Date: 30th of November, 2021
Time: 10.00 – 13.00 (CET)
Topic: Economic democracy as social economy: Employee ownership and democratic governance
About the event:
There is a sound commitment to provide employees in Europe with the right to be involved in company decision-making from the beginning of the European integration. The process has led to the adoption of a number of European directives supplementing and enhancing employee involvement on national level too. Some of more important being recognition of workers’ rights to information and consultation as EU fundamental rights (TFEU), adoption of the European Works Council Directives, the European Company(SE) Directive – that introduced worker’s participation rights on European level -, the Framework Directive on information and consultation and other legal instruments.
But there is a growing public interest, expressed and articulated even more due to the effects of recent global economic and public health crisis, for an upgrade to the employer/employee relationship. The next step in this processis worker/employee ownership in the companies.
This event is going to focus therefore on the idea to adapt and improve two already existing and successful schemes of workers’ ownership and to introduce them to the EU level.
First one is Co-Operative Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) or European ESOP model, which is a democratic version of the US ESOP that brings into ownership around 14 million of employees in the USA (which is around 10%of the private workforce). Research shows that ESOP companies decrease economic inequality, lead to more sustainable business practices, are socially responsible, and on average outperform non-ESOP companies in terms of productivity, crisis resilience, employee retention. The European ESOP addresses the looming succession problem but also provides motivational schemes for employees.
The second model is the European Marcora, which is a derivation of the Italian (“Marcora” law) and Spanish (“Pago Unico law”) practice. European Marcora appropriate for businesses and workers’ collectives that are in risk of losing jobs due to insolvency or production cost optimization. The model provides financial liquidity to companies by allowing workers to receive the anticipated unemployment benefits in lump-sum and ensuring institutional expertise that helps restructuring the business model.
Together workers’ rights to information, consultation and participation rights also workers ownership/buyout models can offer a next step towards enhancing democratic governance and economic democracy in the EU. This transnational event is giving a floor to these ideas, carefully taking into consideration development and pan-EU potential.
10:00 – 10:15 Opening of the event
Pedro Blazquez, Project manager, Coceta (Spain)
Mirjana Ivanuša, Secretary general, ASES (Slovenia)
Luca Pastorelli, Executive president, Diesis Network(Belgium)
10:15 – 11:00 Economic democracy and social entrepreneurship for the EU
Democracy at work / financial participation – Romuald Jagodziński, Researcher, ETUI (Belgium)
Scaling economic democracy through the right model of employeeownership – Tej Gonza, Director, IED (Slovenia)
Q&A – Moderator: Melinda Kelemen
11:00 – 11:10 Worker’s information and consultations rights in Europe and Slovenia.
Mirsad Begić, President, Svobodni Sindikat Slovenije(Slovenia)
11:10 – 11:20 A way towards political implementation of employee shareownership plan in Slovenia
Luka Mesec, Coordinator, Levica (Slovenia)
11.20 – 11.30 Short break
11:30 – 12:30 Economic democracy models and EU
Supporting vulnerable workers in bankruptcy, Marcora law in Italy – Isabella Berardi, Promotion of WBOs Department, CFI (Italy )
Idea for European Marcora model – Gregor Berkopec, IED (Slovenia)
Practices of cooperatives and workers participation. The way to become a member of a cooperative.
Avelino Gonzalez, Worker member of the cooperative,NUMAX S. Coop, Galega (Spain)
Anna Fornasiero, Vice President and Human ResourcesManager, Idealservice (Italy)
12:30 – 13:00 Discussion and conclusions