The International Gatherings of “The Workers’ Economy” have occurred every two years since 2007 as a forum for discussions and debates between workers, social and political activists, intellectuals and academics interested in the problems and potentialities of what has been defined as the “Workers’ Economy” – the economy viewed from the perspective of worker and community self-management and based on the defense of working people’s rights and interests in the current contexts of global capitalism.
The International Gathering of “The Workers’ Economy” has provided a space to hear from and enagage with myriad experiences of self-management – from those innovated in South America, such as the worker-recuperated companies and enterprises of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil; the cooperative movements of urban, rural, and Quilambola workers; and the experiences of co-management in Bolivarian Venezuela; to the growing experiments with worker and platform cooperatives, union–cooperative and alternative union models; and numerous other experiments in the social, solidarity, or communal economy of the global North and South. The Gathering has consistently provided an opportunity to discuss both the intensification of capital expansion and accumulation on a global scale and its perpetuation of outsourcing, factory closures, unemployment, and precarity; and today’s reinvigorated forms of cooperativism, workers’ association, self-management, and exchange.
The Gathering of “The Workers’ Economy” seeks to debate these and other questions as they relate the struggle of workers, bringing these questions to light within different perspectives and national, regional and international contexts. It aims to do this by bringing together academics committed to these struggles with workers and social activists. The Workers’ Economy” gatherings are also spaces for dialogue and debate that have been inspired by and have had as their starting point the experiences of workers’ self-management with representatives from more than 30 countries, worker-recuperated enterprises, self-managed workers, cooperatives, union-based labor movements, rural workers, social movements, political movements, and intellectuals, among others, have been developing these encuentros over successive editions of “The Workers’ Economy” encuentros.
Through both critical reflection and resistance to the capitalist management of the economy, the purpose of the International Gathering of the “The Workers’ Economy” is to continue to articulate and systematize these experiences, as well as bring to light the myriad ways working people are shaping their own organizations and socio-economic realities.