[Excerpt] When plants close down, workers are usually desperate for a remedy. In these tragic circumstances, the prospect of a worker buy-out to keep the plant operating has overwhelming appeal. The role unions play can determine whether or not the rescue attempt is successful.

If unions stand on the sidelines debating the merits of a buyout attempt while financiers and corporate managers put together a deal, they will pay dearly for their passivity. If they take the lead in organizing the rescue attempt, however, they can create viable enterprises that will give their members job security.