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United States: General Assembly of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives

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From 13 to 15 October 2006, the US federation of workers cooperatives held its conference in New York. In total, almost 300 people from 27 states and 4 countries attended.

15 March 2007

From 13 to 15 October 2006, the US federation of workers cooperatives held its conference in New York. In total, almost 300 people from 27 states and 4 countries attended.

Paul Hazen from the National Cooperative Business Association opened the conference and Rick Surpin, founder of the US largest worker cooperative, Cooperative Home Care Associates, gave the keynote address.

The conference focused on how cooperatives can be used as an asset-building and economic justice tool by marginalized people in a country where many people see cooperatives as a means of creating real alternatives and good jobs within an increasingly corporate and destructive economic system. The establishment of Worker Ownership Fund, a new loan fund for worker cooperatives, was also announced. This theme was fundamental for members given the absence of any government support and very little help from commercial banks; cooperatives must create and utilize other sources of funding.

Most of the conference was open to the public, but it also marked the first official membership meeting of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives where members voted to accept the current membership structure proposed by the board of directors, expressed their interest in forming committees to do outreach, development and legislative work, and began the elections process for the new board of directors. With this structure now formally in place, USFWC will begin to draft items for work and research to advance the cooperative movement in the United States. http://www.usworker.coop/

International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives

Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037
E-mail: cicopa[at]cicopa.coop

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