9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN25 Social Movements

Movement of recovered factories in Argentina

Introduction: Economic politics from the 90's had for consequence a huge increase of unemployment, and also a reinforcement of the tenuousness of the labor force.
In the frame, the workers started to strike and to organize themselves on an autonomous way. New alternatives grew to fight against this tenuousness's situation. The recovered companies (RC) by those workers became one of the emblems of the self management.
Methodology: Qualitative analysis (observation and twenty interviews with the members and leaders of the movement).
Search results: On a general way, the recovered factories rise as an alternative of the shutting down of themselves: some workers occupied then recovered the work's machineries, re-opening the doors of the companies under the management of the workers.
The movement of the RC is not homogeneous; the diversity of the political orientations gave the birth at six different organizations.
Anyway, and even with this heterogeneity, workers agreed on some common characteristics for the recovering process, what gives the identity of "the workers of the RC". Those characteristics are: existence of the conflict between employers and employees; the bankruptcy or the desertion of the factory by it employers and the formation of working's cooperative in order to be able to commercialize their productions. In another way, the recovering involves the participation of all workers in the decisions concerning the management of the factory, the organization of the work, and the lack of the employers; that's why that the RC movement define themselves as self managerial companies.
Today, around 200 factories have been recovered by the workers. This phenomena has strongly increased since the 2001 crisis, but after the re-composition of the economical system (in 2003), the recovering of new factories became rare.
Anyway, with the new word crisis, we can observe a strong comeback of the recovered companies. As a consequence, between December 2008 and February 2009, ten new factories have been recovered by their workers.