AS a painting contractor I watched a regional one hundred year old paint
manufacturer become employee owned. It soon went from a family friendly company
to one where the directors of the Paint company made all decisions based on
maximizing profit for the employees. Retail stores were kept open on sunday and
soon all the store managers were required to work Sat. and Sunday. None were
happy with this arrangement. Soon the long-time employees that worked at the
retail stores quit as they became fed up with working every weekend. It may
have appeared employee owned but the employees had little say. As they say
"the devil is in the details".
Employee ownership has been a dream for many, but whether or not this example
can be a model to follow depends on the structure of the board of directors. Do
the employees have places on the board? Or does the board consist of the
largest stockholders (I suspect this)? If participation on the board is not
broad based, then this firm is little more than a gimmick.
Recruiting people here illegally with profit sharing? Why not do the same with
American citizens. Working in a nursery is not that labor intensive. This
country was built on the back of the American worker. Top imply a shortage is
nothing short of encoraging people to break laws. The "path to
citizenship" is not a separate issue if the company is hiring illegal
aliens. It's a felony for each person hired. Promising to share profits
does not make it right. I worked for a company in the 70's that
had profit sharing. After 2 years they folded up, and we lost our time
investment. I hope the laws have changed since then.