Home Institution

Temple University

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights


Starting during the neoliberal economic policies of the 90’s and continuing through the crisis of 2001, over 200 abandoned or bankrupt factories have been recuperated by their workers to maintain their jobs and argentine industry. These factories, called empresas recuperadas, have an important role in providing economic alternatives to the typical exploitation of capitalism as nearly all are maintained as cooperatives where members share in the decision-making process and profits. Although they have their roots in the militant union history of Argentina, in many ways they have differentiated themselves from the typical worker struggle.

These factories have an interesting relationship with the government because while in the past capitalist states often opposed worker control, the current administration has a more amiable relationship, which has provided support through subsidies and legal mechanisms to help with the process of recuperation. Although the government has chosen to provide support, the aid is not sufficient to support the production of these small cooperatives typically with little capital and generally outdated technology.

As a result, they have had to create their own networks of support with various aspects of society in order to sustain their profits. They have done this through creating networks of mutual financial support with other empresas recuperadas, creating cultural centers and high school programs to amplify their functions and gain support of the community, and working with other organizations of social change to progress the political discourse. These networks have created a unique social movement that has combined worker struggle with other cultural and political aspects, creating a strong impetus for social change in argentine society.


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Growth and Development | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Social and Cultural Anthropology