Support to Officine Zero, Rome, Italy

We stand by our coworkers of Officine Zero and we sign the following call for support: 

Facing the dramatic social and labor crisis that we live in Italy and in Europe, unexpected and brave answers are needed. Officine Zero, an occupied factory a few steps away from the Tiburtina station in Rome, is a valuable example of temporary and unemployed workers' direct activation, to boost the economy on a new basis: cooperation, mutualism and environmental sustainability.
Officine ex-RSI (night train maintenance site, former Wagon Lits) was initially occupied on the 20th of February, 2012 by the workers that had been laid off. On the 1st of June, 2013, in response to the failure of the company decreed by the Court of Lecco, a broad social coalition, which had been supporting the workers battle all along, re-opened the factory gates with a project to reconvert it, in order to give new perspectives to the ongoing occupation.
The model that is being experimented promotes innovative projects that benefit from the cooperation between different professions and trades, from the containment of expenses that come from sharing costs and supplies of integrated services in compliance with the environmental, social and economic sustainability. At the heart of the conversion project is the implementation of an officially recognized center for re-use and preparation for re-use, where goods and waste can be given a second life, and can be subject to inspection, cleaning and repairing, to then be distributed on the second hand market, in line with the best practices at European level.
In order to optimize the recovery and use of space and equipment, on one hand, and the socio-economic value of cooperation, on the other, many other projects have been activated: workshops for craftswork, upcycling and prototyping, a co-working space for freelancers and non-standard professionals, a "chamber for self-employed and precarious work" with legal, fiscal and social security services, a student house and a canteen. Today, one year later, Officine Zero already looks like a wide space of collaborative production, where blue collars, craftsmen, freelancers and students cooperate daily. The re-generation of the space has been made possible thanks to the reactivation of the machinery, essential for running the new productions at the present date.
By September, the Trustee in the bankruptcy could tender a public auction for the sale of the machinery, with the risk that an enormous patrimony could be sold out, with no protection of the area or of the labor. For this Officine Zero needs immediate mobilization and wide support. Supporting Officine Zero means asking the institutions (the Region, Lazio and the Capital, Rome, in particular) to continue with the commitments made so far, protecting the future employment of workers and promoting the process of workers buyout, according to the principles of Article 43 of the Italian Constitution. Supporting Officine Zero at this time means to actively participate in the construction of a mutual fund, which is necessary to lay the foundations for the redevelopment of a productive and environmental common.
In Italy and in Europe examples of companies bailed out by the workers themselves and by local communities are growing, while the collaborative economy is increasingly emerging as a new paradigm of production. For this reason we invite you to sign the call and to support Officine Zero, in this challenge that is difficult, but crucial and fascinating for all of us.

Workers of the Workers Cooperative of VIO.ME. (S.E.VIO.ME.) are calling for the improvement of some products and the expandment of their variety.

They are asking for chemical engineers experienced in producing cleaning products. 
Please contact

Together we can make the gear turn - Sign up as a solidarity supporter of Vio.Me.

We, the workers of Vio.Me., abandoned by an employer who owes us huge amounts -accrued and overdue- decided to keep the plant and survive against the imposed on us imperatives of the capitalist crisis and the anti-labor measures connected with it.

For two and a half years now (and while the entire society is suffering) we try to stay alive, strong, full of energy and away from the fear of personal depression, through processes of absolute democracy and horizontality.

We decided that in the factory we keep occupied we can do exactly what the rulers, the mainstream media and their minions describe and present to the working class as impossible.

We have managed to not only survive but to also promote a solution for the reopening of the factory under workers' control and self-managed production through the workers’ assembly.

Through numerous meetings with the Ministry of Labour and our daily struggle, we managed to promote a solution that allows us to bring our vision into practice.
Today, we, once more, address our colleagues and all the people who have stood beside us since the first moment, giving us the courage to continue.
Today we ask you to support the struggle which we fight together, by allowing us to attach on our statutes your signature as a “solidarity supporter”, thus opening to the majority of society the opportunity to participate in the democratic processes of the operation of the factory. We ask you to become part of this struggle that opens the way for factories to pass into the hands of workers, for a society without bosses and exploitation.

In solidarity,
the workers of

Who is a "Solidarity-Supporter”: in the context of its continuous contact with all sectors of society, the Vio.Me. cooperative recognizes in its new statute the role of the "Solidarity supporter", who, in return for a small but steady economic contribution corresponding to cleaning products manufactured by the cooperative, is entitled to have continuous information on all the Vio.Me. - related developments, both in terms of the struggle and the production process, thus helping in shaping the development of the project with his/her informed advisory vote. In this way, a bridge is built between labor and the social control of production, a bridge that will enable us all to actively participate in the most important project of workers’ self-management in Greece.
“Solidarity-Supporter” as defined in the Statute of the Vio.Me Social Cooperative: Individuals regardless of gender, ethnicity and religion, who agree with and are inspired by the principles of the Social Cooperative and who wish to contribute to the achievement of its objectives, such as those specified in this Statute, may participate as Solidarity-Supporters of the project. In order to acquire this capacity, they are required to send an electronic request giving their details (name, profession, place of residence, e-mail) to 
(*NOTE: For the moment, due to technical limitations, only Solidarity-Supporters residing in Greece may contribute financially in exchange for products. For those residing in other countries, this will become possible as soon as the Vio.Me. Social Cooperative expands its distribution network. Everyone is encouraged, however, to sign up as solidarity supporter).

The Solidarity-Supporters of Vio.Me. are expected to support the actions of the Social Cooperative by offering knowledge, information, financial contribution, or any other activity or material may be conducive to the realization of its objectives. There is a provision for an obligation to pay a monthly fee as follows: overall contribution of 3 € and reduced contribution of € 1.50 € for the unemployed, those who have 3 and more children and those who are students. The contribution corresponds to products of the Vio.Me Social Cooperative. 
The non-payment of the contribution does not lead to the loss of the capacity and rights of the Solidarity-Supporter if this is due to real economic weakness communicated to the Administrative Committee. The Solidarity-Supporters are welcome and encouraged to attend the General Meetings of the Vio.Me. - Social Cooperative, in the context of which they are free to express their opinions and they also have the right of an advisory vote. They are entitled to be informed about the activities of the Social Cooperative, the annual financial balance sheets, any changes in the Statute and any other important developments. The responsibility of keeping the Solidarity-Supporters updated as well as that for any decision concerning their status, rights and obligations, in addition to those specified in this paragraph, lies with the General Assembly.

Call for the solidarity day of Vio.Me.

Co-workers and comrades in the global movement,
 After the owners abandoned the factory, we, the workers of VIO.ME., decided collectively to operate the factory under workers' control and self-management through our assembly.
From that moment on we have been fighting and we have carried out the decision of the assembly. We have achieved to produce products for our subsistence, using the means of production we expropriated.
Since the moment we entered the factory and started the preliminary work we have on our side a big part of the global movement and support of various labour structures and social struggles. So, we have succeeded in keeping our own, but also our families’ dignity and we are keeping up the struggle with great passion and strength.
At this time, while we are under attack in different fronts, we ask and demand from the state to solve the operational problem of abandoned factories. In that way, we will be able to distribute the products, which are produced from natural raw materials, so they are accessible to all families. Thus, we will be able to keep the factory alive, contributing to the wellbeing of the whole of society.
At this moment the judicial authorities are targeting the project of VIO.ME., so we ask for political support from any structure that can support us through resolutions and other activities.
We join our voices and our power on Monday 16 of December and we exchange experiences through the internet with various global labour and social struggles, in order to  to bring about the management of production by the producers themselves. Co-workers and comrades, we no longer accept the previous slavery even if it is in a golden cage, rather we demand and fight for our absolute freedom.
On Monday 16 of December, we distribute our products throughout the day in the social space for freedom Micropolis, we cook all together, and in the evening we celebrate with music for all the self-managed factories.

Solidarity greetings from the workers of VIO.ME.

VIO ME workers in Varna, Bulgaria

Explosion of solidarity with the VIO ME workers and their struggle at the Festival of direct democracy and solidarity economy which was held in Varna, Bulgaria on 13, 14 and 15 September this year.
There was a lecture on which hundreds of people were introduced to the problems of workers of the occupied factory. In the  free discussion that followed with the audience, the people of Bulgaria expressed their support and asked about the details and the organization of the factory after passing under workers control.Others asked for such "occupied" factories in the world and whether similar "occupation" could happen in a bulgarian factory.
The products were sold for just a few minutes. Some people wanted to make a request for larger quantities but were disappointed by the fact that due to legal issues, the importation of those goods in Bulgaria is difficult.There was the idea of creating a network of solidarity in Bulgaria to help solve the problems of the Greek workers with institutions in Greece and afterwards for the distribution of their products. People got T-shirts showing solidarity with the struggling for self-government Vio ME and the conviction that their fight is fair.


26 June: Actions around the world in support of the struggle of the workers of Vio.Me. for self-management.


On the 26th of June, as part of the International Day of Solidarity with the workers of Vio.Me. in their struggle for self-management of their workplace, many solidarity actions were carried out in Argentina, a place with a great tradition of struggle for self-management. A petition signed by many workers and unions was delivered to the Greek Embassy in Argentina by representatives of three workers’ cooperatives that have a long history of struggle:

- BAUEN, a hotel on the heart of Buenos Aires operated by its workers,
- Brukman (Cooperative December 18) self-managed by workers in the textiles sector,
- Chilavert Printing Workshop, under cooperative workers’ management.

The text stated:
"In the midst of a capitalist crisis of historic proportions that is leaving millions unemployed worldwide, the workers of Vio.Me. are resisting unemployment, while at the same time promoting an alternative coming from the workers themselves.
The undersigned declare our wholehearted solidarity with their struggle, and we demand that the authorities guarantee the rights of the workers of Vio.Me. to work, produce and sell their products. We declare our unconditional support for their struggle. "

Hundreds of signatures of self-managed workplaces, unions, local institutions and workers follow.

Moreover, the workers of Stefani Ceramics, another workplace in struggle for self-management, have sent their greetings and solidarity through photographs.
So did the workers of Chilavert Printing Company, as well as those of Zanon / FaSinPat, supporting the petition and declaring that the struggle of Vio.Me is also their struggle.

The latter also sent this message to their Greek comrades:

 "Brother and sisters at Vio.Me,

Us at Zanon, the Ceramist Union and the Workers’ Bank, are declaring our solidarity with your struggle and we are taking part in the actions carried out today, where not only will you showcase your production but you will also demonstrate once again the ability we have as workers to run the factories without bosses, at a time when the capitalist model is under question and employers want us workers to pay for the crisis. We send our greetings and hundreds of hugs from the distance that separates us, keep in mind that on this side of the ocean there are workers that support you.

Long live the struggle of the workers of Vio.Me!!”



German, Turkish and Greek comrades held a solidarity rally to support the struggle, calling for a united solidarity effort for all the struggles in Southern Europe and worldwide and referencing the example of Vio.Me. as part of a workers' answer to the current capitalist crisis. A talk about the current situation followed. The banner in the background reads: "Solidarity with the VioMe workers, factory under workers' control".

Click on the link below to see actions from Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Bulgaria.