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Ciriec-Espana Revista De Economia Publica Social Y Cooperativa ; 105:65-91, 2022.
Article in Spanish | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2025309


Uruguayan cooperativism is characterized by strong links with guilds and unions, and the cooperative figure has often been a tool to address their demands. This is the case of the Cooperatives of Artists and Related Trades (CAOC), a new figure in the country, created as a result of negotiations between the Performing Arts Unions and the State, which seeks to include an informal and traditionally unprotected sector in the social security system. This paper analyzes, on the basis of a qualitative case study, the singularity of the relationship between these unions and the first two established artists' cooperatives (Valorarte and Coopaudem). The objective is to understand the functioning of these organizations which, as observed in the joint approach to the COVID-19 crisis, are a clear example of the possibility of generating strategic alliances between unionism and cooperativism. The leading role played by trade unions in the process of estabishing this type of cooperatives, as well as in the founding of the aforementioned CAOCs, confirms the clear relevance of this ooperatives as a trade union tool. Likewise, it is noted that this quasi-symbiotic relationship presents strengths in the operational aspect and in the achievement of the goals of each organization, constitutes a novel and innovative modality, but also compromises the principles of free membership and cooperative autonomy. Finally, it is assessed that this relation deepens the weaknesses these organizations inclusion and links with the rest of the cooperative sector, with whom it has had little contact since its inception.