Kerala labour cooperative is subject of UN documentary

Kozhikode, Jan 30 (IANS) The United Nations is making a documentary on the changing profile of a Kerala-based labour cooperative which will soon launch a Rs.210-crore cyber park here.

This is the first time in the country that a cyber park is being launched in the cooperative sector. The labour cooperative on which the UN documentary will be made is nine decades old and has long been engaged in civil construction contracting.
United Nations resident coordinator in India Lise Grande was impressed with the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society Ltd.(ULCCS) here and its efforts to bring multi-dimensional upliftment of its members through successful implementation of the principles of mutual benefit, togetherness, collective authority and responsibility sharing.
“We have not seen a cooperative model as vibrant and consequential as ULCCS anywhere in the world,” Grande said.
The documentary has been commissioned by the UN directly and will be completed and released worldwide after the brand new IT park is inaugurated.
Diversification of the cooperative to other sectors including IT and tourism is another aspect that caught the UN’s interest.
The cyber park is being developed as an IT special economic zone and will have a total built-up area of 482,000 square feet.
Expressing happiness that the UN had acknowledged the uniqueness of ULCCS, cooperative president P. Rameshan said the work had focused not merely on profit-making but also on contributing to society by creating work and livelihood options for local people.
From beginning with 14 members in 1925, the ULCCS today has around 1,600 permanent skilled labourers on its rolls and provides direct employment to 2,000 workers from rural areas.
Rated as Asia’s largest cooperative and India’s best, ULCCS has completed over 3,500 major infrastructure development projects in Kerala, including the three phases of the Kozhikode bypass and Kozhikode beach road with four-lane traffic facility.
Only workers have the right to be on the board of directors of the cooperative and a bottom-to-top management approach exists. Workers are free to take decisions in adherence to principles and procedures of the society.
ULCCS also undertakes the schooling of members’ children, programmes to empower women and financial support to workers and patients suffering from terminal diseases.
Members get bonus twice a year, medical allowances, gratuity and provident fund contribution.