Rules for Solidarity: Reporting an Experiece of Colletive Construction of Rules in an Informal Solidarity Economy Cooperative

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: 413
Distributed Paper
Flávia ALMEIDA PITA , Law, Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana - Bahia - Brazil, Feira de Santana, Brazil
José Raimundo OLIVEIRA LIMA , Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana - Bahia - Brazil, Feira de Santana, Brazil
Cleo Emidio DOS SANTOS LIMA , Universidade Estadual Feira de Santana, Feira de Santana, Brazil
It is proposed to present and discuss one of the experiences of the Incubator of Solidarity and Popular Economy Initiatives(IEPS/UEFS - Incubadora de Iniciativas da Economia Popular e Solidária da UEFS), extension program of the Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana-UEFS (State of Bahia, Brazil): the process of incubation of a informal group of people (mainly women) that explores, since March 2013, one of the University canteens. Among others activities, the IEPS/UEFS accompanies the group in the drafting of the rules governing its operation, with respect to the principles of self-management, cooperation, solidarity, democracy and appreciation of work. The adopted methodology begins from interviews with individual members of the initiative, picking up aspects of their personal experiences, expectations with the cooperative work, their advantages and difficulties. Afterwards there have been “conversation circles”, where rules on division of labor and its fruits, rights and obligations of the group members, procedure for making decisions, sanctions, conflict mediation and organization of activities have been collectively discussed and constructed. Even though it looks forward to the further elaboration of a traditional statute, in order to make possible the legal formalization of the group, it was elected as a priority the construction of rules that are able to discipline the coexistence in a original and constructive manner, strengthening in particular the ideals of solidarity and self-management that guides the Solidarity Economy. The process prioritizes the use of informal language and effective participation, in order to guarantee that the group rules reflect the relations of power and senses of morality and justice concretely experienced by its members - even if it stays outside the state law.