Democracy in the workplace?
While in the USA, a country that celebrates democracy, I love to ask:
If we replace the stockholders, those not working in the factory, with workers that have the power to review profits and determine the course their workplace will follow, would that help? Would a worker vote to move the factory to a foriegn nation, relinquishing his own income? Wouldn't that also give each workplace total access to their profits rather than a distant CEO? Once a week/month, the workers of a complex get together and review what worked, what didn't, and make a decision from that.
It's an old idea. A leading way of doing it is called ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). The government encouraged it through tax breaks, aka loopholes, decades back. They worked reasonably well in regions dominated by labor unions because they sometimes rescued companies from the crippling to which overly powerful organized labor that often leads, but in general they haven't turned out well in other areas nor with small business.
Worker cooperatives operate in a way in which you describe. There is no single definition of them, but essentially their goal is to have ownership and decision-making vested in the workers rather than in Capital (as in Capitalism) or the State (as in Fascism). The democratic nature of these cooperatives can range from voting for management, voting for wage rates, democratic decision-making, having all shares owned by the workers, etc.
These cooperatives tend to have priorities other than making money, such as advancing a variety of social goods--e.g. being a good neighbor and treating workers well.
They are much more common in Europe than in the US. Spain is well known for them. One of the largest in Spain is the MONDRAGON Corporation, which employs around 83,000 employees.
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Is there any particular reason for it,,,,,,
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