Working Together

Commissioned and published jointly by Co-operatives UK and the Co-operative College, and written by Pat Conaty (Co-operatives UK), Alex Bird ( and Cilla Ross (Co-operative College), this lays out the case for co-operatives and trade unions (and worker co-operatives in particular) to work together in the struggle to create decent work for all.

We are very grateful to the Network for Social Change and the Institute for Solidarity Economics for jointly funding the research work to produce this report. We would like to thank Ed Mayo at Co-operatives UK for taking the initiative to secure the joint funding for this project. We would also like to thank those interviewed whose expertise and guidance have been invaluable. The TUC and member trade unions that responded to our survey supported by the TUC were very helpful to us as have been the trade unions in the USA, the Netherlands and Italy that we made contact with. We would like to thank for their expertise Dr Henk van der Velden (FNV), Josien van Breda (FNV Zelfstandigen), Peter van den Bunder (FNV Kiem) and Sabina Breveglieri (CGIL-Nexus).

We also gained inspiration during the course of this project from the European Trade Union Confederation’s emerging strategy to secure social protection for self-employed workers. We are grateful to Thiebaut Weber and Ignacio Doreste at the European TUC for their guidance, Alison Tate at the International TUC and Simel Esim at the ILO Co-operatives Unit.

We are especially grateful to Carl Roper (TUC), Paul Bell (Unison), Diane Widdison (The Musicians Union), John Park (Community Union), Andrew Morris (NUT), Martin Smith (GMB), Kevin Branstatter (GMB), Maria Ludkin (GMB), Sian Gale (BECTU Cymru), Les McVay (City Cabs), Mark Hooper (IndyCube), Adrian Roper (Cartrefi Cymru Co-operative), Dr Guy Turnbull (CASA), Laurie Gregory (The Foster Care Co-operative), Rick Wilson (Community Lives Consortium), Bruno Roelants (CECOP- CICOPA Europe), Sarah de Heusch Ribassin (SMart, Belgium), Sandrino Graceffa (SMart, Belgium), Michael Peck (1Worker1Vote, USA), Camille Kerr (ICA Group, USA), Mike Bird (WIEGO), Councillor Matthew Brown (Preston City Council), Jason Nardi (RIPESS Europe), Lionel Fulton (Labour Research Department), Nicola Countouris (University College London), Bob Cannell, Chris Mackin, Philip Ross, Kevin Ford, Kim Matthews and Elizabeth Matthews.

Finally we would like to thank the senior staff of Co-operatives UK and the Cooperative College for their professional back up and specialist support and to especially thank Simon Parkinson, Petra Morris, Greg Giddins, James Wright, John Atherton, Giles Simon and Gillian Lonergan for editing the final text.

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