To hear from someone who has actually accomplished something just how people can affect change was an awesome experience. The company is still in sort of a limbo state at the moment but it has served as a beacon of hope for many other factories who were subjected to the same unfair conditions that started the revolution. I'm glad that I got the opportunity to hear Matilda's story and see something that is undeniably a part of this country.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Last Saturday, we went on a research excursion to a remarkable part of Argentina's diverse cultural landscape. La fábrica Brukman, a suit and textile factory, was (and still is) the site of a revolution indicative of the indomitable spirit of the people. The story begins in the mid to late 90s; a difficult time for Argentina. As our vivacious guide Matilda (an older lady who spoke very rapid Spanish) told us, there began payment disputes that resulted in the workers of the factory ultimately taking over the company. After many tense negotiations, occupations and even arrests, the workers of the company who are all women, Matilda was proud to tell us, have successfully adapted the company from a hierarchical, profit-oriented business into a co-op or "colectiva". This means that all of the dozens of workers earn the same amount, the decisions are made democratically and the processes are notably more transparent. Here you can see Matilda explaining the ups and downs of the lengthy journey.