Brukman

Workers’ Factory Takeovers and the 'Programme for Self-Managed Work'

In the last decade many Argentine enterprises became bankrupt, inspiring thousands of workers to take them over and resume production by forming cooperatives. In 2004, the Programme for Self-Managed Work became the instrument by which the government ‘institutionalised’ the takeovers, de- politicising the radical aspects of workers’ actions in exchange for financial and technical assistance in pursuit of workers’ objectives of job preservation and self-managed work.

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Workers’ Self-management, Recovered Companies and the Sociology of Work

We analyse how far Argentina’s worker-recovered companies (WRCs) have sustained themselves and their principles of equity and workers’ self-management since becoming widespread following the country’s 2001–2 economic crisis. We find that the number of WRCs has increased in Argentina, and that they represent a viable production model. Further, they have generally maintained their central principles and even flourished. This occurred despite the global economic crisis, legal and financial pressures to adopt capitalist practices and management structures, the risk of market absorption and state attempts to coopt, demobilise and depoliticise the movement.
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