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BAUEN, day 98

The indignation of La Nación against “illegal occupations” has a direct target: the workers of the BAUEN cooperative. They present the deceased owner Marcelo Iurcovich and his son Hugo, without naming them, as poor victims of the new barbarians, the workers that occupy businesses (they prefer to call them employees, to highlight their subordination an employment contract, which, in reality, the employers violated).

They overlook the fact that they built the hotel with an unpaid loan from the BANADE thanks to their links to the military dictatorship, and that its bacnkruptcy left some 70 families on the street. They affirm that the cooperative’s use of the acronym B.A.U.E.N. infringes on patent laws, when the businesspeople they are defending changed the registered name multiple times to evade taxes and payments, and the last time, they did it with the phantom enterprise Mercoteles, to which the judge attributes the ownership of hotel.

They call for immediate eviction, because otherwise, “the fait acompli” would be imposed on the property. But they make no demands about the asset-stripping that leaves people without work. Nor about the fraud of the businesspeople who take loans that they do not pay back (preferably from public banks), who do not pay social expenses of their workers (which means these workers reach retirement age, after working for decades, and have no registered contributions), who do not pay taxes and owe millions of pesos to the tax agency, an enormous bill that the Argentine people end up paying.

They ignore the reform of the bankruptcy law. They do not know not even its background, that it was inspired by the “serious countries” that they admire, like the United States, France, Spain, and in particular, Italy, which has a specific law, the Marcora law, which allows bankrupt businesses to convert to being managed by cooperatives of their workers with financial support from the State. Or that one of the main candidates for the Presidency of the United States in the last elections and today, according to the surveys, a politician who is still more popular than President Trump, Bernie Sanders, proposed the formation of cooperatives in bankrupt businesses as the primary means to recover the employment indexes of that country.


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