EFES NEWSLETTER - NOVEMBER 2011
Euroshareholders is the organization of European shareholders
associations. It was founded in 1992 while the European
Federation of Employee Share Ownership was founded in 1998.
Both organizations developed a good cooperation for many
years, considering a number of common objectives regarding
corporate governance in Europe, shareholders' rights and
equal treatment of all shareholders, harmonization at the
EU level on shareholders issues, financial education and
scientific research on capital market and finance. Both
organizations recently decided to reinforce their links.
The recent general meeting of Euroshareholders in The Hague
welcomed the EFES as a new associate member, while Euroshareholders
will reciprocally join the EFES. More information
The EU Corporate Governance Framework
The European Commission organized a public consultation
about "The EU Corporate Governance Framework".
All contributions are now public, including ours. Question
23 is about employee ownership: "Are there measures
to be taken, and is so, which ones, to promote at EU level
employee share ownership?" Of course we answered positively,
arguing that "Employees' interest in the long-term
sustainability of their company is going to be increasingly
a crucial element of trust and corporate governance. Not
only can employee owners contribute greatly to increase
the proportion of long-term shareholders, but we will also
see that employee ownership itself will be more and more
perceived as a trust indicator." We are delighted to
see that so many organizations too gave encouraging answers,
including international unions like ETUC or UNI. All contributions
are available here,
while the EFES' one can be downloaded here
Much new information about employee ownership in October
2011, with 1.709 articles in this press review (on which
473 involving stock options and 478 about workers' cooperatives).
We made a selection of 39 remarkable articles in 11 countries:
Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Namibia, Poland,
South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, USA.
Belgium: Disinformation about employee share ownership
Newspaper union says that it could soon bring an idea to
Canada that is being tried in the U. S. - having staff become
part owners. About one-quarter of Canada’s Top 100 Employers
offer some form of employee ownership. Studying 850 firms
from 1999 to 2007, Canadian researchers find a strong positive
link between employee stock ownership and capital market
France: A set of possible employee buyouts as workers
cooperatives: Helio Corbeil, SeaFrance. Employee buyout
for France Telecom's subsidiary Orange Switzerland? Right
of first refusal for employees in case of business transfer
discussed in French Parliament.
Siemens calls for better fiscal treatment and for more employee
Banco Popolare di Milano unions and employee shareholders
are fighting over board nominees after the bank overhauled
its governance structure at the request of the Bank of Italy.
The New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF
- new euphemism for Black Economic Empowerment) discussed
Controversies about employee ownership.
Africa: Miners go on strike at Xstrata over an employee
share ownership program. The union wants employees to be
compensated equally under the share ownership program, regardless
of rank, while the company's plan compensates employees
based on their level. Companies with operations in South
Africa set up employee share programs in a bid to increase
worker ownership, and particularly black ownership.
Mondragon Group plans to expand in Morocco.
A place for employee ownership in the new Tunisia?
The ESOP Association and the employee ownership community
will celebrate the Employee Ownership Month. For ten years
the Vermont Employee Ownership Center has helped Vermont
companies, to convert to various forms of employee-ownership.
Debate rages over share buybacks. Employee stock ownership
plans ease retirement insecurities.
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