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History

Our caisse's history is multifaceted, with deep roots in CSN's union activities.

It has a long track record that shows an extraordinary determination to build a viable collective financial instrument capable of supporting people and groups in their desire to control their savings and improve their lot and that of their community. Today's Caisse is the result of a merger with Caisse d'économie des syndicats nationaux de Montréal in 2000, and with Caisse d'économie de Lanaudière in 2002. In 2004, members adopted the current cooperative model and the name Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins. It is the end result of a collective story that starts in 1923 with Caisse populaire des syndicats catholiques de Montréal.

The 3 caisses were established to fight against debt and usury, and to give workers the means of becoming independent by consolidating their financial assets. To ensure profitability and growth, all had to merge with other caisses at some point in their history.

Quebec City

Caisse d'économie solidaire Desjardins was established on February 24, 1971, under the name Caisse d'économie des travailleurs réunis de Québec. At the initiative of Quebec City area Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) militants, the caisse strayed from the traditional caisse populaire and group caisse model and was founded on militant cooperative action focusing above all on the promotion of group savings.

The militants pursued 2 objectives: get control over their savings and show that it's possible to do things differently financially. The Caisse remained at the service of workers, but put in place a new development strategy, first working on group savings with organized labour unions and then with popular and community groups. A large part of its development was attributable to housing and work cooperatives.

The caisses that brought about the creation of Caisse d'économie solidaire Desjardins are:

  • Caisse populaire des syndicats nationaux de Québec, 1927
  • Caisse d'économie des plombiers et électriciens, 1965
  • Caisse d'économie des enseignants de Charlevoix, 1970
  • Caisse d'économie des travailleurs réunis de Québec, 1971

Montreal

Caisse populaire des syndicats nationaux de Montréal was the founding caisse of Fédération des caisses populaires Desjardins de Montréal et de l'Ouest du Québec (FMOQ), which was dissolved when the single Desjardins Fédération was created. In 1977, the caisse merged with Caisse d'économie des permanents de la CSN, but kept the same name. In 1990, it became affiliated with Fédération des caisses d'économie, and changed its name to Caisse d'économie des syndicats nationaux de Montréal. It abandoned the name in 2000 when it merged with CEDTTQ.

Lanaudière

Caisse d'économie de Lanaudière was established in 1972 as a result of the merger of Caisse d'économie des travailleurs de Joliette and Caisse des enseignants. From 1970 to 1980, it developed in work and organized labour environments. Then, in the 80's, it became involved with community and cooperative groups. In 2002, it merged with CEDTTQ.


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