The latest news about a Vermont industry facing cutbacks points again — as with the destruction of Precision Valley by Wall Street in the ’80s and the purchases of Ben and Jerry’s and Woodchuck Cider by Unilever and the C&C Group to the need to “re-deploy some efforts at the state level,” as Bruce Lisman writes in “Energizer’s wake-up call,” (Nov. 25). One almost completely overlooked effort is employee ownership.
Had employees had the opportunity to compete in bidding against Textron and the Goldman Industrial Group, against Unilever and against C&C Group, the past and likely future downsizings, layoffs and closings would not and will not happen. Employees en masse are too involved with their towns and communities to behave toward their livelihood like Wall Street banksters.
As the proper role of government is to protect and empower its citizens, it behooves the state of Vermont to implement a program whereby employees are given an equal footing to compete with conglomerates for control of the companies they have made successful. The House Ways and Means Committee was given a proposal to this end; no action has been taken yet on it.
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