Welcome to the Public Works blog.

Public Works is UNISON Scotland's campaign for jobs, services, fair taxation and the Living Wage. This blog will provide news and analysis on the delivery of public services in Scotland. We welcome comments and if you would like to contribute to this blog, please contact Dave Watson d.watson@unison.co.uk. For other information on what's happening in UNISON Scotland please visit our website.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Sharing Profits and Power

This report from the IPPR think tank makes the case for an economy built on shared rewards and more democratic workplaces rather than management prerogative, shareholder power and trickle-down economics.

The financial crash of 2008 brought the underlying weaknesses of British capitalism out into the light. Our over-dependence on the finance sector has driven a focus on short-term maximization of profits and weakened incentives for investment and innovation in some parts of the British economy. While many British firms are highly productive and innovative, too many rely on a low-quality growth model based on weak regulation, low skills and low wages.

This paper draws on examples from the UK, US and Europe and shows how the financial and democratic participation of employees in the running of their company can improve its performance. Britain lacks many of the institutions that elsewhere have traditionally enabled employees to take greater responsibility for improving company performance and to share in the rewards.

The recommendations fall under three broad headings:

•Sharing profits and financial rewards, including profit-sharing and employee ownership
•Creating democratic workplaces, including establishing a ‘responsibility to participate’ for employees and opening up the books of Britain’s leading public companies
•Employees and corporate governance, including a focus on day-to-day involvement as more effective and engaging than token and irregular employee representation on the board.

Well worth a read.

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