Cross-border intercooperation: sharing experiences to save jobs

The first half of the year in Brazil saw an 87.6% increase in the number of bankruptcy petitions compared with the same period in 2015. The current crisis is leading to increased unemployment in the country, going up from 8.7% to 11.8% in a year based on the June-August quarters of 2015 and 2016, according to the Instituto Brasileño de Geografía y Estadística (IBGE) (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, in English). The automobile sector is one of the most affected, with a 24.3% decrease in production to July in 2016.

1 November 2016

Against this backdrop, the Karmann Ghia Brasil factory, working in the automobile sector, was taken over by workers on 13 May after the company abandoned the factory. Now, a favourable legal judgement given to the previous owners has generated uncertainty as to the true ownership of the production facilities.

The worker cooperative movement has rallied together to look at alternative futures for the workers. In this context, Unisol Brasil, CICOPA Americas, the Confederación Nacional de Cooperativas de Trabajo (CNCT) de Argentina (the National Confederation of Worker Cooperatives, Argentina, in English), Nexus Emilia Romagna of Italy, and Mondragon Cooperation, took part in a workshop entitled “Experiences of Factory Takeovers by Workers in Argentina, Brazil, Spain, and Italy” to share experiences. The activity forms part of workers’ training, and includes discussions, lectures, and group work.

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
E-mail: cicopa[at]

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