The worker cooperative Coopertei has been active in the mechanical repair and maintenance of rotating industrial equipment and similar machinery since 1991, when it inaugurated facilities near the port of Berisso city in the province of Buenos Aires. Coopertei is one of the companies established by former workers of the State Oil Company YPF (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales). Its members, after the progression of neo-liberal policies of workers’ layoffs, decided to create a worker cooperative, which performs mechanical maintenance for the largest refinery in Argentina to this date.
The cooperative has an important staff of integrated interdisciplinary professionals among whom engineers, industrial designers and auditors, and an industrial site consisting of various workshops where qualified personnel such as mechanics, lathe and milling machine operators perform the mechanical maintenance of the various industrial machines. Coopertei has a training centre where members of the cooperative benefit from training in the metalmechanic sector, aligning this speciality with other essential knowledge that contributes to the quality of service, the safeguard of the environment and safety standards.
A few years ago, the cooperative signed an agreement with the oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), a corporation created by the Venezuelan State in 1975. Adrián Cossara, president of the cooperative, said: "the Binational Energy Covenant was a decision of the then President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez and the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, which provided the framework that our worker cooperative, together with other 35 Argentinean companies, signed up to.” To Venezuela, "we provide mechanical spare parts, which is very important for our cooperative, since PDVSA is the fourth largest company in the world in the hydrocarbon sector and 10 times larger than YPF in terms of needs, offering a significant market expansion".
In addition, he affirmed that “our cooperative strategy is based on taking advantage of the new conditions that have arisen after the state came to lead YPF, since its involvement in the national oil company has generated new exchange possibilities".
Coopertei, member of the Argentine Federation of Worker Cooperatives (Fecootra) since 2009 and chair of the latter’s branch covering La Plata, Berisso, Ensenada, Pipinas and Punta Indio, has 43 members and is one of the most important cooperatives providing this type of service.
International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives
Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037