Workers Occupy Factory to Keep their Jobs with PepsiCo
600 workers who were fired by PepsiCo are taking matters into their own hands and occupying the factory in Buenos Aires.
If the name PepsiCo is not familiar, surely a few of its trademarks are: PepsiCo owns nearly all the brands we expect to see in any general store around the world, including Pepsi, Lay’s, Quaker, Dorito, Starbuck’s Ready-to-Drink, 7UP, Cheetos, Aquafina, Mountain Dew, Gatorade and Tropicana. The sheer corporate strength of the second largest food and beverage company in the world makes the struggle of over 600 workers in Buenos Aires against a PepsiCo snack factory both an uprising against great odds and an inspiring stand against corporate dominance.
On June 20, 2017 PepsiCo announced the relocation of its snack production from Vicente Lopez in Buenos Aires to a factory in Mar del Plata, a city over 250 miles south of the Argentinian capital. 691 employees arrived to work to find a sign on the closed entrance announcing the relocation of the factory, in which only 155 of them would be offered jobs in the new location. In the following days, workers voted in committees to take over the plant, blocking the entrance to the factory and demanding their jobs instead of the compensation PepsiCo offered.
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The dual nature of public participation: State regulated or people–driven participation – whiter away? Part 1
The end of Apartheid overwhelmed mass political activity
During the struggle against Apartheid ordinary people were highly involved. Highly inspired by an ideal of a democratic order, individuals involved themselves in mass activity. The mass democratic movement, though coordinated at national and regional level, was deeply rooted in township neighbourhoods. Street committees and civic associations played a vital role at local level.
The grassroots organizations have slowly faded away, and in many cases have also been actively demobilised, after the fall of white minority rule. Popular participation in the social and political life of our communities was soon replaced by trappings of regular elections. Voting has been structured to take place nearly after every two years. It has shifted our focus from active involvement in politics and issues affecting us. We have now placed our hopes in political parties and charismatic personalities. Our aspiration for social equality has been quelled to a large extent. Democracy is no longer regarded as a means to an end, but an end in itself.
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