2011 Eastern Conference in Baltimore

Immanuel Ness reports, via the "Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung", on the 2011 Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy.

"The Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD) held its biannual conference in Baltimore, Maryland from 8-10 July, focusing on the effort to expand and consolidate a national network of worker cooperatives. The meeting was attended by more than 200 participants who were committed to expanding the conference for workers democracy in the US and Canada. At a time when organized labor in the US is at its unprecedented nadir, a central theme emerged from the conference: As traditional trade unions are declining it is vital to build new forms of worker organization rooted in the concept of democracy and equality.

The ECWD brought together leading activists and participants from the North American cooperative movement to discuss the state of cooperatives, new initiatives, and potential obstacles to forging worker democracy and economic control in the region. The conference brought together a diverse group of cooperatives engaged in new organizing efforts.

The original goal of the conference was to share experiences and knowledge on new developments facing cooperatives in the US and Canada, expand opportunities to marginalized communities, and developing an agenda to maintain and develop the cooperative movement in the US through working-class solidarity.

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