A cooperative is an autonomous group of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
A worker cooperative is a type of cooperative whose goal is to provide people partner job full or part time, through the organization of joint production of goods or services to third parties. People partner are owners, workers and managers of their companies.
International Day of cooperation
In 1923 the executive committee of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) recommended an international day of cooperative commemoration. Many years later on December 16, 1992, the General Assembly of the UN proclaimed the need to have an “International Day of Cooperatives,” from July 1995, to commemorate the centenary of the creation of the ACI.
UN showed that recognition annoucing that the “International Day of Cooperatives” was to be held each year by governments in collaboration with national cooperative movements. Un declared the first Saturday of July each year. That day the principles and values are reaffirmed and invites governments and organizations to support the doctrine of peace, solidarity, brotherhood and relationships that the cooperative means.
The solidarity economy is a socioeconomic, cultural and environmental system formed by differents organizations, identified by being non-profit, supportive, democratic and humanistic self-managed practices. Aims to promote integral development of the human being as subject and actor of the economy. They are a set of organizations private initiative that develop social benefits. They are not focus on enrichment or on economic capital growth.
The cooperative movement is defined as a social movement born around cooperative societies, which is currently represented globally by the International Cooperative Alliance.
The cooperative movement is initiated on October 24th of 1844 in the town of Rochdale, England, when a group of textile workers in the city were dismissed for participating in a strike. These workers started a company called Equitable Pioneers Society Rochdale, with an initial contribution of each of 28 pence. They provided with a set of rules, which were the seed of the Cooperative Principles.
Principles of the Charter of the Solidarity Economy. REAS (network of networks Alternative and Solidarity Economy):
- Principle of equity
- Principle of work
- Principle of environmental sustainability
- Principle of cooperation
- Principle “non profit”
- Principle of commitment with surroundings
The cooperative principles are the basis of the cooperative movement and the performance of cooperatives worldwide.
The latest version of these principles is of September 23th of 1995, approved in Manchester, in the General Assembly of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).
These principles are:
- Voluntary and open membership
- Democratic control of the partner people
- Economic participation of partner people
- Autonomy and independence
- Education. Training and information
- Cooperation among cooperatives
- Commitment to the community
- Mutual support
- Own effort