Learning in Struggle: Argentina’s New Worker Cooperatives as Transformative Learning Organizations
Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network
This case study delves into the nexus between workers’ conversions of troubled firms in Argentina into worker cooperatives (empreseas recuperadas por sus trabajadores, or ERTs), the processes of learning new cooperative skills and values through struggle, and the subsequent transformations of communities. To do so, the study deploys research findings from workplace ethnographies and in-depth interviews at four ERT case studies, and shows how transformations of employees to self-managed workers; troubled firms into worker cooperatives; and the social, cultural, and economic revitalization of communities catalyzed by ERTs are rooted simultaneously in inter-cooperative and intra-cooperative informal learning dynamics. A theoretical framework combining class-struggle analysis and workplace and social action learning approaches helps clarify how this informal “learning in struggle” ultimately makes ERTs transformative learning organizations for workers, organizations, and communities. This case study was presented at CASC 2015 in Ottawa; slides are attached. The article synthesizing the results of the case study is published in the following journal: Vieta, M. (2014). Learning in Struggle: Argentina’s New Worker Cooperatives as Transformative Learning Organizations. Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, 69(1), 186-218; and is accessible via the link in the URI section above.