Spain: The number of worker cooperatives created in 2013 increased by 23%
At the end of 2013, Spain was able to create 23% more worker cooperatives than in the previous year. The number of cooperatives created in 2013 (both worker cooperatives and cooperatives from other sectors) was 1,166. Only 216 were originated in other sectors other than worker cooperatives, which clearly shows the importance of this sector in the country.
The increase in the number of cooperatives came along with an increase in employment. 3,632 new jobs were created in 2013 compared to 3,612 in 2012. The statistics from 2013 are even better than the ones in 2006: before the crisis and with a buoyant economy. In 2006 the number of new cooperatives was 760.
"With these figures, once again we confirm that worker cooperatives keep employment” said Juan Antonio Pedreño, president of the Confederación Española de Cooperativas de Trabajo Asociado (COCETA). He explained that this economic and social model is chosen particularly by young people; they represent 45% of the new positions in cooperatives. He also said this model is crucial to keep enterprises and work opportunities by turning capitalist enterprises into cooperatives.
“This very system allows more flexibility and more workers’ commitment, since they are responsible for their own enterprise. Also, we are talking about quality work, with 80% of the worker-owners with indefinite contracts”, Pedreño added.
Last but not least, these enterprises promote gender equality. 49% members of cooperatives are women, according to COCETA. Within cooperatives, women manage to combine their working and personal life. 38% of these women are in leading positions, which is well ahead the number of women in these positions in mainstream businesses.
Pedreño believes the reason why there are not even more cooperatives today is because, despite all the efforts of the cooperative movement, this model is still unknown.
“We also miss active polices that prioritize worker cooperatives” he said. “Not only because they are showing better results in times of crisis but also because they put people first, not capital, and because they are territorially based, which is a great contribution for the communities they work in”.
Source: Communications Department COCETA