07 / 1993
CFI is active at national level. It is an initiative of the major trade unions and cooperative associations following the priciples of Italian law no. 49 (1985)also known as "Marcora Law". CFI gives financial support to: a)the so called "production and work" cooperatives that have been set up by workers who have lost their jobs or have been made redundant ("cassa integrazione"); b)cooperatives who hire, buy or manage - even in part - the above mentioned cooperatives and therefore help prevent people from loosing their jobs; c)cooperatives with less than 75 members (each of them must contribute to the common fund with at least 4 million Lire). Sometimes cooperatives supported by CFI become in turn a member of CFI, but this is not always the case. Cooperatives can also receive a consultancy concerning organizational, financial, fiscal matters.
The above mentioned law allows financial support of financial structures such as CFI, if set up by the national trade union federations. CFI aims at supporting cooperatives through a monetary contribution to the cooperative’s fund. In order to get this financial support, cooperatives must write a formal request to CFI. This is followed by an evaluation by CFI of the sustainability of the project that guarantees that the loan will be repayed. If the evaluation leads to positive results CFI immediately transfer 50% of the credit to the cooperative (this will be followed by two more parts of 35% and 15%). CFI contributes to the capital fund of the cooperative in proportion to the capital itself. This is also meant to stimulate the members of the cooperative to invest more savings in the capital of the cooperative therefore contributing to a more stable financial situation.
CFI is run by a Board of Managers and by an Executive Committee. CFI employes 10 people. Their salary is payed in accordance with the national salary for metal workers. This means some 2,5 millions Lire/month (before tax). Besides the national trade union federations and the national associations of cooperatives, CFI maintains close relations with the Ministry for Industry and Labour.
From an economic perspective CFI is very positive. By the end of 1992 CFI was supporting some 297 cooperatives therefore contributing to the maintaince of more than 3.000 jobs. There is some criticism over the type of cooperative supported and its vision of the cooperative movement. It probably needs a greater degree of autonomy, especially from public institutions. More recently it has taken a more independent stance and has become a member of Inaise.
Translated by Alessio Surian.
DAVICO, Luca, IRED NORD, 1993 (ITALY)
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