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BAUEN, day 63

Ruarte summed up the situation in these terms in those days:

We what we have through the judge in the bankruptcy case is custody of the property. Later, we’re in contact with the Government of the City, we’re advancing on expropriation, working on an enormous tax debt this gentleman who calls himself the owner has. So, because of that, we want to see how much the debt is, how much the hotel is worth. And because of that, if politicians agree and want to give us a hand, the State should take charge of the hotel and the cooperative should pay it off. […] And we’re talking about a hotel that was built here with funds from the (national) government, and that’s also kind of hazy, they were never paid back.

The closure did, in fact, take place, as is seen in the film. It also shows how the BAUEN workers ignored that closure, and simply covered the boards over the doors with posters and pictures, hoping that the issue would be resolved soon, and continuing to work in spite of a legal complaint that clearly smelled like it came from the Iurcoviches.

Shortly before, February 11th, 2005, the same Court that processed Solari’s bankruptcy had authorized the cooperative to take legal guardianship of the property. It is true that workers not only sought to guard the assets of the hotel, but also to keep it working and preserve (and even increase) jobs. While it was not everything they had been after, that resolution at least gave them a sort of legal umbrella, something that does not abound in the history of the recovered BAUEN.

As expected, on March 17th, a presentation by Mercoteles opposed the finding that favored the cooperative, specifically on the basis that the workers were using the hotel to work (why else would they want it?). A short time later, Bauen SACIC did the same, alleging that workers were commercially exploiting the Bauen brand. Even the failed Solari did so, showing employer solidarity in spite of his interests, which were—in appearance—opposed. So much solidarity that one might think that those interests were, in fact, the same.


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