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BAUEN, day 76

Next, she quickly concluded that there was no option but to “return” the building at Callao 360 to the registered owner, which is to say, Mercoteles, but that, as a judge, she considered it prudent to contemplate the “negative consequences” of this restitution, which she sagely deduced would be the loss of the cooperators’ jobs. She then cites several cases, taken from the website of The National Movement of Factories Recovered by the Workers Recovered (MNFRT), which were…

“almost always under the same pattern of ‘…bankrupt businesses and employees with years of experience who actively resisted the role of unemployed…’ (see Farina, “Worker cooperatives and the new text of Article 190 of the Bankruptcy Law. Need for adequate legal regulation” in Doctrina Societaria y concursal, Errepar, nº 180, p.730 and following).”

She obviously didn’t put much work into investigating what a recovered business is, at a time when she could already find abundant academic literature with conclusions that were rather more complex and well-founded than what she said, or into finding out that the BAUEN cooperative was not part of The National Movement of Factories Recovered by the Workers. This movement follows lawyer Luis Caro and has a focus on the idea that, while some basic points are shared by all the organizations, others, especially related to legal questions and what is considered a recovered business (although it uses “factory” exclusively, as a way to differentiated itself from the MNER), are substantially different and can’t be extrapolated to all organizations. The BAUEN workers were part of the National Movement of Recovered Businesses (MNER) from the beginning, and by the time of Hualde’s judgment, FACTA had founded, which is why it would have been proper to at least search for the definitions and foundations of these organizations.

This is no minor detail, because it is part of the judge’s arguments to reject the workers’ right to the hotel. She deduced from this skimpy research on recovered businesses that their purpose is not “only labor continuity, but tends to provide an alternative form of negotiation between workers united in cooperatives and the creditors of the bankrupt owners to be able, through the assumption of the affected liability, acquire the failed business.” She continued arguing what had already been affirmed a thousand times, which is that the “failed business” was not the owner of the hotel, so the workers could not attempt to continue to use the property of a business that was unrelated to the one that failed (Solari). Of course, she, Commercial Judge Paula Hualde, is making this determination on this circumstance in the same resolution, overlooking all the indications of the connection between Mercoteles and the former owners, which had been obvious to Judge Carbonelli.


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