In a county with almost three times the US unemployment rate, the drastic doesn’t seem so drastic anymore. After Vio.Me., a building materials factory in Greece, went bankrupt in May 2011 and stopped paying its employees, the company’s workers decided not to fall victim to unemployment. Instead they sought to control their own fate by taking over management and production themselves. In February 2013, the forty workers of Vio.Me. began manufacturing and producing under new management–their own.
As part of a letter being circulated by the Thessaloniki Solidarity Initiative explains: The example of factories under direct-democratic workers’ control in Argentina has shown that “workers together can not only run their own workplace, but can do it better. The example of Argentina has spread throughout the Americas, and now to Europe and the United States.”
Not only do the workers plan to be completely democratic and self-managed, they also are researching use of new cleaning products that are better for the environment.
Greece’s workers are showing that the way forward—out of unemployment—is by refusing elite solutions to the country’s economic crisis in favor of workers’ control and directly democratic self-management.
“Greek Factory Starts Production under Workers’ Control,” Axis of Logic, February 12, 2013, http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_65392.shtml
Peter Rothberg, Greek Factory Under Workers Control,” The Nation, February 12, 2013, http://www.thenation.com/blog/172852/greek-factory-under-workers-control
Student Researcher: Josh T. Champagne, College of Marin
Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman, College of Marin
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