The International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General, Mr Guy Ryder, and the President of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), Mr Ariel Guarco, have met at the ILO Headquarters in Geneva to discuss areas of collaboration, building-up on their historic ties.

Currently, the two institutions work on a range of initiatives including:

  • Reforming cooperative and social and solidarity economy law and policy,
  • Formalizing informal economy through worker, producer and service cooperatives,
  • Activating social cooperatives for migrants, refugees and care economy services,
  • Advancing youth and women employment and livelihoods through cooperatives,
  • Expanding cooperative to cooperative trade for fairer and sustainable supply chains,
  • Establishing international standards for statistics on cooperatives (20th ICLS),
  • Preserving jobs in enterprise restructuring through worker cooperatives.

Moving forward, it was agreed to update the existing MoU between the two institutions, in the framework of the Future of Work. This MoU is envisioned to be accompanied by an action plan oriented towards concrete activities on the following areas:

  • Engaging on Sustainable Development Goal 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Improving cooperatives engagement to promote decent work
  • Advancing decent work in global supply chains through decent work
  • Combatting false coops in partnership with governments and trade unions
  • Using of existing decent work tools to strengthen capacity of cooperatives

The updated MoU will be signed and put into force in time for the ILO centenary in 2019.

The International Cooperative Alliance has welcomed the International Labour Organization’s Centenary Initiative with its focus on the Future of Work, and, within this context, the establishment of the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work. On 30 April, the cooperative movement presented a position paper on the Global Commission’s Inception Report, called Cooperatives and the Future of Work, showing the relevance of cooperatives in work and employment, and has proposed policy recommendations aimed at promoting cooperatives’ contributions to the future of work. You can read it here