Recuperated Companies

Los Fralibos - A song by and for the workers of Fralib

"Thé de l'Eléphant was born in Provence, it must stay in Provence"

The workers of Fralib (the Elephant Tea) in Géménos spent 1336 days of struggle against Unilever, the giant multinational behind the Lipton brand. Their collective strength finally managed to make the multinational cave in, and thus SCOPTI coop was born. Their struggle is recounted here by the workers themselves, in French, to the rhythm of the Los Fralibos protest song. 

Occupy, Resist, Produce – Officine Zero

Officine Zero, former RSI (Rail Service Italia) was dedicated to the maintenance and repair of sleeping cars. When in December 2011 Italian train services decided to stop the night train service and invest in fast track trains, RSI closed. Some 20 workers out of the almost 60 employees strong work force did not accept the closing and took up the struggle. They found support among the activists from the nearby social center, “Strike.” In February 2012 they occupied their work place. Together they started a laboratory on reconversion, organizing public assemblies attended by hundreds of people. read more »

Occupy, Resist, Produce – VIOME

VIOME is a building materials factory in Thessaloniki, Greece, which was abandoned by its owners at the peak of the Greek crisis, in 2011. Subsequently it was occupied by its workers, and has been producing natural detergents under workers' control since 2013. Despite being an emblematic and inspiring struggle, today VIOME is under imminent threat of eviction. read more »

How Workers Laid Off from a Chicago Factory Took It Over Themselves

Four years ago, as the recession took hold and layoffs around the country were approaching 500,000 a month, a group of workers in Chicago saved a factory and inspired a nation. Fired by their boss, they occupied instead of leaving. Fired by a second boss, they occupied and formed a worker’s cooperative. Now they are worker-owners of a load of equipment and they’re setting up a factory in a new location. read more »

The International Gatherings of “The Workers' Economy”

The 3rd and 4th of October, 2014, in the Textiles Pigüé Worker Cooperative, a recovered business in the town of the same name in the interior of the province of Buenos Aires, the First South American Regional Meeting on “The Worker Economy” was held, with the participation of more than two hundred workers, cooperators, and university students from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Co read more »

Kazova workers claim historic victory in Turkey

"No, I didn’t receive any compensation, but I did get a factory,” was Aynur Aydemir’s response to one of her former colleagues from the Kazova textile factory, when she was asked if she had ever received any of the money their former bosses still owed them. “Whether it’s going to be successful or not, whether it’s old or new, I have a factory. We might lack the necessary capital to run this business, and we might fail in the future, but at least we got something.” read more »

The Working World: Financing Workplace Democracy

The Working World (TWW) is an alternative loan fund that supports worker run co-operatives and other democratic workplaces with micro-credit loans and technical support. They also refer to themselves as a “solidarity financial organization” which promotes community wealth maximization and worker ownership through loans to worker-run companies.

Annie McShiras talked with Brendan Martin, founder and president, and Ethan Earle, a board member, about the solidarity philosophy they use as an organized loan fund, their goal of maximizing community wealth through their loan funds, and the importance of building a “culture of belief.” She also reviewed the basic kind of work they do with them. read more »

GLOVES OFF: WHEN THE WORKERS TAKE CONTROL

In 1972-73 women machinists at the Whyalla Glove Factory were faced with redundancy as the company – James North – decided to close the factory down. The women challenged the management’s prerogative to close the factory as it saw fit, and occupied it.

The story is told by Verity Burgmann, Ray Jureidini (who seems to have done the research for the Whyalla part of the story) and Meredith Burgmann in ‘Doing without the Boss: Workers’ Control Experiments in Australia in the 1970s’. read more »

Heart of the Factory / Corazón de Fábrica

In a poor country looted by its own governments and businessmen, the workers of Zanon Ceramic take the factory in their own hands when the owner closes it. They start to produce ceramics again, but without bosses. Now, they feel free. They’ve found in their work a way to grow humanly. But at the same time, they have to assume a series of responsibilities and challenges. Usually, this provokes serious arguments among them or with themselves. During that process, the workers had to study and to overcome themselves in order to solve all the problems linked to the areas of production. Through the democratic assembly, they found a way to support their organisation and learn how to take their own decisions in the management. 

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