The International Summit of Cooperatives Session on Cooperatives and Employment keynote given by Sandra Polaski of the International Labor Organization included affirmations for the coop and labor movements:
Across the world, we have also seen a long-term deterioration in the quality of jobs, particularly for low and medium skilled workers. In the developing world, nearly one-in-four workers and their families live on less than US$2 a day, constituting the working poor[…](C)ooperatives can and must play a significant role as value driven, principled enterprises expanding into new and innovative areas—from health care and high technology to recycling and renewable energy—providing people with employment, know-how, inputs, finance, products and services at fair prices. In a number of countries cooperative enterprises have already proven to be among the key building blocks for jobs-oriented recovery strategies.”
On the collaboration of the International Cooperative Summit and CICOPA on the recent Global Report on Cooperatives and Employment:
“Enterprise restructuring through worker cooperatives is a particularly welcome emphasis of the report. The recent crises in a number of regions of the world have led to waves of bankruptcies that have taken their toll on workers, business owners and communities. Workers in various countries have responded to these bankruptcies by pooling their resources, recapitalizing their failing workplaces and operating them using a cooperative model.”
Read the full speech by ILO Deputy Director General for Policy, Sandra Polaski here.