March for Zanon

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 22 September, 2004 - 12:00

On 14 September a delegation of Zanon workers and participants in the Unemployed Workers’ Movement (MTD) travelled to Buenos Aires in Argentina to organise a national campaign to defend the factory.

Since March 2002 Zanon’s workers have run the factory under workers’ self-management without owners, bosses or foremen.

A delegation of 170 activists — 100 workers from Zanon and 70 from social movements supporting the factory — arrived in the morning in Buenos Aires to march to a local court and national congress against a government eviction order on the factory. The march was part of a nationwide strategy by the “recuperated” business movement. In Argentina there are more than 200 re-occupied factories and businesses, employing some 10,000 workers.

Workers from the recuperated factory movement presented a bill for the definitive expropriation of all recuperated companies and factories to congress. Protestors urged the need to defend factories at all costs, with or without legal standing.

Zanon is a ceramics factory occupied by its workers in the southern province of Nuequén, and has been one of the strongest examples of production under workers’ control. Zanon employs 420 workers and is producing 3,000 metres of ceramic tiles per month. Since the original 240 workers occupied the factory in March 2002 more than 180 new workers from unemployed workers’ organisations have been incorporated into the factory.

In recent weeks the workers of Zanon have been on alert after pressure from the provincial governor for the workers to leave their jobs inside the factory and work in a government sponsored micro-enterprise projects targeted at the unemployed. After three years under workers’ control, the provincial government of Neuquén re-launched an attack against the factory. Recently, a judge refused the recognition to Zanon as a worker cooperative which would have given the factory legal standing.

From a report by Grupo Alavio —

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