This is very pretty

In government, Labour would give
more people a stake – and a say
– in our economy by doubling the
size of the co-operative sector and
introducing a “right to own,” making
employees the buyer of first refusal
when the company they work for is
up for sale

And they’re going to get the necessary capital from where?

18 comments on “This is very pretty

  1. Are you sure this is the Labour manifesto you’re reading, and not the Conservative proposals? At times it’s a bit hard to tell the difference.

  2. What if there are two or more worker’s groups who all want to buy? And how many workers/employees counts?

    And won’t serious prospective buyers simply hire some employees to front for them?

  3. What Tel said plus
    Incentive for unions to drive company into ground through wildcat strikes and then buy it for a song. Anyone as old as Jezza can remember Meriden co-op.

  4. All of ZaNu’S manifesto ramblings are the old, rancid, chilled gruel seepings of tired socialist cockrot.

    They have murdered millions and blighted a century but now lapse into well-deserved dementia rambling like an old weed-whacked wino druggie down to his last bottle of White Lightning and his last hit of LSD.

  5. > Incentive for unions to drive company into ground through wildcat strikes and then buy it for a song.

    The railway unions have a variant of this: run the service into the ground until the state is forced to take over. Luckily it hasn’t worked yet.

    The NHS are pre-emptively running the service into the ground, lest any private operators show an interest.

  6. The half amusing thing about this proposal is that – if it’s feasible – a management buyout of some form may very likely be one of the possibilities that the owner/seller will try and explore. If it makes commercial sense (for management/employees buying), and if capital / loans etc can be raised. Often, if there are win-win circumstances, it may easily be a better deal for management than a third party buyer might achieve.

    Ie, if employees are going to be required to match a third party buyer, then in practical terms you don’t really need a law for something like this.

    Begs the question as to whether any of these idiots have ever worked in the real world (outside of the public sector)?

  7. “making employees the buyer of first refusal when the company they work for is up for sale”

    Which employees? I mean, what if they’ve organized into a couple a three different groups who all want to buy it for themselves? Who gets priority.

    And what if there are outside investors involved? How many employees or what percentage of the money must come from these employees to trigger this privilege?

    Because you really don’t want to do what the US has done for ‘woman/minority-owned’ businesses – which allows a single woman/minority to take a small equity stake in multiple businesses which then allows those businesses to claim priority on government contracts now.

  8. Also – employees *can already do this*. All this does is remove the need to make a better offer and only match the highest 3rd party bid.

  9. Next manifesto to have a clause that reads: “Labour will create a law to fully reimburse employee buy-outs of companies after they fail due to incompetent management and restrictive/self-indulgent pro-union policies.”

  10. The way you’ve done the line breaks I was left wondering whether it was Larkin or Brecht.

  11. Is there anything in principle wrong with giving employees first refusal? Especially, as you rightly point out, they will almost never have the capital.

  12. Presumably it would be only to transfer to an equal co-operative of all employees (John Lewis-style), and not a conventional MBO, in which only managers get shares.

    You’d probably structure the legislation such that any merger or acquisition would trigger a standstill period (there are plenty such for competition law reasons, so you parallel this so it wouldn’t even create a delay in most cases) and if the employees matched the price during the standstill then the acquisition/merger would be mooted by the employee acquisition.

    There are some regulated employers where an equal co-op would be interesting – for instance law firms must have lawyers with an ownership stake and those lawyers must have unlimited liability for legal negligence (not for commercial debts). If you created a co-op where all the lawyers had unlimited liability rather than just a few very-well-paid senior ones, then junior lawyers would be out the door in seconds. And I can’t see non-legal staff being much inclined to take on unlimited liability for legal negligence.

  13. “And they’re going to get the necessary capital from where?”

    A National Investment Bank?

  14. “Is there anything in principle wrong with giving employees first refusal?”

    Not if you are a communist.

    So you can’t sell YOUR company until you have a signed statement from EVERY employee that they are not going to buy it.

    Why not retired employees?

    Why not vendors who have been on premise?

    What about LGBT-M-O-U-S-Es?

    Labour Party Members?

  15. “…old weed-whacked wino druggie down to his last bottle of White Lightning and his last hit of LSD.”

    Blimey! If he can do all that he deserves to be elected.

    Mr Ecks, sorry to be pendant but did you mean to type “his last hit of LSD”?

  16. Management buy outs do happen. They are not exactly common, the staff being not rich enough, not business savvy enough or not daft enough….
    Saying that I often hear of business owners who seriously overvalue their business when wanting to sell.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.