NEWSLETTER - SEPTEMBER 2009
course in Germany, new course for Europe
recently, Germany was quite reluctant about employee ownership. Things are now changing. The German Ministry of Employment
& Social Affairs launch a dedicated website and an excellent
brochure promoting employee ownership. German trade unions
are discovering employee ownership as a tool against the
financial crisis. Demanding a capital stake in a troubled
company is fast becoming a powerful rallying cry - "Arbeitnehmer sind die besseren Aktionäre"
(the best shareholders are employees !). Now that most big
European countries feel positive, the whole political picture
could change in a positive way for employee ownership at
European Union level.
Proposal to the new European
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
Much new information about employee ownership
in August 2009, with 1.412 articles in this press review
(on which 497 involving stock options and 349 about workers'
cooperatives). We made a selection of 60 remarkable articles
in 15 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium,
Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand,
Pakistan, United Kingdom, USA, South Africa.
report on employee share schemes slammed by the federal
government as an idea that would put workers' savings at
Austria: Trade union pleading for employee ownership and capital
Belgium: Press' drivels.
Canada: Closure announcement prompts employees to seek an
employee ownership plan to save CHEK TV station from closing.
Employee-owned media models may be new to television but not to newspapers.
France: "Le salarié actionnaire, nouveau chouchou des
entreprises" (employee shareholders are the new companies'
pets). New successful employee share plans for Publicis,
Société Générale, Vivendi, Pierre Fabre, Axa, Vinci. Altedia-BNP
Paribas' Annual Inquiry 2009 confirms trust in employee
savings and employee ownership.
Germany: German trade unions are discovering employee ownership as a tool against the
financial crisis. Demanding a capital stake in a troubled company is
fast becoming a powerful rallying cry for German workers.
The idea of Mitarbeiterbeteiligung — employee participation
in either the capital or the profits of
their company — is catching on among trade unions. "Arbeitnehmer sind die besseren Aktionäre"
(the best shareholders are employees !)
India: How to encourage employee ownership? Recent budget proposals by Finance Minister
includes a requirement for listed companies to have public
shareholding of at least 25%; broad-based employee ownership
seems a good way in this sense. "No bonus? Give us
shares instead !" Labour Minister suggests companies give employees
stock options if they can't afford to give raises or incentives.
Japan: Japan's Financial Services Agency plans to make it easier for workers
to invest in their employers through trusts.
Pakistan: Prime Minister Gilani launch the
Benazir Employees Stock Option Scheme as a way to empower
workers of State Owned Entities.
UK: Just before the crisis occurred, the number of employees participating in share option
schemes was at its lowest level in 16 years.
USA: A new survey of companies with employee
stock purchase plans (ESPPs) show few changes to plans.
On the other hand, ESOP companies outperformed Stock Market
in 2008. Finally, American newspapers tell a number of employee
ownership stories in various firms.
The full press review is available