of the Coalition for Worker Ownership and Power (COWOP)
Sen. Julian Cyr
Via an amendment to the state budget this Spring, we are proposing a significant funding increase for small nonprofit providers of coop development technical assistance. This funding and expansion of services would support local entrepreneurs, especially people of color, to establish new worker coops, as well as conversions of existing traditional businesses to democratically run worker-owned ones. (Filed by COWOP as an amendment to the ARPA Covid relief supplemental budget.)
Grants & Loan Guarantees
Sen. Julian Cyr
We are working to develop a significant new capital pool to fund the growth of the worker coop ecosystem in MA. Details of this capital pool, including its exact scale, criteria for funding and who will administer it, are being determined in ongoing discussions with stakeholders. (Filed by COWOP as an amendment to the ARPA Covid relief supplemental budget.)
An Act Enabling the Massachusetts Center for Employee Ownership. Among other things, this bill formalizes the role of the Massachusetts Center for Employee Ownership (MassCEO) , firmly establishes employee ownership as a community economic development priority for the Commonwealth , and creates a statewide Advisory Board On Employee Ownership. The Board, with seats for 19 stakeholders and relevant state agencies (including 13 combined for ESOPs, worker cooperatives and advocacy groups), would advise the Governor and MassCEO’s director on matters related to employee ownership policy. The occupant of the seat designated for the Center for Economic Democracy will be chosen democratically by COWOP members to represent coalition interests.
Rep. Paul Mark
Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven
An Act Expanding Worker Ownership Training Opportunities. This bill would allow existing workforce training programs for employed and unemployed workers to include training in business ownership, development and management skills, meeting an unmet need expressed consistently by new worker-owners. (Filed by COWOP in 2021)
Employees on Corporate Boards
Sen. Jason Lewis
Sen. James B. Eldridge
An Act ensuring fair worker representation on corporate boards of directors This bill requires large companies with over $100 million in annual revenue to ensure that a minimum of 40% of its board of directors be elected by the employees of the corporation, with the same duties and responsibilities as directors elected by the stockholders.
Right of First Refusal
Rep. Paul Mark
An Act Relative to Job Creation Through Employee Ownership. This bill allows for workers of existing traditional businesses to have the Right of First Refusal to bid for the purchase in the event the business owners move to sell the business or transfer ownership.
Sen. Adam Gomez
An Act to Establish a Study Commission on an Inclusive Ownership Fund and Seats on Corporate Boards. This bill sets up a commission to study the feasibility of an Inclusive Ownership Fund in MA funded through stock transfers from large corporations, and mandating workers to have seats on the boards of large corporations based in MA or those winning large public contracts.
By building a robust worker-owned cooperative infrastructure, the Cooperative MA policy platform will support a just recovery from the COVID-19 economic crisis, while making strides towards an equitable economy for workers and communities across Massachusetts. Download our policy platform 1-pager here.
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