Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Support Argentinian Workers

Support the workers occupying and running the Bauen Hotel in Argentina. They are under assault. Their efforts are singularly important. Please check out the petition and consider signing.

Here is the English text of the petition:

The struggle of Argentinian workers to recover factories and companies abandoned by their owners has become an inspiring model worldwide, and an important symbol that another world is possible. The Bauen Hotel is a concrete example. Its future and significance were recently recognized by the government of Venezuela, with an agreement signed with the Ministry of Tourism and the National Ministry of Popular Economy to work together in the development of a cooperative tourism venture. At the Bauen Hotel there are 120 men and women who every day demonstrate how to build self-managed alternatives that create jobs, dignity and justice where neoliberalism has resulted in devastating failure.

Following a fraudulent bankruptcy and after exhausting all legal paths for a year and a half, they decided to take their futures into their own hands and they built what we can see today: a fully functioning hotel with a restaurant, bookstore and cultural galleries, along with spaces that they lend to social organizations for meetings, conferences and assemblies. If you want to demonstrate your pride in a symbol of the movement right in the centre of Buenos Aires, all you have to do is let the Bauen Hotel continue to operate the way its workers, with efficiency and solidarity, have planned it.

But if you want to attack everything that this movement of recovered factories and companies represents, Hotel Bauen is a target.

Over the last few months, Hotel Bauen has been through various attempts to close it down. Now, some legislators in the city of Buenos Aires want to introduce a regulation that will destroy what the workers’ cooperative has achieved. We, the undersigned, call on the Argentinian government and its legislators to act immediately to carry out the following measures:

1. Withdraw all threats of eviction or closure from the Bauen Hotel both now and in the future.

2. Pass a law of definitive expropriation in favour of the Workplace Cooperative B.A.U.E.N. (Buenos Aires a National Company, from the Spanish initials).

Social movements around the world are watching the struggle of the Bauen Hotel workers with great interest and passionate support. This highly successful alternative should not be destroyed or threatened: it should be celebrated, supported, and shared with others!

(Via Z-Net email update.)

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