The Take

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The Take is a Canadian documentary film released in 2004 by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis. It tells the story of workers in Buenos Aires, Argentina who reclaim control of a closed Forja auto plant where they once worked and turn it into a worker cooperative.

Summary

The plant closed as a result of the economic policies of the Carlos Menem government under the watchful eye of the International Monetary Fund.

While in bankruptcy protection, the company appeared to be selling off property and inventory to pay creditors – a move which further reduced the chances of the facility returning to production. In an effort to establish their own control, the workers occupied the factory and began a long battle to win the right to operate it themselves, as a cooperative.

This collective movement has gained strength in Argentina, having started with a garment factory several years earlier. The factory workers waded through the courts and legislative system with help from the experience of these other groups who had fought the same battle, and ultimately secured their right to operate the plant. The film describes the ideological fights beyond co-operative ownership, showing how Menem regained strength as he ran for a subsequent term, despite the poor performance of his privatisation while in office. Ultimately, workers succeed.

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