Demonstrators march through downtown Chicago in December 2008 in support of the laid-off workers of Republic Windows and Doors.
Across Europe and even in the U.S., a new wave of direct action to “rebuild the economy from the ground up” is rising. Some workers are responding to layoffs and workplace shutdowns by ousting their bosses and seeking to run things their own way. Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis report on the state of worker-control movements today in light of the current economic crisis.
In 2004, we made a documentary called The Take about Argentina’s movement of worker-run businesses. In the wake of the country’s dramatic economic collapse in 2001, thousands of workers walked into their shuttered factories and put them back into production as worker cooperatives. Abandoned by bosses and politicians, they regained unpaid wages and severance while re-claiming their jobs in the process.
As we toured Europe and North America with the film, every Q&A ended up with the question, “that’s all very well in Argentina, but could that ever happen here?”