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EFES NEWSLETTER - NOVEMBER 2011

Euroshareholders
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

Press review
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 at Dexia.
Canada: 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 Canadaís 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 transparency.
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.
Germany: Siemens calls for better fiscal treatment and for more employee share ownership.
Italy: 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.
Namibia: The New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF - new euphemism for Black Economic Empowerment) discussed in Parliament.
Poland: Controversies about employee ownership.
South 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.
Spain: Mondragon Group plans to expand in Morocco.
Tunisia: A place for employee ownership in the new Tunisia?
USA: 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.

The full press review is available on:
              http://www.efesonline.org/PRESS REVIEW/2011/October.htm 


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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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