Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Co-operative Response to the Greek Crisis

From the rubble comes Bio Me, the country's first worker-run factory.
By John Restakis, 17 Oct 2013,

 Hurrah! As long as they follow the ICA Statement (below) - which can be easily done by carrying out and publicising 'Annual Co-operative Audits' to demonstrate their fidelity to same!

The International Co-operative Alliance
Statement on the Co-operative Identity
(Manchester, UK 1995)

A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice.

1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership
Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control
Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.
3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence
Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by their members. If they enter to agreements with other organisations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.
5th Principle: Education, Training and Information
Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public - particularly young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation.
6th Principle: Co-operation among Co-operatives
Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7th Principle: Concern for Community
Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.

Source : ICA News, No. 5/6, 1995.
15, route des Morillons, 1218 Grand-Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: (+41) 022 929 88 88 Fax: (+41) 022 798 41 22

ps - A small but, for me I think, worth-while addition:

   - my peace theoreticians suggest that the word 'nonviolence' is not hyphenated in that nonviolence is normative, while violence is a degradation of that normal state: the hyphenated form suggests that 'non-violence' is an extension on from a state of violence . . .

In similar useful vein, for me 'co-operation' is properly hyphenated since co-operation is, in this case an enhancement on, from an earlier probability of operation alone . . . hope that helps! For all, john

And, more-over, the hyphen in co-operation symbolises the hand-shake of equality!

Save the co-operative hyphen!


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