Argentina: Workers’ Management as a Response to the Crisis

When the workers of Donnelley arrived at the plant on August 11, 2014 they found a note at the gates explaining that the company was shutting down its operations in the country and that it “regretted the inconvenience.”

This has become a fairly familiar scene. A company shuts down its plant, in order to move operations abroad and take advantage of a cheaper and more docile labor force. Under capitalism, the capitalists are free to relocate their businesses when they are no longer profitable, even if this means leaving 400 families in the streets. The workers, on the other hand, are only free to choose by whom they will be exploited.

Faced with this desperate situation, the workers’ response might have been resignation, but this was not the case. The workers decided to open the gates of the factory, occupy the plant, and restart production. They showed that “no hierarchy is needed to run the production of the factory” in the words of Hugo Padua, a worker at the factory for the past 22 years.

The company’s declaration of bankruptcy was denounced by the attorney representing the workers and later rejected by the Ministry of Labor for the Province of Buenos Aires. The reasons that Donnelley offered to justify abandoning its factory in the country were determined to be invalid and the bankruptcy was declared fraudulent.

Read the full article at CounterPunch

 

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