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Movement of Recuperated Factories, Argentina

Peter Ranis


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Contemporary Argentine factory and enterprise worker cooperatives were essentially born in the runup to and the massive popular societal demonstrations of December 2001. They owe much of their momentum to the social and economic crisis that offered little alternative to laborers and employees but unemployment and poverty. Factory and enterprise bankruptcies and employer abandonment of places of work forced the laborers and employees to seek redress of their grievances. One of the measures to which they turned, inspired by two nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), was the formation of worker cooperatives, which are sanctioned by historical Argentine law. Forming cooperatives became only the first step in the often long legal, community, and political struggles that gave the workers temporary rights to reenter the factories and enterprises and initiate or continue production and services. The Argentine worker-occupied and managed factories and enterprises represent a novel on-the-ground departure among social movements that have the authenticity to flourish, embedded as they are in the survival responses of laborers and employees and the moral authority of maintaining national production through working-class employment. The 1990s, under the Carlos Menem presidency, had dramatically accentuated the devastating deindustrialization in Argentina that began during the military regime ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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