Democracy in action

Central Council, Cowdrey Hall 1948 | JLPArchive
Central Council, Cowdrey Hall 1948

When Trewins became part of the Partnership in 1940 it joined an organisation which was proud of it’s democratic structure.  All partners, including the new staff who joined when the SPS stores became part of the John Lewis Partnership, were entitled to run their own branch council where they could discuss the way their branch was run.  Partners from each department were encouraged to vote for a representative who would sit on the council and express the ideas of their constituents.  There were also members of management on the Council, in an ex-officio capacity, and all managers were accountable to the Branch Council for any decisions they made about the future of the branch.

Committee for Communications
The other democratic bodies of the Partnership included the Committee for Communications which was made up of only shop floor staff with no managers allowed to stand.  They met with the Chairman of the Committee who was appointed by the JLP Chairman and reported directly back to him to ensure he was able to hear the opinions of those who were working in every shop.

Central Council
There are few pictures of the Trewins Branch Council but this image shows the Central Council.  This was the body to which every branch sent elected councillors and where matters relating to the whole of the Company were discussed.

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