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BAUEN, day 60

The reader will be able to discern a wide incongruity in the dates. Not only the last, in which Mercoteles (which is to say, the front men of the Iurcoviches) appears before the court, which “understands” the bankruptcy of Solari SA three and a half years after having acquired ownership. There’s something much more serious, which we will put in words that the judge Paula Hualde herself used in her finding of first instance on July 20, 2007, in an… Read More »BAUEN, day 60

BAUEN, day 59

Chronicle of a sale foretold On July 25th, 2001 (or June 25th, according to Berasategui and Gallardo), arguing that the sale to Solari was void because he had not finished paying (leaving aside the issue of the hotel itself, with the debt to BANADE), Marcelo Iurcovich sold the BAUEN to Mercoteles, an enterprise that had been registered at the Inspector General of Justice only shortly beforehand, and with negligible capital. That is to say, they sold the hotel to themselves.… Read More »BAUEN, day 59

BAUEN, day 58

The issue of when and how this sale took place is key, because it is what protects the pretensions of the Iurcoviches and allows them to appear over and over, demanding the eviction of the BAUEN. The deed to the building at Callao 360 appeared in their hands, almost by magic. Recall that when the bankruptcy took place and over the first years of the recovery of the hotel by the workers, these same people apparently had nothing to do… Read More »BAUEN, day 58

BAUEN, day 57

The chicken or the egg The Iurcovich group was now under the control of Hugo, the son of the founder, Marcelo, but it still had the same old tricks. For them, the hotel had always been their property. In that sense, they had the advantage of really knowing what arguments they had to demand its return. While the prevailing version was that the Iurcoviches were only creditors to Solari, and as owners of the Bauen brand, the issue seemed tricky… Read More »BAUEN, day 57

BAUEN, day 56

So, where did the capital come from to set up and equip the rooms, to outfit the bar and the rooms and the rest of the arrangements discussed above? The answer is clear: from labor. From the work of the cooperative members, from the solidarity of workers at other recovered businesses, and from the community. It came from the solidarity of thousands of people who collaborated with a few coins when the BAUEN workers went out to the streets looking… Read More »BAUEN, day 56

BAUEN, day 55

Chapter 8 The return of the ones who never left: the Iurcoviches reappear By the middle of 2005, as we’ve seen, the workers in the BAUEN cooperative had managed—with enormous effort—to put this large hotel back on its feet after it had been abandoned by the employers. What had been a boarded-up, empty building a couple of years earlier had been filled with life and work, thanks to the cooperative. A small list of accomplishments was included in the expropriation… Read More »BAUEN, day 55

BAUEN, day 54

Of course, the ends pursued by the new administration and the modes of organization and decision-making were far removed from those of the previous employers. This was not lost on the media, which systematically opined and wrote against the hotel workers (and against the working class in general): Through contacts with the delegate on line E, Roberto Pianelli, the picketers floated the idea of holding assemblies and press conferences in the hotel Bauen. Since a worker cooperative is in charge… Read More »BAUEN, day 54

BAUEN, day 53

Although it initially seemed “crazy” to Juan Carlos to install their little print shop in an occupied hotel, after several months, he was convinced. The fact that the copy center started working, almost exclusively for the cooperative, was an example of the things that began to function, and better all the time, relieving the fears of Tonarelli senior, who (…) created a list of prices for the cooperative that was unbeatable, with a very important bonus, which functioned as payment… Read More »BAUEN, day 53

BAUEN, day 52

A hotel underway At the beginning of 2006, a little more than a year after the visit of the Venezuelan orchestra, the BAUEN hotel was fully functioning. As an article in Lavaca documents, it had grown “from 35 to 140 members, who keep the hotel operating 24 hours a day: the auditorium, the coffeeshop, the bookstore, and the event rooms. Theater works, radio broadcasting with a large audience, musical performances, and art exhibitions were part of the programming in 2005.… Read More »BAUEN, day 52

BAUEN, day 51

María Eva remembers that moment: When the Venezuelans were looking for housing to bring a group, they spoke with us, but the hotel was still very ugly. The boards that had been up before had been taken down, but the rooms were not ready. We told them the story of the hotel, that we were a cooperative, but that at that time, we didn’t have things ready, they could help us if they advanced us payment for the lodging. In… Read More »BAUEN, day 51