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Encouraging times for employee ownership in Europe
The French annual survey about employee savings was just published: Employee savings rebounded in 2009. The new British annual survey 2009 came at the same time: Share schemes popularity booms in the UK. There's been a big increase in share ownership through employee savings schemes. The EFES' own Annual Economic Survey 2009 confirms for all European countries. On the other hand, social partners are preparing a new opinion about employee financial participation in the framework of the European Economic and Social Committee. Read more

European conferences in Rome and in Brussels
Two major European conferences will be held in Rome on September 16-17 and in Brussels on November 26, 2010. The conference in Rome is about "Exercising employee shareholders' rights in European companies". The conference in Brussels will be part of the programme of the Belgian Presidency of the European Union – "Ten years of public policies for employee ownership in Europe – past, present, future". Read more

Press review
Much new information about employee ownership in May 2010, with 1.772 articles in this press review  (on which 768 involving stock options and 441 about workers' cooperatives). We made a selection of  47 remarkable articles in 12 countries: France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Morocco, Pakistan,  Poland, Spain, UK, USA, South Africa.
France: Annual survey of employee savings in 2009: Employee savings rebounded (+19%), in  230.000 companies (+9%) and for 75% of all employees. New employee share plans for GDF Suez and for Nexans. Some typical cases in SME's: From a one-man business in 1999 to a workers' coop for Gérard Louvel in 2010. Bourgeois was insolvent in the eighties – it was relaunched as a workers coop and it is now 70% employee-owned.
Germany: Some cases in SME's: After insolvency, a new start for Escoart as an employee-owned company. Grünbeck originates from a one-man business in 1949 – it has now gained a leading position in the water treatment business and it is employee-owned.
Ireland: There is a “real possibility” that Eircom could collapse within six months, a representative of the Communications Workers Union has claimed. The Employee Share Ownership Plan (Esop), whose beneficiaries include members of the union, owns 35 per cent of the company.
Korea: Livart was spun off from Koryo Industrial Development, becoming an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) company in June 1999.
Morocco: New legislation for workers coops.
Pakistan: Around 400 employees of Pakistan National Shipping Corporation will benefit from the Benazir Employees Stock Options Scheme (BESOS), which envisages giving away 12 per cent government shareholding to the employees.
Poland: Centrum Hotel will be privatized, 15% being reserved for employees. The blockage period comes to en end for employee shares of the Polish Oil and Gas Company PGNiG.
Spain: Employment is increasing in workers' coops (+10% in Andalucia).
UK: Employees at Preston Bus have been included in a shortlist of potential buyers for the firm. The new coalition's programme for government announces new opportunities for employee ownership. Annual survey 2009: There's been a big increase in share ownership through employee savings schemes in the UK. However, the coalition government has proposed increasing the rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) to bring it more in line with income-tax rates. New opportunities for employee ownership or new taxes? - That's the question.
USA: Congressmen Boustany and  Pomeroy announce the introduction of the ESOP Promotion and Improvement Act of 2010. This bipartisan bill is an important step to broaden employee ownership in the U.S. Some typical cases in SME's. South Mountain Company was restructured in 1987, from a sole proprietorship to an employee owned corporation, through an ESOP. Environmental firm Cadmus is now 100% employee owned.

The full press review is available on:

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   With best regards



Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel/fax: +32 (0)2 242 64 30
Web site:
EFES' objective is to act as the umbrella organization of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote employee ownership and participation in Europe.

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