Movement of the Day: Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives

Presentation excerpted from David Morgan:

“A similarly rich cooperative culture exists across the country, in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives, or NoBAWC (pronounced “no boss”), is a hub for the region, literally centralized within 30 minutes of each member organization.

A stunningly large network—nearly one out of every five U.S. worker co­ops are part of NoBAWC —most member co­ops are in Oakland, San Francisco, and Berkeley. Like other membership organizations, NoBAWC grew out of a need to collaborate and share best practices amongst like­-minded organizations. The members now share resources and incentivize collaboration by offering each other reduced rates on their goods and services.

Since their formation in 1995, they’ve grown so large as to require a permanent staff person and a dedicated steering committee to chart the group’s long­term vision. Like VAWC, NoBAWC develops and promotes start­up co­ops. Smaller, regional efforts like VAWC and NoBAWC now feed into a national network of worker cooperatives.

As the first and primary national hub, the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) brings together the full array of players within this movement.”

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