Recuperated Companies

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. read more »

Occupy, Resist, Produce - RiMaflow

In February 2013 former Maflow workers occupied the plant, together with precarious workers and workers from a nearby factory, which had been shut down after fraudulent bankruptcy. The 20 workers participating full time in the project completely reinvented themselves and the factory. They started recycling computers and electronic household devices, opened a bar and cafeteria, organize a flea market and cultural activities with the community, and have built alliances with local organic agricultural producers and together they have created a group for solidarity shopping. They plan to transform the factory into a plant for industrial recycling. read more »

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.

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 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital Work-in

In 1976, after a long period of neglect by the health authorities, the Department of Health in the UK announced that the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) Hospital - a hospital for women in central London, where women were treated by women staff - would be closed. read more »

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 »

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