Of course, Clarín did not deny itself a new attack on the workers. “Bill advances to expropriate the BAUEN, despite claims,” read the headline November 26th, 2015,1 the day the session was held. For La Nación, it was a “scandalous” session, in which a wide-ranging bundle of laws was voted on. Of all those laws, the most bothersome to La Nación, Clarín and the PRO – which they expressed by quoting then Deputy Federico Pinedo – was that of the BAUEN. And for good reason, after thirteen years of the BAUEN fighting against the powers that this media/political coalition defends. They highlighted, for example, that the session was possible because “eight deputies on the Left” provided quorum. The deputies in question belonged to heterogeneous sectors, of the center-left and left, and the main motive for their presence in the chamber was precisely to vote on the expropriation of the BAUEN, as the workers had asked them, one by one.
The legitimacy of the workers hotel is what bothered them. Clarín also echoed an editorial by Mercoteles, “the owner of the hotel at Callao 360.” However, little or nothing was said about the bill and of what its approval meant for workers. This aspect was, however, reflected by the self-managed media outlet Lavaca, which has been a voice for the recovered businesses and, especially, for the BAUEN, from the beginning. The article by Lavaca reflects the tension, uncertainty, and emotion of the day:
Arminda Palacios says that she is about to turn 80 years old, but does not say that she is the most veteran. ‘I don’t like it: I do say that I’ve been around the longest. Today is the day that we workers deserve to be given our workplace. When I’m accompanied by my compañeros is when I feel strongest. I have great hope. My dream is that the BAUEN will remain in the hands of the workers. Every year, I say the same thing, and it’s already hard been on me, but I’m going to stick it out out until the end.’
And so it was, that hope was becoming a reality on a long afternoon when quorum was not reached, and workers cheered from the balconies for the legislators that sat in their seats and booed those who left, in a sort of drawn-out musical chairs, where the 129 deputies necessary for the session to begin was not being reached. Lavaca continues:
When the counter changes color (from red to green) to indicate that the Chamber can come to order, the balconies burst into applause. But the counter kept changing: 128, 127, 128, 126, 125, 127, 128. “Tie them down!,” someone proposes from the balcony.
Finally, a Deputy from Tucumán appeared, and quorum was reached. Immediately, all the laws were voted on in a single package deal, and were approved.
The deputies started to leave, but in the balconies, the cooperators had not yet understood what had happened. A sign from Carlos Heller to Federico Tonarelli unleashed the celebration.
The BAUEN, at last, had the approval of the Chamber of Deputies of the Nation for its expropriation.
- ”Bill advances to expropriate the BAUEN, and there are demands,” in Clarín, 26 November 2015. Recovered from https://www.clarin.com/ciudades/avanza-proyecto-expropiar-hotel_bauen-reclamos-cooperativa-diputados_0_S1xx7RJKPXg.html↩