Factory protesters want to revive shut-down business as a co-op

Workers are occupying the Bitoplast recycling centre in Rio Tala, Argentina

A group of Argentinian workers occupying a closed down plastic-recycling plant wants to run it as a co-operative.

The former workers at the Bitoplast factory, near Rio Tala in the province of Buenos Aires, have been occupying the building since its closure. They claim the factory owner owes them two months’ salary.

The group has held meetings with workers experienced in taking over recovered factories to enable them to move forward as a co-op. And they’re continuing their occupation in the dark after the building’s electricity supplier cut the power due to non-payment of bills.

Now they have asked for the power to be reconnected and appealed for help from the local council to pay the outstanding bill, on the understanding it will be reimbursed once the co-op is up and running.

“The idea is to be able to start working, to take charge of the factory,” said Juan Céjas, one of the workers. “We do not want to pay the electricity but if we can subsidise this debt, we can return the money when we start working.”

“The intention is to move forward in a co-operative,” continued Juan, who was thankful for the support of numerous Argentinian worker organisations that have been sending the group supplies. “All help and support is appreciated, at least we are know we’re not forgotten.”

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