Workers Co-op Vote-only Share Scheme
a stable and democratic social solution to the selfish runaway complex system known as free market capitalism

By Tom Atkinson

My vision seeks to enable at a fundamental level, more democracy be blast-injected into large corporate structures, by enabling workers to vote on important decisions in the company regarding them or the environment, regardless whether the companies constitution provides for any voting shares or not normally. This Co-op Shares idea is a change to the New Zealand Companies Act 1993 regarding public listed companies share voting rights, that mandates a special “voting only” non-tradable non-dividend paying set of shares be issued, one per employee and director, which expire 4 years after cessation of employment, notified annually. To avoid disruption to markets, at the time of assent, the voting weights are multiplied by zero, but over time as regular shares are traded grow in strength to become 1/nth fraction based on workforce size. When the equivalent of 100% of the companies shares by volume have been traded (as fast as 139 days for SKYCITY, but as slow as 226 years for MMH*[1]) the bill is in full effect. Employees of a company with 200 staff would be casting votes with the same strength as owning 0.25% of a company's dividend stock, due to the regular shares being diluted by 50% in the period. The shares can not be sold, but can be assigned to a proxy controller to effect a kind of union of sorts. The Co-op Shares have all the same voting rights as regular shares in the Companies Act. Section 36 Rights and powers attaching to shares: The Co-op Shares can vote on all the same resolutions as in section (1)(a) part 36 of the Companies Act, but do not receive dividends, nor any rights to equal shares in the distribution of surplus assets of the company (if liquidated). The public listed company can either give them to staff for $1 minimum or signal dissent to my idea and require up to one weeks wages maximum per Co-op Share, balanced with a 1% PA low interest loan scheme for workers from the central government mostly to incentivise uptake and achieve business owner buy-in; but also to provide a boost for medium sized private companies attracted by the capital injection incentive: these shares are non-refundable and would need to be re-purchased for new staff.

The result:
Workers together mite one day hire and fire the managers,
vote on who is their board of directors, and protect the environment. Present day “Fiduciary Duty” often requires destruction of the planet in the quest of profits.

Inspired by “Let's Talk About Socialism
Prof. R. Wolff”
 Professor R. Wolff https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PheA4BPXQzg 


[1] Based on daily trading volume on NZX for Sunday 12 May 2019