|Title||Co-ops, ESOPs, and Worker Participation|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1995|
|Journal||Dollars and Sense|
In the United States today, there is greater capacity than ever before to promote worker-owned cooperatives. There are increasing numbers of financing mechanisms such as community development banks, revolving loan funds, foundations, and union pension funds. We also have more savvy at cooperative business development, and more technical assistance organizations like the ICA Group in Boston, Praxis in Philadelphia, and NCEO in Oakland. We have learned through our own history and international experiments what contributes to building networks of cooperatives. We still need to develop education for economic cooperation in schools and universities, as well as in our places of work.
As we find ourselves lured by the promise of reorganizing traditional workplaces, we should not be seduced by the economic benefits of ESOPs to individuals, or by employee participation schemes. Although interest in them is widespread, they are diversions from a broader goal. Instead, we should move beyond management's strategies and create new ways to equitably share control and the economic rewards of our labor.