David Michael O’Connell

Kurzexposé zum Promotionsvorhaben von David Michael O’Connell


The prerequisites for successful employee buyouts and their implications for organised labour within the globalised economy

My research paper will investigate the prerequisites for successful trade-union lead buyouts of firms and their conversion into, Labour Managed Firms (LMFs) or Worker Self Directed Enterprises (WSDEs), and other worker owned and managed cooperatives. Usually seen as an ad-hoc means of job preservation in particular cases of insolvency; this paper will examine the effects of concerted conversion strategies on the general strength of trade unions.

Deploying a Power Resources Approach (PRA) and Gramscian theoretical framework, I propose that trade unions which do in fact develop pre-existing policy frameworks and technical expertise have a higher chance of engaging in successful buyout practices, and that such practices can be seen to increase their power resources generally.

Using a Mixed Methodological Approach (MM) I will focus on three significant trade unions which have a substantial history in engaging in buyouts: The Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT) in Brazil, the United Steelworkers (USW) in the United States of America and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in the United Kingdom. Using Qualitative, Quantitative and Discourse Analysis methods to measure each of the four power resources; The research will attempt to answer the following questions; What can trade unions do to maximise the chances of a successful buyout? And; What are the effects of buyout strategies on wider trade union work?.