[Editor's note: GEO featured an article on the Maryland Brush Co. in 2011. You can read it here.]
“The closing is not a unique story. The 29 previous years is the unique story,” says Deborah Groban Olson, a Michigan attorney and former chair of the National Center for Employee Ownership, who advised the company and has been instrumental in helping establish other worker-owned enterprises and cooperatives.
“The company stood out among the nation’s 7,000 other Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), covering 28 million workers, for its democracy,” said Olson.
“USW employees had one vote per person on shareholder issues and regularly participated in making company decisions.” And, says Olson, worker-owners “showed the desire to seek out and experiment with new products when its old products lost market share.”