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US Federation of Worker Coops


The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives is a national grassroots membership organization of worker cooperatives and organizations that support the growth and development of worker cooperatives.


The Federation, which was founded in 2004, has more than 100 member organizations that represent companies of all sizes in a broad variety of industries, from across the country. Together they are building a dynamic movement for democratic worker-ownership. Some of the member cooperatives comprise more than 1,300 individual workers. The Federation provides consulting and technical assistance to cooperatives old and new. They do this through education, training and advocacy.


Worker cooperatives are business entities that are owned and controlled by their members, the people who work in them. The two central characteristics of worker cooperatives are:

  • worker-members invest in and own the business together and each worker distributes surplus to the cooperative;
  • decision-making is democratic, adhering to the general principle of one member-one vote.


In a worker cooperative, workers own their jobs, so they decide how they are treated and how they want to operate the business. Worker-owners also get a lot of practice making decisions, building their skills in a variety of areas, and participating democratically in a process to benefit the larger group. Co-operatives often provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees, so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives.


According to the Federation co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.


The Federation estimates that there are about 350 democratic worker cooperatives in the United States, employing over 5,000 people and generating over $500 million in annual revenues.


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Type of initiative Knowledge/advice organization, Information/network organization
Field of work Agriculture, Manufacturing, Trade, Education, Knowledge and information
Date of commencement 2004
Founder(s) A group of workers
Legal form Federation
Continent North America
Country USA
City San Francisco
One or several keywords that describe your initiative Cooperative, worker cooperative
Publications Library. webinars, newsletter
More information

Contact person(s)

Melissa Hoover


Contact information

Name US Federation of Worker Coops
Address PO Box 170701
Zip/postal code CA 94117-0701
Place San Francisco
State/province California
Country VS
Phone +1 (415) 392-7277



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