The first “Workers’ Economy” meeting in 2007 in Buenos Aires started today’s global network of enterprises "recuperated" and self-managed by their workers. Activists in cooperatives, trade unions and solidarity economies have joined this network, as well as many thinkers. Its roots are in Argentina’s 2001 crisis, when workers faced enterprises shut by distressed owners. To save jobs, many peacefully re-organized their workplaces as co-ops and resumed work under their own control. The network’s South American chapter now has over 500 worker-recuperated firms: Argentina 390, Brazil 70, Uruguay 50, and more elsewhere.
Starting in South America, the network has grown to embrace 800 enterprises in over 30 countries. In 2014 the first European “encuentro” was held in the Fralib tea factory in Marseilles, France. The second was in 2016 at the Greek co-op, Vio.Me. There are now almost 300 worker-recuperated firms in Italy, 30 in France, and more in Greece, Spain and Turkey. The network’s North American, Central American and Caribbean chapter – main host of this panel - met in Mexico City in 2014 and 2016. Mutual aid animates the workers' economy. Facing legal challenges Vio.Me called for and got network aid, as did the Hotel Bauen in Buenos Aires. New chapters are forming in Africa and Asia.
Can "the workers' economy" and allies form part of what the Left Forum calls a "winning strategy" by which workers transcend neo-liberal capital? With the help of chairing by Peter Ranis, panelists accept a 10-minute limit on this issue, including introductions. We invite all Left Forum participants to concretize our New York debates at the Workers’ Economy “encuentro” November 8-10 in Mexico City for North American, Central American & Caribbean region participants. For info: https://www.globaljusticecenter.org/