Worker Buyouts
The Role of Trade Unions and Community Organizations

Jackson, E.T.
Year Published:  1983  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX2870

Abstract:  In June, 1983 a conference entitled "Social and Economic Directions for Canada" was sponsored by the Labour Council of Metropolitan Toronto, the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto and the Ecumenical Forum. WORKER BUYOUTS: THE ROLE OF TRADE UNIONS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS was a paper presented during the conference.

The paper addresses an element of "Ethical Reflections on the Economic Crisis" (Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1983) wherein the benefits to be derived from workers buying out the enterprise in which they work is proposed. The paper cites precedents in North America and Europe where buyouts have been successfully undertaken and outlines the trade unions' role in organizing community support, in undertaking feasibility studies for specific buyouts and in the training and education process of workers so that they can assume control of the enterprise. The role of churches and other social agencies in engaging support for worker buyouts and in providing business expertise to worker groups it also outlined.

The paper sees buyouts "as only one element among many in a broad programme of alternative economic policies." Other elements include an industrial strategy with full employment as its ultimate goal, nationalization of Canadian banks and certain natural resource holdings(energy), and other measures supportive of economic democracy for Canadian workers.

A bibliography on the subject is also included.

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