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[Excerpt] In the past decade, the number of worker-owned firms or ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plans) has been growing geometrically. The national law granting tax incentives to ESOPs was passed in 1975, and since then several other pieces of legislation promoting employee ownership have passed at the federal level and in eight state legislatures. As a result of the technical assistance and industrial revenue bonds that some states now provide for ESOP development, and as a result of demonstrable tax, productivity, labor relations and even marketing advantages, business has taken note of the ESOP option. Several thousand ESOPs have started and scores of reports on employee ownership have appeared in the popular press and in business and trade publications.