The US Federation of Worker Cooperatives is your national advocate; representing the interests of worker cooperatives and promoting workplace democracy with federal agencies and elected officials. In addition to acting as a voice for worker-ownership nationally, our staff and Board also support local advocacy campaigns initiated by USFWC members.

We organize at three different levels to advance policies that support workplace democracy.

What we do

  • Statewide advocacy consultation and advisory: The USFWC works with partners on the ground in several states to support members in leading efforts to research, draft, and introduce state statutes to establish the worker cooperative model. Contact policy@usworker.coop to learn more.
  • Worker Ownership State Advocacy Fellowship - a pilot program of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives that equips and supports worker owners as advocates and spokespeople for worker co-op initiatives in their home state.
  • If you are USFWC member interested in organizing or are already working on a local advocacy campaign, please contact Policy Director Mo Manklang at policy@usworker.coop.
  • Endorsements: As a values-based membership organization, from time to time the USFWC endorses campaigns, initiatives, and candidates which align with the priorities of the membership. Endorsement requests may be submitted to policy@usworker.coop by USFWC Board of Directors, staff, member councils, peer networks for consideration.

Here's just a few initiatives we have worked on:

  • Federal:
    • Through active participation in the Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development, we advocate directly with government agencies such as the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Department of Labor  (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the US Department of Agriculture, The White House, and more. To stay informed and get involved, please join our Member Council (details below)
    • In August 2018, the Main Street Employee Ownership Act was passed, which directs the Small Business Administration to provide education, outreach, reporting, and better loan access to employee owned businesses. The USFWC is proud to have helped bring about this first ever federal level legislation that features worker cooperatives.
  • State:
    • In 2015 we supported the passage of California's AB816, a new bill authorizing the establishment of worker cooperatives in California.
    • In 2020 the USFWC worked with members on MA, CA, and PA in pulling together policy recommendations for these states, advising on potential legislation and initiatives.
  • Local:
    • The USFWC is currently working with members, partners and the City of Santa Clara to advance worker cooperative conversions and startups, including $100,000 toward creating an infrastructure for worker co-op support in the Santa Clara area.
    • Many USFWC members are actively leading local organizing efforts in Madison, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, and more.

How to get involved:

  • Check to see if your representative is a member of the House Small Business Committee. If so, it is helpful for you to send a letter of support for worker cooperatives and the Main Street Employee Ownership Act. Reach out to policy@usworker.coop for help in creating your letter.
  • Join the USFWC's Policy and Advocacy member council to plug into this work and advance worker ownership and workplace democracy through public policy efforts and advocacy campaigns. Launched in 2015, the council meets twice monthly to strategize and share information about local, state, and federal efforts.

    Twice monthly conference calls for USFWC members are hosted 2nd Thursdays of every month at 2pm ET / 1pm CT / 12pm MT / 11am PT. See the events calendar to confirm the next date and time. Contact Mo Manklang policy@usworker.coop to get involved.

  • Invite your representative to join the Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus, which provides a opportunity for greater visibility of cooperative economic impact before Congress and the Administration and driving a co-op-friendly legislative agenda.

 

BECOME A SUSTAINER

Give monthly or make a one-time donation - every dollar goes to helping the worker co-op movement in the U.S.

The only grassroots membership organization for worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces

As a grassroots member-led movement, our membership is our power and our strength.

The USFWC welcomes membership from worker cooperatives, other democratic workplaces, cooperative developers, and allied organizations.

 

WHAT WE DO

Technical Assistance

The USFWC Co-op Clinic has a network of peer advisors, all with strong social and professional ties, who provide technical assistance services to worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces.

Advocacy

The USFWC represents the interests of worker cooperatives with federal agencies and elected officials. In addition, our staff and Board support national, state, and local advocacy initiatives.

Health

Healthcare is a human right. The USFWC explores ways to effect systematic change for small businesses everywhere, while also offering a robust Worker Benefits program to provide more affordable health benefits to our members.

Education and Engagement

The USFWC provides education about the worker co-ops and convenes cooperators through our Member Councils and Peer Networks.