From Managed Employees to Self-Managed Workers: The Transformations of Labour at Argentina’s Worker-Recuperated Enterprises



Argentina’s empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores (worker-recuperated enterprises, or ERTs) began to emerge in the early 1990s. They became consolidated in the late 1990s to early 2000s as more and more smallandmedium- sized enterprises (SMEs) began to fail or declare bankruptcy as a result of the country’s sharp neo-liberal turn. Traditional union tactics were unable to address workers’ needs, and an impotent state was on the defensive as social, economic and political crises rendered it incapable of responding to soaring immiseration and business failure. In this climate, some workers took matters into their own hands by occupying and reopening failing or failed firms, usually as workers’ cooperatives. By late 2009, almost 9400 workers were self-managing their working lives in over 200 ERTs across Argentina’s urban economy, in sectors as diverse as printing and publishing, metallurgy, foodstuffs, waste management, construction, textiles, shipbuilding, tourism and health provision (Ruggeri, 2010: 7).


Social Economy Informal Learning Community Project Cooperative Model National Movement 
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