Monday, October 01, 2007

Recouping Dignity: Argentina’s Worker-Owned Enterprises

Recouping Dignity: Argentina’s Worker-Owned Enterprises

Listen to this segment | the entire program
Uprising Radio

GUEST: Marie Trigona, member of Grupo Alavio, a Direct Action and Video Collective – and a correspondent for Free Speech Radio news, based in Buenos Aires

Workers throughout Argentina are organizing in support of a national expropriation law – even as some of the country’s best-known worker-run enterprises face legal limbo and eviction. The high rise BAUEN Hotel in the heart of Buenos Aires City, which has been under worker control for the past four years, was issued a 30-day eviction by a federal court in July, which the hotel’s 154 workers have so far been successful in fighting. Behind them are the 10, 000 or so workers who labor at one of the nearly 200 worker-owned businesses in Argentina. The BAUEN Hotel has become a symbol of change and resistance. After being built in 1978 under Argentina’s bloody military dictatorship – in which some 30,000 people were disappeared – BAUEN’s original owner, Marcelo Iurovich never made good on bringing the site up to code, and failed to pay back millions of dollars in state loans. The boss fired the remaining 80 workers in the middle of Argentina’s economic crisis in December 2001, but workers organized to recuperate the hotel, their jobs, and their dignity in 2003. Today, they face legal uncertainty, just like many of the other recuperated businesses in which workers took their future in their own hands and continued to produce products and services with a boss.

2 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

The state apparatus, in a capitalist country, will automatically side with the bosses. The legal means as deeds of ownership, are in the owner's hand.

The bigger question is one of revolution. Worker's control can't exist in an island of capitalism.

blackstone said...

These examples of workers' self management are a beacon of hope for workers everywhere. As the comrade said, the state is bourgeoisie, so naturally will lean on it's side. However, this class struggle being waged must heighten, foster solidarity and increase militancy within the worker class.

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