'If You Can't, We Can!': Labour as Commons, the Solidarity Economy and Transformative Development on the Margins - A Case Study on the Worker-Recuperated Company, VIO.ME, in Thessaloniki, Greece
Prassoulis, Anthony Nicholas
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This Masters Thesis analyzes the worker occupation and takeover of the Vio.Me factory in Thessaloniki, Greece in a context of widespread business closures brought on by the economic crisis. The recuperation of the Vio.Me factory set in motion a deeply transformative process, as workers converted their bankrupted firm into a socially-oriented workers cooperative. In this paper, I explore the ways in which the worker recuperation has transformed the abandoned factory into a common space for building and sustaining community, and the labour activity of workers into a process of commoning. I argue that while the Vio.Me takeover initially emerged as a defensive reaction against unemployment and poverty, it has become an offensive class-based struggle against power and representation in the workplace and beyond in pursuit of autonomy and the commons. I aim to demonstrate how the commons and commoning constitute a vehicle for transformative community and human development from below.