Worker Co-op Timeline

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This is intended to be a timeline of worker co-op historic dates and events. The headings are for fairly broad time periods if specific years become busy by all means break out the broader date ranges into decades and years. For a short narrative story up to 20019 see this short history

Please add short entries following the existing examples and linking through to a new wiki pages for more details.


Pre 1900’s

1844 - Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society founded.

1852 - 1st "Co-op" Act of Parliament.

1864 - Karl Marx, mentions the social value of the cooperative movement in his “Inaugural address of the International Working Men’s Association” delivered to the public meeting in London ref.

1869 - 1st Co-operative Congress and the Co-operative Union formed, later became Co-operatives UK.

1882 - E.V. Neale and Edward Greening founded the Co-operative Productive Federation

1883.01.11 - Equity Shoes Limited incorporated.

1883.11.21 - Queen Eleanor Limited incorporated.

1893 - Industrial and Provident Societies Act, link to the Act itself.

1895 - International Co-operative Alliance founded, website.


1921 - Watford Printers Limited incorporated.

1929 - John Lewis Trust created.

1951 - Scott Bader becomes one of the first "Common ownership" businesse.

1956 - Father José Maria Arizmendiarrieta starts the development of the Mondragon group of worker co-op in the Basque Country, website.



1971 - Industrial Common Ownership Movement was founded, later to merge in to form Co-operatives UK.

1973 - Industrial Common Ownership Finance (ICOF) was founded, later to operate as Co-operative and Community Finance.

1976 - David Watkins, MP for Consett, as a private members bill pushed through The Industrial Common Ownership Act, link to the Act itself. Following it funds were available to ICOM and ICOF and there was a legally recognised definition of common ownership.

1976.3.02 - The first worker co-op to register with the ICOM Model Rules was Daily Bread Co-operative in Northampton, website.

1976.06.08 - Arjuna Limited incorporated, website.

1976.07.17 - Single Step Co-operative Limited, website.

1977.08.03 - Calvert's North Star Press Limited, website.

1977.09.15 - Triangle Wholefoods Collective Limited, later became Suma, website.

Loads more to add....


1981.01.01 - On The Eighth Day Co-operative Limited, website.

1982.01.01 - CDA 1982 Rules, An updated version of the rules used by the Productive Co-ops (members of the Co-operative Productive Federation now merged with the Co-op Union). The rules still permitted non-worker shareholding and put an emphasis on establishing management structures.

Loads more to add....


Loads more to add....


2001 - Co-operatives UK formed out of the merger of Co-operative Union and Industrial Common Ownership Movement


2014 - 1st Worker co-op weekend

2015 - Worker Co-op Solidarity Fund founded, link to website.

2016? - Co-tech network for worker co-op tech businesses created, website.