Fellow senators joined Bernie Sanders in May as co-sponsors on two bills to support worker ownership in the United States and potentially provide low-income Americans with a clearer path to financial control and security.
One, the Worker-Ownership, Readiness, and Knowledge Act, or WORK Act, would establish a $45 million grant program to support states in establishing or expanding employee ownership centers.
Another, the U.S. Employee Ownership Bank Act, would create a so-named bank that would have authorization to provide $500 million in low-interest loans and other financial assistance to help workers purchase businesses through an employee stock ownership program (ESOP) or a worker-owned cooperative.
“By expanding employee ownership and participation, we can create stronger companies in Vermont and throughout this country, prevent job losses and improve working conditions for struggling employees,” said Sanders in a statement announcing the package of bills. “Simply put, when employees have an ownership stake in their company, they will not ship their own jobs to China to increase their profits, they will be more productive, and they will earn a better living.”