Joe Hendren

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Argentina - if the boss goes belly up, strike by working

The June edition of New Internationalist contains an interesting article by Joseph Huff-Hason 'The pollen and the bees'. It reports that many workers in Argentina have set up co-ops to save their jobs when the boss goes bankrupt. Since Argentina's economic collapse in 2001 over 200 failing businesses have been occupied, legally expropriated and reopened as worker co-ops.

This huge achievement of the 'recovered business' movement has been achieved by successfully arguing during bankruptcy proceedings for workers status as 'priority creditors', as they are often owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay. For example the restaurant inside Rosario's main bus terminal was reopened as a worker co-op after the employees occupied the site and kept doing their jobs for over a year.

Quite exciting to think that Argentina, the site of one of neo-liberalism's most spectacular modern failures, could well end up showing the world some novel alternatives to the Chicago School smog, as it recovers from right wing mismanagement.

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