Sin Patrón: Stories from Argentina’s Worker-Run Factories
Edited by the Lavaca Collective, Haymarket Books, USA, 2007
This is the inside story of Argentina’s remarkable movement to create factories run democratically by workers themselves.
In 2001, the economy of Argentina collapsed. Unemployment reached a quarter of the workforce. Out of these terrible conditions was born a new movement of workers who decided to take matters into their own hands. They took over control of their workplaces, restarted production, and democratically decided how they would organize their work. “Occupy, resist, produce” became the watchwords of this vibrant movement.
Sin Patrón tells the story of Argentina’s occupied and recovered workplaces. Or rather, it lets the workers themselves tell their stories. Appearing for the first time in English, this book explores ten case studies of recovered companies, featuring interviews with movement leaders that provide a history from the shopfloor—history that is still being made today.
“Almost entirely under the media radar, workers in Argentina have been responding to rampant unemployment and capital flight by taking over traditional businesses that have gone bankrupt and are reopening them under democratic worker management. It’s an old idea reclaimed and retrofitted for a brutal new time. The principles are so simple, so elementally fair, that they seem more self-evident than radical when articulated by one of the workers in this book: ‘We formed the cooperative with the criteria of equal wages and making basic decisions by assembly—and, above all, the ability to recall our elected leaders.’”—From the foreword by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis
Translated by K.Kohlsted, Illinois.