Employee Ownership Helps Unions Save Jobs and Create New Ones

The law firm of Attorney Deborah Groban Olson specializes in employee ownership (especially for unionized   companies), cooperatives and business succession. One company, under continuing assistance 09-MBC-Industrial-brush_10027256686_lfrom Atty. Deborah Groban Olson, that used an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) successfully is MBC Ventures/Maryland Brush Company (MBC). MBC is a full-service manufacturer of industrial and paint brushes for a variety of industries worldwide, focusing on niche industries. After its parent company decided to divest MBC, local management and the United Steel Workers Union members decided to purchase the company through an ESOP. Since then, MBC has been able to establish and maintain its place as a manufacturing leader, a desirable workplace, and now, a company developing an innovative solar energy technology. Read the full case study on MBC’s continuing success.

Unions use worker ownership to protect jobs & organize new members. Both the United Steelworkers and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) have used ESOPs to save jobs, and are now working with community groups to develop unionized worker cooperatives. They have generated a Union Co-op Model that seeks to build new democratically governed enterprises that will provide communities with good paying union jobs. Deborah Groban Olson has been creating democratic and participative worker ownership at unionized companies (Homeland Grocery, Rosauers Grocery, Republic Container), saving and creating jobs 1981.

In the current austerity driven low wage and high unemployment economy, worker ownership offers many advantages:

  1. A way to anchor local businesses & jobs in a community
  2. A strong business succession tool
  3. Great tax benefits for sellers, companies and employees
  4. More success at surviving and thriving as good employers
  5. Stronger unions with more member participation

Deborah Olson's also provided worker ownership legal assistance to unions:

  • Created a 100% employee buyout at North Coast Brass for the IAM.
  • Advised Gas Workers Local 80, SEIU to protect its interests in the merger of MichCon into Detroit Edison.
  • Provided employee ownership advice for the following unions or their members organized into buyout committees: UAW, USWA, IAM, UPIU, Carpenters, IBEW, OPEIU, Teamsters, Boilermakers, ALPA, SEIU, AIW, UFCW, Visiting Nurses, Independent Union of National Forge Employees and others.