Hosted by Co-operatives UK, Stir to Action and Blake House, Worker Co-op Day is aimed at worker co‑operatives to help them learn, share and be inspired by one another.
About the event
Designed and run by worker co-ops for worker co-ops, this event will bring people together online to share experiences and inspire. Due to Covid we have postponed the physical Worker Co-op Weekend until 23 to 26 July. However, to mark International Workers' Day and whet our appetite for the main events, a few sessions will be hosted online on 1 May.
- Online from 10.15 until late
- Four consecutive online sessions
- Each session will be booked separately
- Sessions one to three will be in the form of presentations or panel discussions, followed by a Q&A. Session four aims will be an interactive (online) social gathering for worker co-ops
How much does it cost?
- Session one – prices start at £20
- Sessions two to four – FREE
Agenda and booking links
10.15-13.00 | Worker co-ops: How to get started
- Hosted by Stir to Action. Click here to book
In an era of intensifying economic inequality and systemic crisis, workers are fighting back by organising themselves in co-operatives. The purpose of a worker co-op is to secure decent jobs, support skills development and education, extend solidarity, and above all enable the members to collectively self-manage their working lives. Worker co-operatives are part of wider movements around the world for economic, social and ecological justice.
This workshop will be a practical exploration of setting up a worker co-op, looking at varieties of structure and decisions you’ll need to make along the way.
15.00-16.30 | Worker co-operation in a time of crisis
- Hosted by Co-operatives UK, chaired by Siôn Whellens. Click here to book
Are worker co-ops about emancipation, justice, or workers control? Advocates of worker co-operation often say that worker co-ops are more stable, productive and happier places to work than other enterprises. But what is the significance of worker co-operatives at a time when wages and conditions are under general attack, when people are asking questions about ‘essential work’, and in the face of the ecological crisis? What tools does worker co-operation have to offer to transform the character of productive work, and the ownership system itself?
This session will start with a short presentation followed by discussions in small groups and then finally as a full group.
17.00-18.30 | UK worker co-ops - can we become a movement?
- Hosted by Co-operatives UK, chaired by Cath Muller. Click here to book
When worker co-operation in the US is expanding, why is the number of worker co-ops in the UK still falling, despite worker co-operation being more practical in the current economic climate than ever. How can we create a 'worker co-op movement' that really is a movement? What resources do we need? How can our profile be raised?
The session will start with quick overviews of the history and current state of affairs of the 'worker co-op movement' from multiple voices. All participants can then join online documents to identify issues and obstacles, make suggestions and discuss approaches as the full group.
19.30-late | Virtual worker co-op bonfire social
- Hosted by Blake House Filmmakers Cooperative.
- Booking link coming soon.
Who should attend
Anyone interested in worker co-operation and employee democracy.
Recording the event (Sessions two and three, hosted by Co-operatives UK)
Sessions two and three (hosted by Co-operatives UK) will be recorded and shared with attendees. If you are unable to attend on the stated date, you can still book on to receive the recording link.
About the chairs
Siôn Whellens is a worker co-operator at Calverts, and a ‘barefoot’ worker co-op organiser based in London. He is an elected member of the Worker Co-operative Council,and is the UK member representative to CECOP and CICOPA, respectively the European and world federations of co-ops in industry and services. Siôn co-designed the Worker Cooperative Solidarity Fund, which supports worker co-op education, skills development and organisation.
Cath Muller is a founding and current member of Footprint Workers’ Co-op and member of Cornerstone Housing Co-op since 1995 and has lived communally and worked collectively for 20 years. Both co-ops are members of Radical Routes (RR), a mutual aid federation for co-ops working for a radically different world, based on co-operation and mutual aid, common ownership, non-hierarchy and ecological sustainability. Personally and professionally, Cath has helped set up numerous community and campaigning co-ops.