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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

5th International Gathering of “The Workers’ Economy”

Since 2007, the International Gathering of “The Workers’ Economy” (Encuentro Internacional de “La Economía de los Trabajadores-Trabajadoras”) has taken place every two years. The gatherings have opened up a space for debate and dialogue between workers, social and political activists, academics, and intellectuals concerning the problems and potential of what we have termed “the workers’ economy”—based on self-management and the defence of the rights and interests of the population that lives by their work, within the rubric of today’s conjuncture of global neoliberal capitalism. What has inspired and guided the debates and discussions of these past encuentros (gatherings) were the experiments of self-management forged by the people of South America, such as: the worker-recuperated enterprises of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil; worker cooperative movements; experiences in workers’ control and co-management in Bolivarian Venezuela; and the social and solidarity economy. These encuentros have been spaces where an increasingly necessary discussion—of the old and new problems faced by the working class and updated for our times of global neoliberal hegemony—is being revived and reconstituted.

So far, four International Gathering have taken place, including the participation of people from 30 countries from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Oceania: Buenos Aires (2007 and 2009), Mexico City (2011) and João Pessoa, Brazil (2013). In this last meeting it was collectively decided that the next International Gathering of “The Workers’ Economy” will be held July 2015 in Venezuela (Punta Cardón, State of Falcón, Paraguaná Peninsula).

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