Putting Democracy to Work: A Practical Guide to Starting and Managing Worker-Owned Businesses

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780938493198
  • Publisher: Hulogosi Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1992
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 324

Table of Contents

List of Charts
Preface to the Revised Edition
About the Authors
Introduction 1
What is Worker-Ownership? 1
Why Worker-Ownership? 3
Is Worker-Ownership Successful? 5
Putting Democracy to Work 8
1 History of the Idea 11
The Rochdale Pioneers 13
Worker-Owned Cooperatives in the United States 15
Worker-Owned Cooperatives in Europe 18
2 The Fundamentals of Workplace Democracy 21
Consumer Cooperatives 22
Producer or Marketing Cooperatives 22
Worker-Owned Cooperatives 22
Other Forms of Employee-Ownership 23
Foundations of Self-Management 26
Membership Rights and Ownership Rights 27
Employment Security in a Worker-Owned Cooperative 32
How Worker-Owner-Members are Selected and Paid 35
Characteristics of Successful Employee-Owned Businesses 37
Ingredients of a Successful Labor-Managed Enterprise 38
Function of Cooperative Labor-Entrepreneurship 40
Review Checklists 41
3 Making a Preliminary Assessment 45
Important Questions in Starting a Worker-Owned Business 47
Two Types of Preliminary Feasibility Assessment 50
Pre-Startup Activities 59
Lobbying to Gain Support for Worker Buyouts 63
4 Preparing a Business Plan 65
How Is It Prepared? 66
Components of the Business Plan 70
Verifying the Business Plan 78
Presentation of the Business Plan to Members 80
A Final Note 81
5 Putting Capital to Work 89
Sources of Capital to Finance Workers' Cooperatives 91
Internal Financing 92
External Sources of Capital 97
6 Using Consultants 107
Free or Low Cost Sources of Technical Assistance 108
Fee for Service Resources 111
Information from Government Agencies 117
7 The Legal Structure 123
Choosing a Legal Structure 123
New Developments in Cooperative Law 126
Incorporating a Labor-Managed Cooperative 129
Creating a Democratic ESOP 135
Members' and Directors' Checklist 138
8 Managing Worker Democracy 141
Principles of Democratic Decision-Making 141
Levels of Decision-Making Power 146
Areas of Potential Conflict 151
9 Democracy on the Workfloor 155
Education for Ownership and Participation 166
Conclusion: Update on the Growth of Worker-Ownership Around the World 171
Afterword 183
App. A) Preparing in Advance of a Closure 193
App. B) A Preliminary Feasibility Assessment for a Worker Buyout: Screening out Inappropriate Cases 197
App. C) The Formal Feasibility Study for a Worker Buyout: Who to Do It, How to Pay for It, and What Belongs to It 209
App. D) Questions and Answers Comparing Worker Cooperatives and Conventional Corporations 225
App. E) Sources of Information and Assistance 233
App. F) ICA Model By-Laws for a Worker Cooperative 245
App. G) Educational Needs Assessment for Worker-Owned Cooperatives 265
App. H) A Sample Business Plan 273
Footnotes 305
Additional Reading 313
Index 321
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