British retailer John Lewis has been employee-owned since 1929.
Photo: John Lewis
This is the seventh largest Spanish company in terms of asset turnover, providing employment for 83,869 people in 256 companies.
It operates in four areas: finance, industry, retail and knowledge. Co-operatives are owned by their worker-members and power is based on the principle of one person, one vote.
A portion of each member enterprise’s net revenue goes to a fund for research and development, which finances new product development. R&D employs 800 people with a budget of more than $75 million. In 2010, 21.4 per cent of sales comprised new products and services that did not exist five years earlier.
The British company is hailed as one of the best models of worker-owned businesses. Employee-owned since 1929, it has sales of £8.7 billion ($12.7 billion), 81,000 employees, and profits of £354 million.
Over the last 50 years, the average bonus has been 16 per cent of the annual wage (compared with 0 per cent to 3 per cent in British industries in general in the last three years).
The largest employee-owned supermarket chain in the United States, Publix has been one of Fortune magazine’s 100 top companies to work for, over 15 consecutive years.
It had retail sales of $27 billion in 2011 and employs more than 152,500. It is the fastest-growing employee-owned supermarket chain in the US and excels in community involvement and volunteering.
Source: Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand