Legislation that Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled 13 years ago to help boost workplace democracy and curb worsening inequality in the United States was included in the $1.7 trillion omnibus package approved by the Senate on Thursday.

Modeled on the success of employee ownership centers in Ohio and Vermont, Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Worker Ownership, Readiness, and Knowledge (WORK) Act authorizes a $50 million grant program to help create and expand employee ownership centers around the country.

As Sanders’ office explained:

“These centers provide workers with the tools they need to own their own businesses through employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) or eligible worker-owned cooperatives. This act will authorize the [U.S.] Department of Labor to provide education and outreach, training, and technical support for local and state programs dedicated to the promotion of employee ownership and participation. Sanders helped establish the Vermont Employee Ownership Center in 2001 and first introduced the WORK Act in 2009. Sanders also secured $158,000 for the Vermont Employee Ownership Center as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 earlier this year.”

Click for the full article at Common Dreams

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