21st Century: Workers' Control in the Present

We want to build a workshop with our communion and solidarity!

On the 31 January 2013 our boss, the Somuncu family, put us on the doorstep. We felt helpless. We were 94 labourers, our 4 months’ salary, seniority and termination was confiscated with fraud by Somuncu family. Some of us just went home, some found new jobs. Our boss had fled with the machines, yarns and the sweaters we had made. They left us with nothing except scrap. We were without a trade-union. Earlier attempts to be union members were suppressed by the pressure of the boss.
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Victory for the Fralib Workers. A New Chapter Begins.

After a three and a half year battle, an agreement has been signed between Unilever and the Fralib employees. This agreement provides for a 20 million euro financial contribution from Unilever for damages caused by the decision to close the tea and herbal infusion factory. The tea and herbal infusions cooperative can be set up and quality production on the site can restart.
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Vio.Me: workers' control in the Greek crisis

Just one among thousands of Greek companies that succumbed to the deep recession brought about by the austerity measures imposed by a series of governments, the construction materials manufacturer Vio.Me was abandoned by its owners in May 2011. Forty of its workers, organized horizontally in a militant primary workers’ union, occupied the factory, located in the outskirts of Thessaloniki, to prevent the employers from taking away the machinery before paying the workers the nearly €1.5 million owed in salaries and compensations. read more »

Argentina’s recuperated workplaces

During the 1990s and in the immediate aftermath of Argentina’s economic meltdown in 2001-2002, the country witnessed an unprecedented formation of heterogeneous social movements such as newly founded trade unions, the unemployed workers’ movement, neighbourhood assemblies, garbage collectors, swap shops and recuperated workplaces. While most initiatives quickly disappeared during Argentina’s economic recovery in the years following the crisis, occupied and recuperated enterprises successfully emerged as the strongest and most organised form of popular protest. The workers’ longstanding struggle for the recuperation of the means of production, in part, radically altered existing forms of representation and participation within the workplace. read more »

The workers' economy: a global challenge

Workers from the occupied Officine Zero reflect on the conference in Marsailles and on their own experience.

Hotel Bauen and workplace recuperation in Argentina

One of the most emblematic of the over 350 recuperated workplaces1 in Argentina is the Hotel Bauen. Located down the street from the Congressional building and close to the Pink House, Hotel Bauen is seen by all and visited by tens of thousands a year. read more »

Workers of self-managed factories meet in Marseille for the “Workers' Economy” international meeting

Fralib is a herb processing and packaging factory located 20-odd kilometres away from the southern French port city of Marseille. The previous owner of the factory, chemical and agri-food giant Unilever, decided 3 years ago to move production of Lipton tea abroad to save on labour costs. The 80 workers, through protest and boycott campaigns, have demanded that the factory stays open and, after this proved impossible, they decided to take production into their own hands. read more »

Occupy Sandy builds worker power in Far Rockaway

Begun in the spring of 2013, WORCs (Worker-Owned Rockaway Cooperatives) is an initiative to rebuild after Sandy in a way that addresses both the storm’s impact and the long-term systemic issues in the neighborhood. The program’s goal is to equip Far Rockaway residents with the skills and financing to launch small, worker-owned businesses that fill a need in their community. read more »

International Gathering of “The Workers’ Economy”

Friday, January 31 and Saturday February 1, 2014
International Gathering of “The Workers’ Economy”
First Regional Gathering of Europe and the Mediterranean
Held in the worker-occupied Factory Fralib
Gemenos, Bocas del Ródano, France

Organizers: Organizing committee of the “International Gathering of the Workers’ Economy”; Programa Facultad Abierta, University of Buenos Aires (Argentina). With the collaboration of ASPAS (Association of Solidarity with South America of Provence).
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After factory shutdown, Italian workers ‘recycle’ jobs

A group of Italian factory workers who lost their jobs at an auto component maker due to the recession, have taken over their disused factory near Milan and are planning to set up a recycling business as they struggle for dignity.
“We were considered rejects in society and we recycled ourselves,” said Gigi Malabarba, an unemployed man who has joined the initiative. read more »

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