26 April 2010

Worker Co-operative Council Elections 2010

It's that time of the year again, yes your chance (if your a member of Co-operatives UK that is) to vote for your representatives to the Worker Co-operative Council.  This year there are three seats available and four nominees. Ballot papers should have been issued on Monday 26th April and will be finding their way to your Company/Society Secretary. For information on nominees see below:

Nominee: Bob Cannell
Nominating Organisation: Suma Foods
After 30 years in worker co-operatives and 4 on the Worker Co-operative Council, Bob is still enthusiastically promoting and developing democratic management.

He is a Personnel Officer at Suma and assists worker co-operatives across the UK through his ‘other’ co-op, Co-operative Business Consultants (also a Co-operativesUK member). Bob helped write the Co-ops UK Management guide for worker co-operatives, the Worker Code, which he will promote to anyone if given half a chance!

Bob has lots of experience as a Board Member of Co-operativesUK and is the UK representative to CECOP, the European federation for worker co-ops, which experience he shares via his blog www.bobcannell.blogspot.com. Vote for Bob to help the Worker Co-operative Council to help employee owners help themselves.

Nominee: Alison Joan Banton
Nominating Organisation: Dulas Ltd
I am blessed that I’ve spent all my working life (18 – 45!) working within worker owned structures and I wouldn’t work any other way.

In 1983 I helped revive Crewe’s Wholefood Co-op ‘Quickening Pulses’ with my partner Neil. Three years later we retreated to Wales and I joined the Centre for Alternative Technology and stayed for an amazing 10 years leaving to have my daughter Yali and join Dulas Ltd, a small renewable energy company based in the same valley. I’ve been their senior management accountant/company secretary and sometime FD for 13 years now and our small company has grown into one of the country’s leading renewable energy specialists wholly owned by its 70+ workers.

All businesses face challenges, but worker-owned businesses seem to excel at creating even more and I’d relish joining the council and bringing co-ops together to tackle some of these challenges and to let the business world know that co-ops rock!

Nominee: Sion Whellens
Nominating Organisation: Calverts
Sion comes from Calverts, the communications design and printing co-operative. Elected onto the Council in 2005, he sits on the Board of Co-operatives UK as one of our two worker co-op representatives.
Sion founded the Principle Six business referral network. He is Vice-Chair of Co-operatives London and a raised-eyebrow member of the Co-op Party.

He wants to win understanding and respect for worker co-operation from the wider movement and to help Co-operatives UK represent our isolated and underestimated, but important, group of worker co-operatives.
Sion wants to help turn Co-ops UK into a dynamic, respected and outward facing organisation which will campaign effectively for our business model, to support the growth of our individual co-ops and expand our share of the economy. He also wants to help re-arm the wider population with a knowledge that there are alternatives to socially useless, undemocratic, exploitative and ecocidal ‘business as usual’.

Nominee: Linda Bratcher
Nominating Organisation: Total Coverage
I’m proud to be a co-director of Total Coverage, a successful graphic design workers’ cooperative based in Southampton. I’ve been with the co-operative for seven years and we’ve just celebrated our 22nd year in business so I understand the issues associated in managing a co-operative business as well as doing my day-to-day work as a sales account handler.

I’m standing for election to the Worker Co-operative Council hoping that if elected, I’ll be able to ensure issues that matter to employee-owned businesses and workers’ co-operatives are brought to Co-operatives UK board level.

I’m hoping to give fresh ideas and skills to the Council as well as offering my broad range of skills, motivation and enthusiasm. I’m keen to promote and raise the profile of employee owned businesses and workers’co-operatives to the whole co-operative movement and beyond.