Australia joins the rest of the world in celebrating the decent work that co-ops provide and launches Australia’s first online toolkit for forming co-operatives.
This International Day of Co-operatives, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals is pleased to celebrate the accomplishments of its member co-operatives and mutuals, in particular the decent work they provide.
Melina Morrison, CEO of BCCM, said there were many ways co-ops and mutuals support decent work for everyday Australians citing the policy of mutual banks and credit unions to not offshore call centre jobs and the emergence of co-operatives owned by workers in the recycling and green manufacturing sectors, disability and aged care and a new taxi co-operative where drivers have united to provide local competition to Uber.
“Because co-ops put people first, they are excellent business structures for people to come together to tackle issues such as work casualisation, under-employment and the gig economy. Co-ops are a way for the providers of labour – the workers – to own the platform that rents out their labour so that they are in control of their work conditions and fair pay,” said Ms Morrison.
The BCCM advocates for Australia’s 2,100 co-operatives and mutuals so that government and policymakers understand the member-owned business model. As a result of this work, last year both Houses of Parliament passed capital raising legislation for co-operatives and mutuals. This was based on the recommendations put forward in the 2017 Hammond Review, which affirmed the sector’s need for improved access to capital.