Worker Ownership and the Current Crisis

There are so many crises these days (coronavirus, global warming) that this paper seems already out of date since we are referring to the crisis caused by the neoliberal post-socialist transition policies in East Europe and elsewhere in the post-socialist world. How has the autonomy of ex-Yugoslavian workers changed throughout the 1990s transition? We argue that the transformation of a socialist workplace into an absentee-owned workplace is characterized by the loss of autonomy for its employees. Researchers studying social preferences of workers have confirmed the intuition and concluded that the employees of democratic companies show higher degrees of pro-social behavior. If the transition to the neoliberal capital-ism is partly to be blamed for the current political situation in the Balkans, it seems sensible to think about the alternative ways of organizing a workplace. In this paper, we propose a 21st century employee ownership model which has been very successful in the USA. We explain how it can be implemented within the regional legislation and propose some political measures that would allow to spread employee ownership in the economy.

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