Factory Take-Overs The Arvida aluminum plant in Jonquière, QC and the Forja San Martin auto-parts factory in Buenos Aires,...
History and Context <ul><li>Quebéc </li></ul><ul><li>NAFTA (1994) </li></ul><ul><li>Sovereignty Debate (1995) </li></ul><u...
Local Context <ul><li>Arvida </li></ul><ul><li>ALCAN announces closure of Soderberg smelter from Davos, during the World E...
Facts and Figures <ul><li>Jonquiere & Saguenay </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of around 5000 jobs in previous year. </li></ul><ul>...
Forja San Martin <ul><li>Objectives : Creating permanent jobs, defend the right to work, recover dignity  </li></ul><ul><l...
The Take of Forja San Martin factory by its workers <ul><li>Former workers visit the factory and decide to re-appropriate ...
6 months after…
Cooperativa Forja San Martin Ltd Workers won the control over the factory!  (Clip)
Arvida - 2004 <ul><li>Arvida plant opened 1928 </li></ul><ul><li>Plans to scrap the smelters on the north shore - 2015 </l...
<ul><li>Objective : ALCAN’s reinvestment in the region to maintain the level of employment. </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation...
Tactics <ul><li>Unions: </li></ul><ul><li>Strikes and walk-outs </li></ul><ul><li>Work-to-rule </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiati...
Obstacles <ul><li>Arvida </li></ul><ul><li>State oppositon (Québec labor board) </li></ul><ul><li>ALCAN controlled their s...
Conditions that facilitated the initiatives <ul><li>Arvida </li></ul><ul><li>Support of national level unions (CAW & QFL) ...
Contradictions <ul><li>Arvida: Uncertainty about analysis on free trade and expectations about community support. </li></u...
<ul><li>Common Points  &   Differences </li></ul><ul><li>« L e fait que des milliers d’ouvriers, a differents endroits en ...
Discussion Questions <ul><li>Do negative conditions such as existing economic crises and previous job losses promote such ...
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Factory Takeovers Presentation

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Prepared for a class on deglobalisation movements in 2005.

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Factory Takeovers Presentation

  1. 1. Factory Take-Overs The Arvida aluminum plant in Jonquière, QC and the Forja San Martin auto-parts factory in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  2. 2. History and Context <ul><li>Quebéc </li></ul><ul><li>NAFTA (1994) </li></ul><ul><li>Sovereignty Debate (1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Zero deficit policy (1996) </li></ul><ul><li>Cuts to social spending </li></ul><ul><li>Privatisation </li></ul><ul><li>Attacks on worker’s rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Election of Charest’s liberals (2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Argentina </li></ul><ul><li>Peron </li></ul><ul><li>Dictatorship (1976) </li></ul><ul><li>IMF recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Menem (1990) and El modelo </li></ul><ul><li>Debt Crisis (2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Attacks on worker’s rights </li></ul><ul><li>Privatisation </li></ul><ul><li>Cuts to social spending </li></ul>
  3. 3. Local Context <ul><li>Arvida </li></ul><ul><li>ALCAN announces closure of Soderberg smelter from Davos, during the World Economic Forum, January 22nd, 2004. (550 jobs) </li></ul><ul><li>Previous factory closures in the region... </li></ul><ul><li>Arvida operating since 1928 </li></ul><ul><li>Local support for Nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Forja San Martin </li></ul><ul><li>Factory abandoned by Forja San Martin Sociedad Anonima Comercial e Industrial in 2001. </li></ul><ul><li>450 workers lost their jobs & factory equipment removed. </li></ul><ul><li>Most people living in poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>Peronism  & nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>National elections in 2003 </li></ul>
  4. 4. Facts and Figures <ul><li>Jonquiere & Saguenay </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of around 5000 jobs in previous year. </li></ul><ul><li>Average annual income of $25, 785. </li></ul><ul><li>Unemployment around 12%. </li></ul><ul><li>Buenos Aires </li></ul><ul><li>Wages fell at one factory from 600/week to 2/week. </li></ul><ul><li>From 1995-2004 40% of major factories have closed down. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Argentina es el desierto que queda de un pais globalizado ” – Naomi Klein, The Take </li></ul>
  5. 5. Forja San Martin <ul><li>Objectives : Creating permanent jobs, defend the right to work, recover dignity </li></ul><ul><li>Slogan : Occupy, resist, produce </li></ul><ul><li>«  model  »: Ceramica Zanon </li></ul><ul><li>Values : dignity, family, work, solidarity, autonomy, direct democracy, self-management </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Take of Forja San Martin factory by its workers <ul><li>Former workers visit the factory and decide to re-appropriate it </li></ul><ul><li>Cleaning, putting it back in function (Clip) </li></ul><ul><li>Forming a cooperative </li></ul><ul><li>Finding clients </li></ul><ul><li>Surprise visit from an official (Clip) </li></ul><ul><li>Judge condemn the occupation </li></ul><ul><li>Went to La Plata to hear the vote on the law of expropriation (Clip) </li></ul>
  7. 7. 6 months after…
  8. 8. Cooperativa Forja San Martin Ltd Workers won the control over the factory! (Clip)
  9. 9. Arvida - 2004 <ul><li>Arvida plant opened 1928 </li></ul><ul><li>Plans to scrap the smelters on the north shore - 2015 </li></ul><ul><li>Jan 22nd – ALCAN announces closure. </li></ul><ul><li>Jan 24th & 25th – meeting of SNEAA execs and shop stewards. </li></ul><ul><li>Jan 26th – SNEAA general meeting. </li></ul><ul><li>Jan 27th – takeover announced. </li></ul><ul><li>Feb 1st – Québec Labor Board declares occupation illegal </li></ul><ul><li>Feb 12th – ALCAN and SNEAA restart negotiations. </li></ul><ul><li>Feb 16th – union commences shutdown of smelter </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Objective : ALCAN’s reinvestment in the region to maintain the level of employment. </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational structure : Multi-tiered heirarchy with rank-and-file workers at the bottom. ( http://www.sneaa.qc.ca/struc_sneaa.asp ) </li></ul><ul><li>Values : Jobs, efficiency, community, working environment, corporate investment as a vehicle for development… </li></ul>
  11. 11. Tactics <ul><li>Unions: </li></ul><ul><li>Strikes and walk-outs </li></ul><ul><li>Work-to-rule </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation </li></ul><ul><li>Economic Disruption: </li></ul><ul><li>Boycotts </li></ul><ul><li>Blockades </li></ul><ul><li>Occupations </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrations </li></ul><ul><li>Factory take-overs </li></ul>
  12. 12. Obstacles <ul><li>Arvida </li></ul><ul><li>State oppositon (Québec labor board) </li></ul><ul><li>ALCAN controlled their supplies. </li></ul><ul><li>Unwillingness of both parties to begin negotiations in this context. (?) </li></ul><ul><li>Forja </li></ul><ul><li>Threat of desalojo </li></ul><ul><li>Minority of workplaces in this model (?) </li></ul><ul><li>Heterogeneous movement </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to break from Peronist ideology </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to compete </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of management capacity </li></ul>
  13. 13. Conditions that facilitated the initiatives <ul><li>Arvida </li></ul><ul><li>Support of national level unions (CAW & QFL) </li></ul><ul><li>Community support (families, businesses…) </li></ul><ul><li>Previous job-losses in the community (?) </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness of clients to continue buying. </li></ul><ul><li>Forja </li></ul><ul><li>Economic crisis. </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of government’s legitimacy. </li></ul><ul><li>Popular assemblies. </li></ul><ul><li>National movement. </li></ul><ul><li>Kirchner </li></ul>
  14. 14. Contradictions <ul><li>Arvida: Uncertainty about analysis on free trade and expectations about community support. </li></ul><ul><li>Forja San Martin: Attention to election issues despite anti-voting stance. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Common Points & Differences </li></ul><ul><li>« L e fait que des milliers d’ouvriers, a differents endroits en Argentine et dans d’autre pays, utilisent au m ême moment les même methodes et les même idées montre qu’il existe une conscience historique profonde, sous-jacente, cachée.  »  </li></ul><ul><li>-Almeyra (2004) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Discussion Questions <ul><li>Do negative conditions such as existing economic crises and previous job losses promote such initiatives? Are they obstacles? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the ability to enter into negotiations with the former or current owners of the property advantageous? </li></ul><ul><li>How has nationalism informed these initiatives? </li></ul>
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