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EFES NEWSLETTER - JULY 2009

Proposal to the new European Parliament
After 10 years of (no) European policy, time has come to assess the situation and to re-launch a dynamic policy for developing employee ownership across Europe. 150 Members of the European Parliament and leaders from all political parties expressed their support to the Employee Ownership Manifesto for the 2009 European elections. Healthier economy, sustainability, better governance are the key points in most supporting messages from all parties. Proposal to the new Parliament

Press review
Much new information about employee ownership in June 2009, with 1.610 articles in this press review (on which 557 involving stock options and 402 about workers' cooperatives). We made a selection of 70 remarkable articles in 13 countries: Australia, Austria, American Samoa, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Spain, United Kingdom, USA, South Africa.
Australia: Back from budget chaos for employee share schemes. For budgetary reasons, the new government suddenly decided to axe tax concessions for employee share ownership. However, they had to go back thanks to pressure from trade unions, advocacy groups and tax experts. Trade unions are backing the government's proposed changes to employee share ownership schemes, saying they are now fairer.
Canada: Airline's unions sign deal to take 10% stake in Air Canada.
France: Altedia-BNP Paribas' Annual Inquiry 2009 confirms trust in employee savings and employee ownership. New employee share plan for CapGemini, Vinci, Areva. Employee shareholders express their votes in general meetings, executive remunerations being discussed. Cases multiply involving workers cooperatives for bailouts, with some good or bad stories: Laroche-Peltier, Fonderie Jayot, Pamco, Parquets Marty, Aubade.
Germany: Demanding a capital stake in a troubled company may seem like an odd thing to do at the depth of the recession, but for German workers it is fast becoming a powerful rallying cry. The idea of Mitarbeiterbeteiligung employee participation in either the capital or the profits of their company is catching on among trade unions. Dedicated company set up for employee's shareholding in Opel. On the other hand, Germany passes law imposing limits on executive pay.
Ireland: New episode for Eircom's soap. A number of companies are planning to drop out of the race to acquire Eircom after the employee share ownership trust (Esot) decided to back the bid of Singapore Technologies Telemedia and the Communication Workers Union has given its support.
UK: Employee ownership should be encouraged, in part because worker-owned companies tend to restrain pay at the top.
USA: Employee stock ownership, but not control ?? Now, with General Motors and Chrysler in bankruptcy and the union a major shareholder in both through its retiree health fund, life has become a lot more complicated for the Automobile Workers' Union. On the other hand, maybe there is a future for older industrial cities: Cleveland's worker-owned boom creating green jobs. Times are changing for SAIC: Shareholders approve the conversion of preferred shares - which have greater voting rights and are owned only by employees - into common shares. The move would essentially end the last vestige of employee control over the science-and-engineering company. Finally, a professor wants to abolish Employee Stock Ownership Plans.

The full press review is available on:
              http://www.efesonline.org/PRESS REVIEW/2009/June.htm 

A political roadmap for employee ownership in Europe

  And the European Commission?...

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   With best regards

 

 
 

Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
EFES - EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP
FEAS - FEDERATION EUROPEENNE DE L'ACTIONNARIAT SALARIE
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel/fax: +32 (0)2 242 64 30
E-mail: efes@efesonline.org
Web site: www.efesonline.org
EFES' objective is to act as the umbrella organization of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote employee ownership and participation in Europe.

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