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10419 - Argentina's recuperated factories and self-organised enterprises - A workers' response to post-Fordist, neoliberal restructuring and the financialisation of the global political economy

During the 1990s and increasingly in the immediate aftermath of Argentina’s economic meltdown in 2001-02 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 the movement of recuperated factories. While most initiatives quickly disappeared during Argentina’s economic recovery in the years following the crisis the movement of occupied and recuperated workplaces successfully emerged as the strongest and most organised form of popular protest and resistance to a reformulated neoliberal consensus. The workers’ longstanding struggle for the recuperation of the means of production radically altered existing forms of representation and participation within the workplace. Assembly-based mandates, direct elections of internal commissions, the rotation of positions and coordinators, representation of minorities and the free expression of diverging voices became established practices which encouraged direct and democratic worker involvement in the decision-making. They replaced hierarchical capital-labour relationships and bureaucratic leadership provided by Argentina’s traditional clientelistic trade unions. By encouraging solidarity among its members they nurture processes towards democratisation within the workplace and thus contribute to the construction of more equitable and cooperative societies.

Palavras-chaves: Self-organisation, workers's economy, democratisation

Autores: Tauss, Aaron (Universidad EAFIT, Colombia / Kolumbien)

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