bruno Roelants will be presenting to the International Labour Organization Conference in Geneva in early June on this topic, to encourage the ILO to place a strong reference to worker co-operatives as a way to bring workers into the formal economy.  CWCF has advocated on this topic with the Canadian Labour Congress and other delegates to the ILO Conference from Canada.



Each for All: Co-operative Connection
This is a weekly radio program on the Vancouver co-op radio station aired on co-op topics on Tuesday of each week at 8:30pm PT. On the 3rd Tuesday of each month, they are interviewing CWCF Executive Director Hazel Corcoran regarding the worker co-operative movement. The first interview was aired on Tuesday May 19th, 2015 and can be heard here.

Topics covered on May 19th include:


1. What is a worker co-op?  How does one start a worker co-op?

2. What does the Canadian landscape of worker co-ops look like? Types of worker co-ops, How many in Canada, centres of activity, etc?

3. What is the CWCF? How did it form? How does it run? What does it do? 

4. What are the challenges facing worker co-ops? 

5.  What are the opportunities for the worker co-op movement?  



Open Sky Co-operative Feature Video

The Co-operators Foundation Community Economic Development (CED) Fund supports organizations that provide training and employment opportunities to help local residents overcome barriers to employment and become more self-reliant.


Each year they select one of the organizations they fund to be highlighted in a video. They recently chose Open Sky Co-operative, located in New Brunswick.   This inspiring, 6-minute video is available in English and French.







Co-ops Enable Low-Income Women to Work as Owners and Decision Makers


Co-ops not only give low-income and immigrant women a way to enter an often unwelcoming - and in some cases, hostile - economy, but also give them a way to exert some control over their work lives and simultaneously support themselves and their families. They have consequently been some of the early adopters in the not-yet-critical-mass movement of worker-owned cooperative businesses that has begun to catch fire in towns and cities throughout the United States.... more 



The Municipal Turn: US Cities Address Income Inequality Through Worker Cooperative Development

Municipal governments are taking on a small, but historic role in fostering workers' self-management. Specifically, two municipalities have been compelled to invest funds and resources into worker cooperative development: New York City, and Madison, Wisconsin (where USFWC President Rebecca Kemble was recently elected to the City Council). While each of the cities already possess some of the largest worker cooperatives in the country - Cooperative Homecare Associates and Union Cab, respectively - the municipal governments of these cities are seeking to facilitate the expansion and proliferation of the model...more 




Coopératives de travailleurs: une loi locale modifie le code administratif de la ville de New York (États-Unis)

Veille-coop Avril 2015

Numéro 12   


 Afin de démontrer concrètement son engagement envers les coopératives de travailleurs, la Ville de New York vient d'adopter une « loi locale » qui l'oblige à déposer annuellement un rapport détaillant les achats de biens et de services par la ville provenant de coopératives de travailleurs. Ce rapport doit inclure le nombre et la valeur totale des contrats attribués aux coopératives de travailleurs, ventilés par industrie.



Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy

Connecting for Impact, Worcester, Massachussetts.

July 10-12, 2015

Click here for more information 



International Worker's Day - May 1








On the International Workers' Day CICOPA, the International organization of worker and social cooperatives active in industry, services and crafts, wished to stress how the democratic participation and control of worker-members reinforce the economic sustainability of the enterprise and its resilience in times of crisis. With the recent transformation of the world economy, this is no longer a marginal model, indeed, according to the results of the study, 'Cooperatives and Employment: a global report', carried out by CICOPA, at least 11 million people worldwide are worker-members, namely at the same time employees and owners of their read the full press release click here 


Journée internationale des travailleurs, 1 mai 2015









Lors de la Journée internationale des travailleurs, CICOPA, l'Organisation Internationale des coopératives de production industrielles, d'artisanat et de services, tenait à souligner de quelle façon la participation démocratique et le contrôle des travailleurs membres renforce la viabilité économique de l'entreprise et sa résistance en temps de crise. Avec la transformation récente de l'économie mondiale, ce n'est plus un modèle marginal : en effet, selon les résultats de l'étude, 'Les coopératives et l'emploi: un rapport mondial', réalisé par CICOPA, au moins 11 millions de personnes dans le monde sont des travailleurs membres, à savoir, en même temps employés et propriétaires de leur coopérative. Pour lire plus, cliquez ici. 



Les salariés sont capables de reprendre leur entreprise en SCOP
By Patrick Lenancker

Entretien avec Patrick Lenancker, président de la Confédération générale des SCOP, qui réagit à la nouvelle mouture du droit à l'information en faveur des salariés avant la vente d'une entreprise.

cliquez ici pour lire 


Mondragon of the future / La Corporation Mondragon de demain

Veille-Coop Avril 2015 

Numéro 12 


The largest industrial cooperative group in the world, Mondragon Corporation, is starting a large-scale debate involving its 120 cooperative enterprises. Over the next two years there'll be an internal debate as to how cooperatives can remain autonomous and self-managed at the same time as introducing tighter control of solidarity funding. To read this in English, click on the link below, and choose "EN". 


La Corporation Mondragon, le plus important groupe industriel coopératif du monde rassemblant près de 120 coopératives, a ouvert un grand débat démocratique. La réaffirmation de l'autonomie des coopératives et un plus grand contrôle des mécanismes de solidarité des fonds coopératifs en sont les axes principaux. Ces principaux sujets feront l'objet d'un long débat interne au cours des deux prochaines années. 



Contributions of CICOPA-Americas to the 3rd Cooperative Summit of the Americas

The continental section of the International Organization of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers' Cooperatives (CICOPA-Americas) has seen in a very promising way the thematic agenda proposed by ICA-Americas for the III Cooperative Summit of the Americas to be held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, early next November.


There is no doubt the call "for integration that generates social change" placed, in the right perspective, the role to which cooperatives have been convened at this historical conjuncture of humanity.


From CICOPA-Americas we have been making efforts to strengthen the capacity for dialogue of the cooperative movement on a global scale, knowing that in a globalized world the problems of some are the problems of all, and that the future of humanity and the planet should be the greatest concern of the movement.

Click here to read the full article. 


CCA to send Canadian interns overseas






In this new program, CCA will mobilize 26 interns (13 each year) to six countries: Kenya, Malawi, Mongolia, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda.  Interns will be placed with CCA partner co-operatives, with a focus on increasing food security and stimulating sustainable economic growth in these countries. ....more 



Italian Artisans' Revival After Economic Crisis Reflects Resilience of Small Industry 

High-end printing is an artisans' job in Italy. For those books, the gluing and the binding of the pages is predominantly done by hand.


But at Editoriale Zanardi, a prestige book printer in northeast Italy, even the management fell into its workers' hands last year, when they bought out the company that had employed them for years....more 




The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) is a national, bilingual grassroots membership organization of and for worker co-operatives, related types of co-operatives (multi-stakeholder co-ops and worker-shareholder co-ops), and organizations that support the growth and development of worker cooperatives.  CWCF's e-newsletter is available free of charge to anyone with an e-mail address and an interest in worker co-operative developments in Canada.
Please send any comments and suggestions to: 


Kaye Grant 
Editor of CWCF Newsletter
(204) 257-1198