June 17, 2019

Bernie Sanders to Promote New Employee Ownership Policies

The Washington Post reported on May 28 that Sen. Bernie Sanders would announce support for two new measures to promote employee ownership. Although he has not released details, Sen. Sanders said that he believes "we can move to an economy where workers feel that they're not just a cog in the machine — one where they have power over their jobs and can make decisions."

Sen. Sanders is working on a new proposal under which large businesses would make mandatory contributions of stock to worker-controlled funds, which would pay annual dividends to workers. The mandatory ownership fund echoes a similar proposal by the UK Labour Party. Sanders is also planning to propose that some corporations be required to provide board seats to workers, and on June 5 he attended the Walmart shareholder meeting to argue that the company should provide board seats to hourly workers.

Sen. Sanders has been a long-time advocate of employee ownership, and in addition to his new proposals, he is again a cosponsor in the current Congress of legislation that would create an employee ownership bank and employee ownership centers in all states.