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Announcement :: Human Rights : International : Labor
Worker Self-Management: Constructing A New Subjectivity In Argentina: Grupo Alavio
11 Nov 2005
Maria Trigona, a member of the Grupo Alavío anarchist collective from Argentina, will talk about the history and current state of the Argentine working class struggle to reclaim factories and create and maintain worker self-management, and Grupo Alavío's role in supporting the struggle. Three of Grupo Alavío's documentaries will be shown. All films are in Spanish with English subtitles, and Maria's talk will be bi-lingual.
Worker Self-Management: Constructing A New Subjectivity In Argentina: Grupo Alavío

date: Saturday, November 12th, 2005
time: 4 PM
location: Lucy Parsons Center, 549 Columbus Avenue, Boston, (617) 267-6272, lucyparsons (at) tao.ca

http://lucyparsons.org/directions.php

description: The Event

Maria Trigona, a member of the Grupo Alavío anarchist collective from Argentina, will talk about the history and current state of the Argentine working class struggle to reclaim factories and create and maintain worker self-management, and Grupo Alavío's role in supporting the struggle. Three of Grupo Alavío's documentaries will be shown. All films are in Spanish with English subtitles, and Maria's talk will be bi-lingual.

The Films

La Foresta Belongs to the Workers, 52min, 2005

This is Grupo Alavío's most recent documentary. The film tells the story of a group of workers who are fighting to recuperate La Foresta meatpacking plant in La Matanza, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires city. Most of the factory employees have worked there for decades, through the good times and bad times. In 1999, the plant went bust, a series of businessmen rented the facilities, making quick profits and then abandoning the factory for greener pastures. In January 2005, the last such renter, MEYPACAR, told the remaining 186 workers that the plant would be closing temporily for renovations. MEYPACAR never reopened the plant. Grupo Alavío's film follows the 70 workers who've put up a legal fight to keep their factory and start up production without a boss or owner, under worker-self management.

The BAUEN Workers' Cooperative, 20min, 2004

The Hotel BAUEN was an emblematic symbol of neoliberalism in Argentina. The hotel was constructed in 1978, in the glory of the military dictatorship, with government loans and subsidies. In the height of Argentina's economic meltdown, the owners ransacked the hotel and closed the hotel's doors, leaving the workers in the streets. In March 21, 2003 the workers decided to occupy the hotel. The workers cleaned up the hotel and slowly began to rent out services. With over 150 workers employed at the hotel, BAUEN hotel has become a symbol for the working class. "With worker self-management/organization we are in a process of creating workers in solidarity, people who aren't only worried about a wage. Instead they're trying to improve social conditions, culturally and politically," explains Marcelo. BAUEN cooperative is a real example of a group of workers planting seeds so that future generations can create new social relations. The workers are carrying out a secret dream that we all have, the revolutionary wish to be our own bosses.

ZANON (building resistance), 18min, 2003

In 2001 Zanon's owner fires the workers at Latin America's largest ceramics plant in the Southern Province of Neuqun. After resisting outside the plant, the group of workers decide collectively to recuperate and put the plant to produce. In the film, Zanon ceramists narrate their day-to-dam work, struggles and hopes to continue production under worker control.

About Grupo Alavío

Marie Trigona is a writer and filmmaker who forms part of the video collective Grupo Alavío. For more than 10 years, Alavío has been participating in working class struggles in Argentina and supporting them with video materials. They are an anarchist group producing video materials, although they are not video activists. Currently, Alavío is working with many of Argentina's recuperated enterprises, filming documentaries and organizing screenings for workers to reflect on their practices of worker self-management. The group has produced documentaries, among many others, about the Zanon ceramics factory occupied and managed by its workers since 2001, Chilavert printing factory, employee run BAUEN Hotel, Workers' Cooperative Casique Pismanta Hotel and Spa, and La Foresta, a meatpacking plant to start up production. In addition, the group holds workshops in economy and video for the workers at Zanon and La Foresta.


The Context
Nationwide in Argentina, thousands of factories have closed and millions of jobs have been lost in recent years. Today, unemployment stands at 19.5% and underemployment at nearly 16%, meaning that over a third of workers (approximately 5.2 million) cannot find adequate employment. Half of the population lives in poverty. But many workers have stood up to resist against this destiny. In Argentina, there are some 180 recuperated enterprises employing 10,000 workers. Argentina's occupied factories and enterprises represent the development of an advanced strategy in defense of the working class and in resistance against capitalism. The experiences of worker self-management/organization have directly challenged capitalism's structures by questioning private property, taking back workers' knowledge, and organizing production for objectives other than profits.


Strategy

Making technologies and skills accessible and available to exploited people by democratizing audiovisual production and language is a priority for Grupo Alavío. Fundamental to Alavío's work is the group's integration into struggling organizations. This allows the group to establish collective spaces for audiovisual narration and to actively participate with activists in social struggles. We also strive so that materials take on a life of their own, when they can be used by the compañeras/os in struggle as a tool for skills training, organizing and to generate direct actions. Many times the factory occupied by workers, the changing room of transport workers organizing a wildcat strike, land squat or barrio is the first place where we premier our documentaries. The group has produced over 50 films dealing with many social conflicts: unemployed worker organizations, political prisoners, Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, state repression, inner-violence, subway workers struggling for a 6 hour workday, art and Iraq. In addition, Alavío has organized community television transmissions in local barrios.

web site: http://alavio.org/

This work is in the public domain
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