>You seem to only blame the unions. The management and shareholders are the ones who are mostly responsible for the lack of profit sharing and employee share ownership schemes.
Whilst in general I agree...
I've worked in companies setting up ESOPs and been an employee-elected board member.
Probably the biggest initial hurdle is management, not wanting to commit to establishing a tax efficient profit-sharing scheme and/or ESOP. However, given these schemes have been around for decades, it surprised me that the unions never asked, it was always an (enlightened?) management that initiated matters.
As for the Shareholders, they only really get a say in the establishment of an ESOP, because setting one up in an established business requires adjustments to stock allocations. But given the success stories of ESOP's it is a little surprising that investors and enlightened shareholders don't ask management why they haven't implemented them.
In one company with entrenched unions, the unions only permitted!!! the ESOP to go ahead, if they had a union elected representative on both the company board and ESOP board.
Obviously, once the ESOP got off the ground, the union rep had big problems because the interests of employee-shareholders differed slightly but significantly, to that the union perceived as being the interests of their members.