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The Employee Ownership Update

Loren Rodgers

March 2, 2015

(Loren Rodgers)

Japan Launches Employee Ownership Association

Although Japan has long been a pioneer in employee engagement and decentralized process management, it has not had a significant number of employee-owned businesses. The newly formed Japan Employee Ownership Association (JEOA) aims to change that through publications, case studies, and consulting. The NCEO is honored to help support the JEOA. If your employee-owned company has a significant presence in Japan and you would be interested in learning more about the JEOA, please contact Loren Rodgers (LRodgers@nceo.org).

Will Charlie Hebdo Become Employee-Owned?

The staff of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo proposed that the newspaper become a worker cooperative, partly in order to give its entire staff a voice in how the newspaper uses the substantial profits it has earned from the spike in sales following the attacks on its office on January 7. The current shareholders, however, do not seem open to the idea. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, one of the two surviving shareholders, Laurent Sourisseau, responded to the proposal by saying, "It's completely out of the question" before abruptly leaving the meeting.

New York City Passes Bill to Promote Worker Cooperatives

On February 26, 2015 New York City Council passed legislation requiring annual reports on the amount of goods and services the city purchases from worker-controlled businesses and aiming to reduce barriers for worker cooperatives to participate in city procurement. The text of the bill and a description of the proceedings are available online.

Fill Out Our ESOP Transaction Survey

Thank you to the many companies who have already filled out the first-ever ESOP transaction survey. Company responses help us answer questions no one has been able to answer before, such as:

The results are already intriguing, but to maximize the credibility of this research we want as many companies to participate as possible.
Complete the survey here. It should take no more than 15 minutes and requires minimal research, if any.

Your responses will be completely confidential, and the NCEO will only release aggregate results to avoid any exposure for individual companies or even small groups of companies.

Cleveland's Evergreen Cooperatives: Update

The best-known project to support the development of worker cooperatives as a way to rejuvenate disadvantaged neighborhoods is the Evergreen cooperative project. Politico's Keith Epstein wrote an extensive update that explores both the successes and challenges the project has faced to date. The initiative, which aims to create worker cooperatives in Cleveland's six most challenged neighborhoods, is now in its 10th year. The article cites the experience of Lakeisha Jeffries. Jeffries has frequently been unemployed, lived on food stamps, and depended on friends and family, but now "she is a crew chief for a worker-owned cooperative in which she owns an equity stake, from which she receives health insurance, and through which she may soon buy a subsidized home of her own."

Canadian ESOP Conference: June 3 to 5, Winnipeg

The ESOP Association Canada is hosting its first conference June 3 to 5, 2015, in Winnipeg. Speakers will include representatives of successful Canadian employee ownership companies such as the Flynn Group of Companies and POS Bioscience, practitioners from a variety of fields, and the NCEO's Loren Rodgers.

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