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BAUEN, day 49

Soon, other projects were also located in the BAUEN. On the Callao side, with the door to the new bar, a bookstore was installed, which was there for several years. During one semester, classes were given by the Language Laboratory of the School of Philosophy and Letters of the UBA. Training courses for workers and activists of the MNER were held, as were countless initiatives that were welcomed in their meeting rooms.

Around that time, another large conflict was brewing for the recovery of several plants of a business called Gatic SA, an Argentine licensee of Adidas and other brands of sports clothes and shoes.1 In the town of San Martín, the workers at one of its plants were able to achieve their expropriation, and formed as the Cooperative United by Shoemaking (CUC). With the support of a foundation that was inspired by the celebrated film by Canadians Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis about the Argentine recovered businesses (The Take), CUC workers started the project of creating their own brand of shoes and launched it in the BAUEN. In the hotel lobby, to the left of the entry on Callao, they set up a small display where the different models of shoes manufactured by the cooperative were exhibited and sold.

The other large plant that was able to recover from Gatic became the Textiles Pigüé Cooperative. Pigüé’s conflict was long and hard, and because it is in a city almost 600 kilometers away from the capital, its workers had to spend whole days in Buenos Aires, first for meetings and negotiations to bring about the recovery of their factory and, after that, to carry out commercial tasks needed for its operation. The BAUEN was always the place where they were able to shelter in challenging times, and where they continued to stay when the cooperative started to become a prosperous recovered textile business. To this day, Textiles Pigüé continues to use the BAUEN.

  1. Andrés Ruggeri et al., Cooperative Textiles Pigüé, the story of the recovery of a Gatic factory, Bs. As: Ediciones Peña Lillo/Continente, The Worker Economy Library series, 2014.

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