The Global Commission on the Future of Work, set up by the
International Labour Organisation (ILO), has recently released its final report
entitled ‘Work for a Brighter
Future’, examining how we can achieve a
better future of work for all at a time of global challenges.
The President of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), Mr Ariel
Guarco, said “The Commission’s report recognises that business
models must be aligned to a human-centred agenda, and this is exactly what the
cooperative business model provides by putting people before profit, for their
own prosperity. As people-centred enterprises characterised by democratic
control, prioritising human development and social justice within the
workplace, cooperatives are key actors in achieving the actions proposed.
Cooperatives enable communities to own and govern joint economic tools to solve
their most central needs (production, employment, housing, health, education,
credit, insurance, etc.) through democratic ownership and participation, thus
generating inclusive and sustainable growth, and leaving no one behind”.
The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) welcomes the call on governments
to commit to a human-centred agenda and the implementation of the Universal Labour
Guarantee that protects fundamental workers’ rights, secures an adequate living
wage, and safeguards workplaces promoting equality. The cooperative movement
has already committed to them through the ILO Promotion of Cooperatives
Recommendation, 2002 (no. 193) and through recently approving the ICA Declaration on Decent
Work and Against Harassment, in which
the ICA commits itself to “respect, promote, and act diligently to support the
fundamental tenets of decent work”.
Moreover, the ICA is pleased to see that, in line with the ILO Promotion of
Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002 (no. 193) and the ILO Transition from
Informal to Formal Economy Recommendation, 2015 (no. 204), the Commission’s
report further reiterates how workers in the informal economy “have often
improved their situation through organising, working together
with cooperatives and community-based organisations”. Through
cooperatives, self-employed workers, producers, and entrepreneurs in the
informal economy can transition from the informal to the formal economy and,
therefore, considerably raise their income and competitiveness by accessing
services which were not available to them due to the small size of their
business and lack of applicable formal arrangements.
As a global actor that employs almost 10% of the total world
employed population, the ICA calls on all ILO constituents to recognise
the key role of cooperatives in achieving a decent, human-centred working
agenda within the proposed Declaration on the Future of Work and more
The report is the culmination of a 15-month examination by
the 27-members of the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work, made up
of leading figures from business and labour spheres, think tanks, academia,
government, and non-governmental organizations.