Cooperatives, human development and social justice at work
Within the framework of the XXI Regional Conference of Cooperatives of the Americas, the laboratory “Sustainable Development Goal Number 8, Cooperatives and decent work” was carried out, an activity developed within the framework of the partnership “Cooperatives in Development: Companies focused in people, in action ”(# coops4dev), between the International Cooperative Alliance and the European Commission which aims to strengthen the cooperative movement as an actor for development.
Both the European Union and the United Nations Organization have shown a deep interest in working in a convergent and interrelated way with the cooperative sector, promoting the participation and training of the sector by opening spaces and giving voice to the sector to demonstrate its solidity and guarantee a just transition, that nobody leaves behind. The laboratory carried out on November 18, sought to relate SDG 8 (decent work) and cooperatives, with the participation of more than 40 participants from countries such as Mexico, Colombia , Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Peru.
Among the topics discussed was the axis of Cooperatives of self-management and environment, where Ivania Ayales, from Coopesolidar, Costa Rica, who has experience in international cooperation, in agencies of the United Nations system, who highlighted on the cooperative model “that it is a consolidated model in the promotion of equality, decent work and in the implementation of sustainable practices for terrestrial and marine biodiversity ”.
The Sector Integration component, “the relationship between housing and self-management cooperatives,” was addressed by Carlos Mansilla, of the Cooperative Confederation of the Argentine Republic – Cooperar, who has more than thirty years of experience within the housing sector in Cooperativa Falucho Ltda. Which highlighted the importance of the implementation of the 6th cooperative principle, “cooperation between cooperatives” presenting the Argentine experience of articulation between housing cooperatives and self-managed cooperatives. An intervention that emphasized the importance of cooperative integration and showed an urgency in advancing the incidence for the generation of public policies that favor cooperativism.
Dov Orian, representative of the National Cooperative Confederation of Various Activities of the Mexican Republic, spoke about “the future of work” and the vertiginous changes that are being experienced within this historical conceptualization. Orian also addressed strategic issues on how to move towards a change in the paradigms, within a possible “Total Disruption”; highlighting changes in new technologies and internal and external human talent.
As agreements and recommendations of the attendees, it was agreed to continue and accentuate the work in the formation of cooperative values within formal education, enforcing national laws; Likewise, it was mentioned that there will be no conditions to build elements for decent work if one does not work under a gender approach and cooperatives were encouraged to find spaces for the generation of networks between labor cooperatives and other sectors of cooperativism.
In view of the conclusions, the main task of cooperatives is to ensure that the necessary conditions are being propitiated to contribute to the generation of decent work, as well as the importance of making visible the contributions that cooperativism makes for the fulfillment of the goals associated with SDG 8 in particular and the entire United Nations 2030 Agenda in general; Therefore, reporting through tools such as the Social Balance certification of Cooperatives of the Americas is considered of great value for the measurement of these contributions and also reinforces the essence and cooperative identity.