Some 25,000 people have celebrated Workers’ Day in Argentina, emphasising the role of worker cooperatives in regaining work and dignity, through 25 simultaneous events held country-wide, from Ushuaia to the Imprenetrable Salteño. These activities are a response to the call from the Argentinian Bureau for the Solidarity Economy that brought together the cooperative, mutuals and SME movements in different joint events on 1 May.
“It is the first time that the whole solidarity economy movement has united to work. The cooperative and mutuals movements already have a solid presence throughout the national territory; there is a cooperative in half the municipalities which means approximately 10 million associates across the country. Directly or indirectly one out of two Argentineans consumes cooperative products, and 7 million people receive essential services from a cooperative, which generates about 1 million jobs. A historic event is taking place on a historical day: we are all together commemorating and renewing the struggle of workers”, José Orbaiceta, President of CICOPA Mercosur, stated.
Cooperatives have celebrated this day with the motto: ‘Let’s regain work, let’s regain dignity and let’s regain a plan for our country’. “We support a model of inclusion, which is the model that defends us. We cannot remain neutral at a time of national conflict and we must defend the achievements obtained up to now using political means”, said Christian Miño, the President of the CNCT (the National Confederation of Worker Cooperatives). He also stressed the path of unity that the sector had currently reached: “Integration is a challenge, it is a path we must embark upon to reinforce worker cooperatives and the social economy as a whole”, Miño added.
Argentinian workers’ cooperatives are companies that are self-managed by their workers. They sprang about as a form of resistance to unemployment, when thousands of unemployed workers started different productive experiences. An example is spontaneous enterprises, taking over companies being closed down as a result of the concentration and increased foreign presence in the economy. Another example is the inclusion and development plans driven by the State, and more recently among young university students involved in communication or technology.
The Bureau of the Solidarity Economy of Argentina, created in December 2013, brings together cooperative confederations such as the CNCT, COOPERAR (Cooperative Confederation of the Republic of Argentina), CONAICE (National Inter-federative Coordination of Electrical Cooperatives), CONINAGRO (Inter-cooperative Confederation of Agriculture), CONAM (National Confederation of Mutuals), MAC (Argentinian Confederal Mutualism), CAM (Argentinian Confederation of Mutuals) and the SME association.
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