The 50 Years Ago column from the October 1980 issue of the Socialist Standard
Great Britain is losing her hold over the world market. That means producing firms are finding it harder to compete successfully against producers abroad. Every scheme is being tried to regain lost trade and to increase the quantity of goods sold . . . The most effective way to capture markets is to sell cheaper than your rivals.
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Copartnership or shareholding by employees is the stale device which is being revived. One of the great examples of this scheme is the South Metropolitan Gas Works, who smashed their employees’ strike on the profit-sharing issue, and afterwards raised hours from 8 to 12 per day. That firm boasts that since "allowing employees to own shares, efficiency has increased, the price of gas has fallen, and — better still — profits have risen considerably. In this firm the profit-sharing scheme was made compulsory, so that all workers would take "a greater interest in their work”. It worked out in practice that fewer men were required to do the same amount of work.
From an article by Adolf Kohn, Socialist Standard, October 1930