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Worker Cooperatives

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Social Forum had a workshop about worker cooperatives. Recover our economy by promoting cooperation and economic democracy.

worker coop, social forum

The weekend on April 17 & 18th, was very informative and how various locations in the world including the USA are recovering economically. By getting more people to form and start worker cooperatives.

Even unions are turning into cooperatives, Elizabeth Sholes is the Director of Special projects of the California Council of Churches and church IMPACT. She is a co-founder of 1worker1vote.org works in cooperation with Mondragon USA. She is helping to build a network of unionized worker-owned cooperatives to overcome inequality, opportunities, mobility and income. She works with progressive faith communities, labor, immigrant groups and communities of color. I found her talk quite enlightening and inspiring about how communities especially in the east coast are adopting of being a part of many co-operatives.

Richard Hobbs spoke about other worker cooperatives in Cuba, since the people earn so little, more and more companies that are closing are now being taken over by the employees and becoming coops. He is also the ED and co-founder of the Human Agenda an anchor organization of the US Social Forum. He’s a private attorney who is forming a coop for legal collective CLARO.

This social forum is calling for all of us to form coops – particularly worker coops, to take back our own economic conditions which we are all facing. High unemployment, low wages, little or no health benefits. For the companies who do look after their employees by paying a living wage and benefits we applaud you! Yet there still are those who grip about their employees rather than valuing them.

Richard Nunez is the Cooperatives Program Director and Legal Service Director at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, it’s a non-profit based in Oakland, CA. One of their recent projects is a Worker Coop Academy – 12 weeks to teach people how to start a worker coop. They also offer Free Legal Clinics if you just want to get some legal advice by donation.

I am sharing this, as I feel it’s important that more people know about the opportunities and how you can get involved in your local community. There is something that sparks everyone, perhaps this is one that will spark you.

The values of the Human Agenda match Food 4 Social Changes’. Their mission: “To envision and build a world where the needs of human beings and the planet can all be met, engage the community in forging local institutions that are:
+Democractic
+Egalitarian
+Cooperative
+Kind
+Sustainable
and take individual responsibility to embody the change we’d like to see.”


Are you ready to be a part of something bigger? Having your needs met, a community that is engaged, meaningful labor, reduced hours a living wage, life long learning, participatory democracy and free time? Join the Human Agenda. Find more information about them at www.humanagenda.net

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