Sinn Féin unveils radical ‘Right to Own’ policy - Senator Paul Gavan
This would be allowed during business succession contingent, upon the agreement that it is then run as worker co-operative enterprise.
Such a policy has been hugely successful in countries such as France, Scotland and Italy where legislation has been introduced to support business owners who wish to retire but do not want to see the business close or go to an outside investor.
Speaking earlier at the publication of the policy document, Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan said:
“In order for Irish society to have a fair, functioning economy which works for workers and our communities, ownership must be shared.
“That is why Sinn Féin is committed to developing an economy in which workers have a greater share of business ownership through Worker Co-operative enterprises.
“By giving workers control, you give control to their communities and their local economies to stimulate community and regional wealth building. Workers Co-ops put workers well-being and community sustainability at the forefront.
“Across Europe, Worker Co-operatives have been found to be more productive, more resilient and provide greater benefits to their workers and greater society when compared to traditional businesses.
“In order to develop this SME sector we are launching our ‘Right to Own’ policy which will give workers the legal right to collectively buy the company in which they work.
"Where a business is facing closure or a change in ownership, the workers of that enterprise will have the first right of refusal.
“This is a policy which exists in many European countries and is used in an effective way to save businesses from unnecessary closure.
“Sinn Féin wants to see a sustainable economy, not driven by profit, but maintained by secure jobs and broad benefits shared by greater society.
“The Worker Co-operative model provides society with an opportunity to shift economic ownership away from the hands of the few, and in to the hands of the many.”
To view the 'Worker Co-operatives – Ownership Matters’ policy document in full, please click on the link at the top of this article.