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The Employee Ownership Update

Corey Rosen

June 1, 2010

(Corey Rosen)

Employee Ownership 100 List Updated for 2010

We have released the 2010 version of our Employee Ownership 100, a list of the 100 largest employee-owned companies in the U.S. (ranked by the number of employees). Collectively, they employ 597,000 employees, essentially the same as last year's 598,000, and up from 580,500 in 2008. As usual, Publix Super Markets tops the list, with 144,000 employees. The smallest companies on the list have 1,050 employees. Sixteen are in architecture and/or engineering, 15 in manufacturing, 14 are supermarkets or (in one case) convenience stores, and 9 are in construction or construction services.

Total employment at the 92 companies that were also on the list in both 2008 and 2009 grew 1.4% over last year, partly from acquisitions and partly from internal growth. Of the eight companies that dropped off the list, one (the Tribune Co.) went bankrupt, one terminated its plan, and the rest were near the cutoff point last year and did not quite make it this year. To make the list, at least 50% of the company's stock must be owned by an ESOP (which accounts for almost all of the plans), or the company must have a profit sharing or similar plan and/or a direct stock purchase plan in which most employees participate.

(The NCEO maintains lists of approximately 1,100 majority employee owned companies and 700 non-majority employee owned companies, each of which costs $100 for members and $150 for non-members. Details are at this link.)

French Employee-Owned Companies Perform Well

A new study of worker cooperatives in France has found that these companies are as productive as or possibly more productive overall than conventional firms in most industries. The study also shows that in several industries, the cooperatives use their capital inputs more efficiently. French worker cooperatives employ about 40,000 people in a variety of industries. The study looked at 500 worker cooperatives with at least 20 employees and 7,000 comparable conventional firms. The study is "Productivity, Capital and Labor in Labor-Managed and Conventional Firms" by Fathi Fakhfakh of Paris II University, Virginie Pérotin of Leeds University, and Mónica Gago of Mondragon University in Spain. It is currently in submission for publication.

British Coalition Government Promises More Employee Ownership

The Conservative-Liberal coalition in Britain has published its agenda in a document tiled "Our Programme for Government." The document contains two references to employee ownership:

Both parties had strongly endorsed employee ownership before the elections. The Labour Party had as well, but not for the Royal Mail.

Vermont Employee Ownership Center Conference Set for June 9

The eighth annual Vermont Employee Ownership conference will be held June 9 at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. The conference features 19 panels on ESOPs, worker cooperatives, and ownership culture. Registration is $150. See www.veoc.org for details.

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