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June 2022

BAUEN, day 43

The first event: recovered business to recovered business “Meanwhile, we put the rooms in a condition to be able to work. This took us about a year, before we had our first client, the quinceañera [fifteenth birthday party] of compañero Plácido’s daughter (Plácido belongs to the Chilavert cooperative). That was when we started holding events in the rooms. We barely made enough to replenish our supplies and eat,” remembers Gladys of this difficult period. Plácido Peñarrieta, worker and president of… Read More »BAUEN, day 43

BAUEN, day 42

From there, with the disputes overcome, the “holding on” was organized better, with tasks distributed according to people’s capacities and availability of time. The first thing that occurred to them was that all the available unused and wasted material could get a little money. They contacted a depository of recyclable materials to see what could be rescued. There was lots of old folders, useless papers, irons that couldn’t be fixed, ruined mattresses, and other leftover furniture. Some people pulled the… Read More »BAUEN, day 42

BAUEN, day 41

Chapter 6 Holding on Taking over the hotel was simple compared with the long period of resistance immediately afterwards, which the workers usually call el aguante, “the holding on.” They found themselves inside an immense building, in a state of total abandonment, in no condition to work. The door on Callao Avenue was boarded up, the furniture had disappeared, and every part of the hotel needed to be repaired and cleaned before they could even start to think about recovering… Read More »BAUEN, day 41

BAUEN, day 40

One of issues with the trustee was the inventory of goods, because if it was done at the end of the occupation, they could be accused of having taken anything that was missing. Finally, an inventory was done of everything in the hotel at the time of the occupation, and the bankruptcy judge ended up giving the former workers provisional possession of the property. This resolution, despite its finite duration, served to give legal coverage to the first months of… Read More »BAUEN, day 40

BAUEN, day 39

In María Eva’s story, we also hear the emotion of that entry, something that hadn’t even been a dream months before. But we also hear the concern for the state the facilities were in. There was electricity, but the neglect was significant. “The only thing that made us happy was that we had lights. Otherwise, was everything a disaster—dirty, abandoned, no furniture, boarded up. We made a hole in the boards to be able go out to Callao street.” Marcelo… Read More »BAUEN, day 39

BAUEN, day 38

The takeover The former Bauen employees met on the morning of March 21st at the corner of the hotel. They were not alone. About a hundred people accompanied them, convened by the National Movement of Recovered Businesses. There, they were advised that the purpose of the call was not to be paid money by the trustee, but to occupy the hotel. It was not a surprise or anything unimagineable to those who were not aware of the true plans, since… Read More »BAUEN, day 38

BAUEN, day 37

So, Chilavert was an ideal place for the former Bauen workers to begin to join together with a view to an eventual recovery. This seemed absolutely unreal, initially. Arminda says that, “one day, my compañeros called me and told me that they were going to hold some assemblies to take over the hotel, because they had connected with a group of people, which is the (National) Movement of Recovered Businesses. I asked them if I was going to do them… Read More »BAUEN, day 37

Recovered businesses in Argentina in the time of Uber

Source License of the original and this translation: CC-BY-SA Twenty years after the explosion of the crisis and the phenomenon of recovered businesses and factories, this alternative form of labor management has been able to sustain itself in spite of the difficulties of self-management and legal obstacles. It all starts with a gutting. After failing as a boss, the owner decides to take everything he can, starting with transfering funds irregularly and committing fraud. He stops paying taxes, supplies, providers,… Read More »Recovered businesses in Argentina in the time of Uber

BAUEN, day 36

The former employees of the Bauen connect with the MNER While close to a hundred factories and establishments of all kinds were working or in a struggle for recovery by different methods, the Bauen hotel remained closed and boarded up with a fence covering the whole front on Callao avenue. Most of its furniture and equipment for daily work as a hotel had been disappearing, even though supposedly the bankrupt business was under guard. The former employees, who still held… Read More »BAUEN, day 36

BAUEN, day 35

Chapter 5 The takeover The Bauen began its history as a recovered business March 21, 2003, a year and almost three months after its closure. Its workers had been left on the street in the middle of Argentina’s biggest economic crisis in decades, a crisis that was also social and political, and the end did not seem to be anywhere in sight. The year 2002 had been convulsive: mobilizations every day, exponential growth of the picket movement and neighborhood assemblies,… Read More »BAUEN, day 35