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International Worker Cooperative Association

If the U.S. had a national association of worker coopera-tives, it would be invited to join a new North and South American regional federation of such groups, says Bruno Roelants, development coordinator for CICOPA. CICOPA translates as the International Worker Cooperative Organization. It is a specialized group within the main world body for cooperatives of all kinds, the International Cooperative Alliance.

Like ICA, CICOPA is in a process of regionalization to improve global coordination. The U.S. falls in the “CICOPA-America” region which extends from Alaska to the tip of South America. CICOPA-America’s president is Walter Tesch, based in Sao Paolo, Brazil. North America, one of five projected sub-regions of CICOPA-America, has only one member to date, Roelants said—the Canadian Worker Cooperative Federation (see story on p. 14). Roelants wanted to know about worker co-ops in the U.S. and was enthusiastic about news of West coast and East coast conferences. (See stories on pp. 11-13)

CICOPA fosters international communication, promotes development projects (especially in the developing world and Eastern Europe), and provides advocacy support for worker co-ops before international bodies (e.g. prepared new International Labor Organization recommendations on co-ops, dialogues with union federations, on the new European Cooperative Society). For further information or to reach Roelants, contact Bob Stone bobstone@igc.org.

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