EFES NEWSLETTER – MARCH 2011
A European Single Market for employee ownership
European Commissioner Michel Barnier organised a vast consultation about the new “Single Market Act”. The single market is all about bringing down barriers and simplifying existing rules across Europe. It would also include a European single market for employee ownership. Read more
Employee ownership improves company performance
There is a lot of social science evidence today that shows the combination of meaningful broad-based employee ownership with a team-oriented corporate culture improves company performance. Many research works have been done in the U.S. for long. A first econometric work is now also available about French companies: According to the Center for Strategic Analysis, the social performance of a company having employee share ownership is 52% higher than that of companies which have neither employee share ownership nor employee savings plan. Read more
Much new information about employee ownership in February 2011, with 1.520 articles in this press review (on which 489 involving stock options and 441 about workers’ cooperatives). We made a selection of 41 remarkable articles in 13 countries: Argentina, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, UK, USA.
Argentina: The Federation of Self-Managed Workers Cooperatives (FACTA) was set up in 2006.
Austria: Steel company VoestAlpine recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its successful employee ownership scheme.
Canada: Rescuing failed companies through workers coops.
France: Business transmission has to be facilitated through employee buyouts. Employee shareholders hold 20% of Steria. The Financial Market Authority has just issued its conclusions about employee savings and employee share ownership schemes. Still no solution about potential conflicts of interest relating to the exercise of the voting rights attached to the shares held by employee savings funds (FCPE).
Germany: In international comparisons, employee ownership appears clearly underdeveloped in Germany compared to other European countries and the USA. Why?
Spain: Mondragon Cooperatives pointed out as a good example in the British press.
India: Newly listed public sector companies may soon be allowed to offer stock options to their executives.
Italy: Financial speculation about employee ownership at Banco Popolare di Milano.
Netherlands: Holland Colours wins the award for the most sustainable employee share scheme.
Poland: Struggles over employee privatization in coal mines. The new 2009 scheme seems to be a fiasco while Vice-Prime Minister Pawlak organises new conferences.
UK: Mutualisation of public services is at the heart of the government’s “Big Society”. Employee-owned mutuals, in which frontline staff can take over and run their services, should be the way of improving public services. A new taskforce will support employees working in public services who wish to form employee-owned mutuals.
USA: A number of new ESOP companies. A number of years ago, Professor Joseph Blasi noticed that the phenomenon of employee ownership in U.S. companies was growing and evolving, yet attracting little scholarly attention. That would soon change. A number of tax benefits make ESOPs a compelling choice.
The full press review is available on:
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EFES – EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP
FEAS – FEDERATION EUROPEENNE DE L’ACTIONNARIAT SALARIE
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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.