U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand paid a visit to Gear Motions’ Niagara Gear facility in Buffalo, NY on Monday, January 8. After touring the plant, the Senator held a round-table discussion with Gear Motions’ employees to hear about their experiences working at a company with an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
ESOPs help workers share in the success of their company. According to the National Center on Employee Ownership, workers in ESOPs have higher wages and benefits, are four times less likely to be laid off, and have 2.5 times more in retirement savings than workers not in an ESOP. The plans also reduce the risk of businesses suddenly leaving their communities.
Gear Motions took the first step in becoming an Employee Owned Company in 2005 by creating an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. In 2010, Gear Motions completed the sale of the company to the employees, becoming 100% employee owned.
Gillibrand currently supports two bipartisan bills that would encourage employee ownership around the country. She will use what she learned at the Niagara Gear facility to support and advance her legislation in the Senate.