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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Cooperating out of isolation: Domestic workers’ cooperatives

Domestic workers may need support in acquiring the required business skills. Cooperative business support organizations, trade unions, non-governmental organizations, and other non-profit bodies can provide such assistance. In fact many of the examples of domestic worker cooperatives had such support to get start-ed in the form of training. Once the cooperative becomes more established and experienced, it will be in a position to provide this support to new members and share the experiences for the formation of other similar domestic worker cooperatives.

Migrant workers may need particular support services, as the cooperatives they establish will need to operate within a legal and business culture which may not immediately be familiar to them.

On the other hand, many domestic workers have already acquired the experience which comes from long years of working on a self-employed basis. Furthermore, the skills developed working in a close personal relationship with clients and their families – whilst often not formally recognized as skill sets – can be of high value in negotiating and resolving conflicts. The psychological insights and know-how which come from working effectively with clients can also be very relevant in ensuring smooth relationships between cooperative members.

Read the rest at the International Labour Organization


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