Recuperated Companies

On the Crisis of Capitalism, Argentina’s Worker-Recuperated Enterprises, and the Possibilities for Another World

An interview with Eduardo Murúa, former president of Argentina’s Movement of Recuperated Enterprises, on how workers occupy failing firms, resist repression and re-open them as workers’ coops.

In the interview, Murúa lays out how almost 10,000 workers in over 200 once-failing, owner-run firms eventually came to manage them cooperatively and without bosses. Most poignantly for our current conjuncture, he also predicts that the world’s capitalist system, debt-ridden and exploitative as it is, is inevitably heading for an impending financial crisis – a crisis we are now living through. He also expresses clearly and with passion his vision for a different Argentina and Latin America – where wealth might be distributed more equitably and where work, the means of production, and the products of workers’ labours could be controlled by workers themselves.

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Self-managment and Solidarity Economy: the challenges for worker-recovered companies in Brazil.

This article focuses on the experiences of worker-recovered enterprises in Brazil that became self-managed organizations. By tracing their origins, characteristics and relations to the widest field of Solidarity Economy, we discuss some of their present challenges, including their relationship with the State, the trade unions and others. We start by outlining the major discussions about adequate terminology, which at the same time provides the first insights into the social and economic structure of the sector. read more »

The Universe of Worker-Recovered Companies in Argentina (2002-2008): Continuity and Changes Inside the Movement

Argentina’s movement of worker-recovered companies (WRC) gained significant public visibility during and in the years following the institutional crisis of December 2001. In light of company shutdowns and dramatic increases in unemployment
rates, many workers promoted the reopening of workplaces abandoned by their owners, giving origin to a movement that still exists to this day. Collectively, the actions centred on workplace and job “recoveries” have made up the distinguishing feature--or the “identity”--of the movement. Even though today’s conjuncture is somewhat different than read more »

Workers' control in Argentina

Workers’ control of production has been associated for many years in Argentina with the establishment and diffusion of workers cooperatives. Outside cooperativism, factory occupations have often represented the way through which workers’ took control of production. These occupations should however be inscribed within the repertoires of collective action rather than representing a clear strategy for workers’ control. read more »

Labour process and decision-making in factories under workers’ self-management: empirical evidence from Argentina

The turn of the century found Argentina in a state of economic and political turmoil. On the one side, the economic downturn experienced by the country between 1998 and 2002, by leaving hundreds of companies in a situation of bankruptcy and thousands of wage-workers facing the prospect of unemployment, threatened the livelihoods of the subaltern classes as a whole. On the other side, the combination of instability in the political alignments and divisions in the ruling elite with a process of popular mobilisation, led to the social upheaval that brought down the Government in December 2001. In this context, thousands of workers gradually began to take control of the machinery, buildings and installations of the factories in crisis or abandoned by their owners, and restarted the production as a mean to guarantee their survival. The occupations were thus originated as a defensive action against job losses in the midst of massive unemployment (Martínez & Vocos 2002) … read more »

Here's the chocolate factory, but where has Willy Wonka gone?

No bosses in sight at plants taken over by ex-employees in new workers' revolution in Argentina.

If Willy Wonka and Karl Marx went into business together the result might resemble Ghelco. read more »

From Zanon to Iraq

Foreword from the book 'Sin Patron' on the Argentinian recuperated factories.

On March 19, 2003, we were on the roof of the Zanon ceramic tile factory, filming an interview with Cepillo. He was showing us how the workers fended off eviction by armed police, defending their democratic workplace with slingshots and the little ceramic balls normally used to pound the Patagonian clay into raw material for tiles. His aim was impressive. read more »

An Agreement to Live: From Zanón to FaSinPat

A chapter from the book "Sin Patron", by La Vaca collective from Buenos Aires.

It is one of the biggest "recuperated factories" in Argentina with exemplary worker management. read more »

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