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Our Member Councils and Peer Networks are shaping the future of the worker co-op movement in the U.S. through offers and needs markets, collective education & learning and political advocacy for a worker-centered economy. Here are the highlights for this month from some of our Councils & Networks:
- Union Co-ops Council – At the February meeting, the UCC shared updates, announcements, ideas, and heard a presentation from Sam Marvin and Dennis Olson from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union on their support for developing unionized worker co-op cannabis dispensaries in Rhode Island.
- Policy & Advocacy Council – March 1st we hosted our first Policy Pulse of the year where USFWC Worker Owner State Advocacy Fellows shared about the projects they have been working on to visibilize current challenges worker cooperatives are facing and articulate needs from the field to lawmakers in their home states. We were also joined by Aaliyah Nedd, government relations manager at NCBA CLUSA who shared the recent legislative wins, active bills and upcoming opportunities to support federal and state investment in the worker co-op sector; watch the recording here!
- International Council – The IC’s executive committee is planning a series of webinars for cooperators who want to learn more about international movements and organizations. This council will be recruiting members to help guide the direction of this council at the Spring USFWC Member Meeting, May 24th.
- Racial & Economic Justice Council – Later this year, we will be re-launching the Racial & Economic Justice Council. This will be a space for members to come together and share issues they are working on and organize with each other – learn more at the USFWC Spring Member Meeting May 24th.
- Movimiento de Inmigrantes en las Cooperativas – We are re-launching the MIC! Movimiento para Immigrantes Cooperativistas has been a dormant space and we are actively working to re-engage members and identify pressing issues to organize around. We will be holding a breakout discussion about this at the Spring Member Meeting on May 24th.
- Co-op Booksellers Peer Network – At the co-op booksellers monthly meeting, they discussed some of the challenges of their tight margin industry and relying on unpaid labor to keep the co-ops operational.
- Tech Worker Co-ops Peer Network – The Tech Worker Co-op Peer Network has gained some new and returning attendees as we start up again after a break in 2022. The group has been engaging with the international tech co-op community through a new international federation for tech worker co-ops called Patio, and sharing resources for connecting with clients.
- Federation Partners Peer Network – At the quarterly meeting, the Federation Partners discussed the upcoming State of the Sector worker co-op census and plans for data sharing with the USFWC.
- Co-op Academies Peer Network – For their second USFWC meeting, the co-op academies did a resource exchange and discussed strategies for pre- and post-academy engagement for participants.
Members, be sure to register for our USFWC Virtual Spring Member Meeting May 24th to hear more from your Member Councils and help shape their future work!