Occupy Resist Produce! Worker Recovered Companies in Argentina

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Date(s) - 23/11/2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Institute of Latin American Studies


Occupy Resist Produce! Worker Recovered Companies in Argentina


Occupy, Resist, Produce: Workers’ Self-Management and recovered companies in Argentina, Latin America and Beyond

Date: 6pm, Thursday 23rd November 2017

Location: Room 246, 2nd floor Senate House, Institute of Latin American Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Speaker: Dr. Andrés Ruggeri, Director of Facultad Abierta (University of Buenos Aires).

Chaired by: Dr Daniel Ozarow, Middlesex University, London, Co-Chair, Argentina Research Network

Organised by: Institute of Latin American Studies, Argentina Research Network, Argentina Solidarity Campaign

Event is free but please register here to reserve your place https://ilas.sas.ac.uk/events/event/15010

It will be conducted in Spanish with an English translation.

Argentina’s worker-recovered company movement has become a beacon to the international labour movement that offers an alternative but successful vision for labour since its proliferation after the country’s 2001 economic crisis. Challenging what is most sacred within capitalist social relations, namely the private ownership of the means of production, the process has demonstrated the possibility of an economy and a bossless society managed by the workers. The idea of ‘self-management’ in the workplace and in society as a whole has attracted intellectuals and social and political activists from around the world, many of whom understand this phenomenon as an alternative to the global process of neoliberal globalisation. From this point of view, these workers have become custodians of hope for transformative social change, reconnecting with the tradition of 19th century cooperatives.

However, 15 years on from this outbreak of occupations, factory takeovers and global interest, this paper analyses how the recovered companies continue to exist, to produce, to provide livelihoods for thousands of workers, and to progress despite the process having slowed down after the peak of the crisis and the workers having faced significant legal, political and economic challenges in recent years. The movement both in Argentina and to some extent in Brasil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela has made palpable the capacity of workers to operate businesses as cooperatives in a way considered non-viable by capitalists and economic technocracy and, as such, they have also paved the way for the possibility of a socially-managed economy. These national examples will also be referenced as will the recent establishment of worker recovered companies in Greece, Spain, Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

Andrés Ruggeri (Buenos Aires, 1967) is a social anthropologist and Director of the Facultad Abierta at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) http://www.recuperadasdoc.com.ar/ Since 2002 it has been researching Latin America’s worker-recovered companies and conducting national surveys of the movement. He is author or co-author of several books which specialise in the area and he has given talks and courses in several countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Since 2007 he has coordinated the International Summit of the Workers’ Economy which has met in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and France. He is also co-editor of Autogestion y Luchas Obreras: Del 2001 al Nuevo Neoliberalismo (Callao Cooperativa Cultural, 2017) and author of America en Bicicleta: del Plata a la Habana (Ediciones del Sol) which portrays his 1998 bike ride in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution. He has since travelled the world and across 22 developing countries with his partner Karina Luchetti and teaches specialised Anthropology and History degree seminars at the UBA.


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Occupier at OccupyLSX Camp. Then an Occupy Nomad. The revolution will be Livestreamed.

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