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Building worker co-ops in Canada

On this week's episode of Talking Radical Radio, executive director Hazel Corcoran talks about her two decades of work with the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation.

Co-operatives are voluntary, democratic enterprises organized around meeting the needs of their members and their communities. There are many different kinds of co-operatives, including consumer co-ops -- from your local food co-op to giant enterprises like Mountain Equipment Co-op -- housing co-ops, credit unions, and producer or farmer co-ops. Worker co-ops are businesses that are owned and democratically run by those who work in them, an important alternative to the standard corporate model. By global standards, Canada has a reasonably high density of co-operatives overall, but a very low density of specifically worker co-ops. The CWCF is an association that brings together many of the worker co-ops that do exist across the country and works hard to try and change that. Corcoran talks about their efforts to improve relevant legislation and to put in place supportive resources to allow this more equitable and more democratic way of organizing productive activity to realize its potential in the Canadian context.

To learn more about the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation, click here. You can learn about the principles that are the basis of co-operatives and about how to start a worker co-op. For further supports for starting co-operatives you can check-out the allied organization CoopZone.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.

You can also learn more about ways to listen or go to the show's page on To learn more about suggesting grassroots groups and organizations for future shows, click here. For details on the show's theme music, click here.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

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