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A French law for worker buy-outs?

4 July 2012 [ English ] français ]

Benoît Hamon, the French minister for social and solidarity economy, declared that he intended to design a law on the right of preference of workers who want to take over their enterprise, during a visit at Groupe Chèque Déjeuner. According to Hamon, worker cooperatives represent a way to “fight against 20,000 redundancies per year linked to enterprise closures which close their business in the absence of candidates to take them over”.

There are many companies which are in good health but which do not find someone to take over the company because they are not profitable enough. The services of the ministry quoted the very small enterprises, with 15 to 20 employees, which have a profit of 3 to 4% of their turnover. “The cooperative status could be an additional instrument to encourage those take-overs” declared Mr Hamon. He also expressed himself in favor of “another economy” and he regretted that the capitalistic model was still being used as a reference.

Between 2008 and 2011, more than 150 businesses, in good health or in difficulty, have been taken over by their workers in France. A law which gives a preference to the workers would allow to save more enterprises, and consequently, to keep more jobs within the community.

You can access to the statements of the minister Benoît Hamon at the national Council of Cooperatives in France: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hQV7EC2tM4&list=UU3oj_3AlylncY9BkSvVvxuQ&index=1&feature=plcp