ENLISTING WORKERS TO RESTRUCTURE BUSINESS

Preserving Jobs and Businesses in Challenging Times

Workers jobs are threatened as never before due to the worldwide economic downturn brought on by the COVAD 19 pandemic. Over the last sixty years, the booms and busts of capitalism have driven workers to demonstrate solidarity and stage initiatives to acquire the threatened company they work in to keep it operating. These have been termed worker buyouts or employee buyouts depending on the culture. From a Christian viewpoint, this has its roots in the encyclical Rerum Novarum, and its emphasis on justice, workers rights, the dignity of work and the principle of subsidiarity – decisions are to be made by those who have to carry them out. The famous worker cooperative Mondragon Co-operative Corporation in Catholic Spain was initiated by the Catholic priest Father Arizmendiarreta and has become a pilgrimage thousands take to understand the Christian business model of sharing in ownership, decision making and profits.

This phenomenon of the EBO – … Read more

Robert-McMaster

REPORT ON THE PERFORMANCE CULTURE – C-MAC INDUSTRIES COOPERATIVE

Cultural & Performance Change

To identify training and the support required for staff to move into employee ownership through the introduction of the “Employee Share Ownership Plan” (ESOP), C-Mac needed to understand the current situation. Consultants were engaged to undertake a survey and make recommendations. The report was titled:

Employee Ownership, Performance Management and High Performance: A Report on the Performance Culture at C-Mac Industries and the firms’ readiness for Transition to Employee Ownership.

Undertaken by Dr Anthony Jensen (Founding member of the Cooperative Development Network)

Below is the Introduction from the report:

Introduction

The purpose of this report is to support the vision of the owners of C-Mac to transition ownership of the firm to its employees over four years. With its move to make shares in the business available to its employees, C-Mac’s owners and its leadership team have shown that they are forward-thinking and prepared to embrace change.

Importantly, whilst C-Mac has received national recognition for its … Read more

COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING

What is Community Wealth Building?

My interpretation of the big picture:

• Re-making our local economy, creating a strong, resilient community with trust-based relationships, local connections, individual community champions, reserves of human capital and volunteer effort.

• Working with “anchor institutions” with the aim of maximising local economic, environmental and social benefits from their spending on goods, works and services.

• “Clawing back” wealth with local import replacement and recycling of local income thereby stemming the leakage of revenue from the Hawkesbury.

Why care about Building Community Wealth?

• This is about the dignity and sense of worth of our local community; of their relevance; of their well-being and their productive and useful place in the economy.

• Creating a fairer and more sustainable economy that retains and builds wealth that adds social value from within.

• This is a practical agenda to address real, local economic stresses.

• This is a “bottom-up” approach

Why now?

• Our regions have Read more

Robert-McMaster

CO-OPERATIVE ACQUISITION STRATEGY

Co-operative Acquisition Strategy

The number of “baby boomer” business owners wanting to retire and realise their assets by disposing of their businesses and selling properties is increasing. This could potentially put large numbers of people out of work.

Advice on how to transfer ownership to staff in the way of a workers co-operative through experience is not readily available or easily found in Australia.  Also, existing employee cooperatives can become successful through mergers and acquisitions 

Having recently transferred our 50-year-old family manufacturing business www.cmac.com.au to a workers’ co-operative so I could exit the business and retire, I discovered that co-operatives can potentially be the most socially responsible solution.

This was after a journey of nine (9) years exploring and trying different succession options.

All the below succession options were implemented and tried at C-Mac and the co-operative solution was the only one that got over the line in this economic environment where manufacturing has been struggling and re-inventing itself in

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FAMILY BUSINESS SUCCESSION

What do you do if you cannot find a successor or a buyer for your family business? Sell to your skilled and experienced workforce! “It’s an answer you may have been looking for.”

57% of family businesses have acknowledged that they would have no choice but to cease trading within one year of a severe illness or death of a current owner.

Only 42% have planned for the family business succession.

Family Business Succession Options

Model 1. “Recycling dad” but what if no one is willing or able to step into dad’s shoes?

Model 2. Next Generation ownership and management

Model 3. Have active next-generation owners with a non-family management team

Model 4. Trade Sale or find a private equity investor

Model 5. Management Buyout – Then the question arises; Can the business then sustain another MBO when the managers/owners are ready to retire?

Model 6. Employee Ownership

                6a. Create some liquidy with a minority employee ownership stake. This unlocks … Read more