Skip to main content

Workers without bosses at a turning point

By Marie Trigona - Znet, November 09, 2006.

In recent years leading up to Argentina's 2001 financial crisis, thousands of factories have closed and millions of jobs have been lost. Many workers have decided to defeat the destiny of unemployment, taking over their workplace and recuperating their dignity as workers. More than 180 recuperated enterprises are up and running, employing more than 10,000 Argentine workers at cooperative-run businesses, which were closed down by bosses and reopened by employees. In almost all cases workers took over businesses that had been abandoned or closed by their owners in the midst of a financial crisis.

Many worker controlled factories today face hostility and frequently violence from the state. Workers have had to organize themselves against violent eviction attempts and other acts of state violence. This impacts the workers and the enterprises as it means that employees have to leave the work place, invest energy in a legal battle and fight for laws in favor of worker recuperated businesses.

To counter oppose an uncertain legal future, many recuperated enterprises have mobilized to press for the government to resolve their cooperative's legal status. On October 27, workers from Renacer domestic appliance cooperative, CUC worker run shoe company, BAUEN hotel, City Hotel, Bahía Blanca ex-Paloni slaughter house, La Foresta meat packing cooperative and Zanon-FaSinPat worker run ceramics plant rallied outside a federal court to push for a national expropriation law.

Read the entire article here.