Worker Buyouts

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akai
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Joined: 29-09-06
Oct 27 2006 00:04
Worker Buyouts

Dear All,
I posted this to one list - it's based partially on a local issue but deals with the issue of worker-buyouts. It's part of a discussion I'm trying to get started locally after I discovered that some comrades cannot distinguish between worker-owned enterprises which are self-managed collectives and buy-outs retaining the capitalist model. I am wondering whether buy-outs can be successfully transformed into self-managed industries closely approximating a democratic cooperative or whether that's just wishful thinking. Any ideas or experience? Much appreciated. Laure

admin edit: i have pasted this large document into the libcom text dump at google
http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dgrrp3x8_1cr432n

PS: The follow-up is that I heard that the majority stake in Uniontex was sold to an Australian company and that they want to move some production to Ukraine.

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Jacques Roux
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Oct 27 2006 11:39

no one will read badly formatted c+ps. You need to summarise the article and link to it.

akai
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Joined: 29-09-06
Oct 27 2006 15:28

Ok - yet again I am quite amazed by such requirements. Another east-west gap in perceptions I'm afraid. Probably I also need to simplify it and assume that the average reader is incapable of dealing with anything more than 3 paragraphs long. sad Sorry to assume that effort is a mutual thing. smile

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Jacques Roux
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Oct 27 2006 15:34

No - its because this is a message board not a book.

I dont really care, i was just giving you advice.

akai
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Joined: 29-09-06
Oct 28 2006 11:21

OK. Maybe I misunderstood what a forum entitled "thought" means.

I will reformat as suggested and link.

afraser
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Joined: 16-07-05
Oct 28 2006 21:54

Thanks for the info on Poland.

One-worker-one-vote is I think essential for any worker co-op to be real, as opposed to a management-'co-op' like a lot of the larger ones in fact are, in many countries not just the former state socialist countries. But that requires as you say access to capital for workers, which could be done with lending institutions set up to provide capital without the current hobbling requirement that loans be secured by personal assets, which would be easy enough with some political will. Economist David Schweickart has written on this http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng89.html#anchor650664

A secondary point is that worker buyouts of bankrupt or near bankrupt existing firms is often a recipe for disaster, such firms not being profitable before worker takeover is often an indicator that they will be in difficulty after that also. Worker takeover of profitable firms or worker owned startups would often be a better model to push for, which can be seen as an explaination of why worker takeover of failing concerns is often accepted and even encouraged as a more acceptable alternative by ruling elites.

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madashell
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Joined: 19-06-06
Oct 28 2006 22:00
laureakai wrote:
Ok - yet again I am quite amazed by such requirements. Another east-west gap in perceptions I'm afraid. Probably I also need to simplify it and assume that the average reader is incapable of dealing with anything more than 3 paragraphs long. sad Sorry to assume that effort is a mutual thing. smile

"Effort" usually implies some attempt to make your work readable.

akai
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Joined: 29-09-06
Oct 29 2006 16:21

Thank you for the comment on the buyouts - I was thinking I stumbled onto a bunch of comfortable geeks intent on discouraging new users to post here. smile

I'll check out the link. We are not very capital intensive here, so I'm wondering how this could work here. I do think there is untapped potential.

I see your point that the elites don't encourage buyouts of profitable firms. It holds up with the experience here that if something is profitable, it would find a corporate investor.

I think it's something we need to spread the word about because we don't really wanna see more workers sucked into a scam. Furthermore, if the workers want to buy out anyway, we should certainly encourage a more cooperative model instead of a capitalist one. I'm deeply disappointed that the comrades who worked with this group of workers seem to not have figured that out. We only found out now that there was this division between shareholders and wage labourers.