Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Workers in Argentina are Leading the Fight Against the Coronavirus

In Argentina, the workers are providing an exemplary response to the Coronavirus pandemic. In some recovered factories, basic supplies are being produced to address the health crisis. The government declared a virtual curfew, but workers can provide a much more effective and organized response.

Lautaro Jimenez

March 21, 2020
Facebook Twitter Share
Workers at the recovered textile factory, Traful Newen.

A health emergency was declared in Argentina a week ago. Is the solution a curfew drawn up as “total quarantine”? No. Let’s see why workers’ control of production and public control of the health system are necessary to combat Covid-19.

No large capitalist company or laboratory made its facilities and accumulated capital available to help in the health emergency. In contrast there are already clear examples of direct aid in the fight against Covid-19 by companies recovered by their workers.

Argentina’s only laboratory recovered by its workers, FarmaCoop (formerly the Roux Ocefa laboratory), began to manufacture alcohol gel on a large scale for the health system of Buenos Aires Province and made it available to the national government. Its workers decided to produce an essential item to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The workers of the recovered textile company Traful Newen are already manufacturing masks for the health system of Neuquén Province and are asking the national government to finance an increase in production.

The sugar mills in the country’s northwest are the strategic manufacturers of alcohol. But the Ledesma company is already doing good business by selling to the government, keeping a good slice of the scarce budget destined to public supply. The only answer to this speculation is for the workers to confiscate and control the production of basic supplies.

Why, in Mendoza Province, don’t workers take over IMPSA (a hydroelectric turbine factory) and Cartellone (a construction company) to produce hospital emergency rooms and mobile sanitary vehicles? Why can’t Derivados Vínicos (a company that recycles derivatives from the wine industry) produce medicinal alcohol? Their workers say they have the machinery, raw materials, and the willingness to do so. But Mendoza governor Rodolfo Suárez has only asked the president to allow winemakers to hire workers amid the quarantine to help with the harvest. Is that the health and economic priority? Capitalists’ profits always come first, never our lives.

Meanwhile, the government has decreed measures that confuse sanitary quarantine with police blackout. It refuses to take any serious action to acquire and manufacture the millions of tests needed for the isolates to be effective! An information fence is set up.

That is why we need a national committee of health workers, scientists, and professionals who are honest and loyal to the people, to lead a really serious, transparent and democratic fight against the pandemic, a fight based on the deliberations of those who risk their lives in it.

The Soviet experience during the Spanish flu, organized by the great health worker Nikolai Semashko (an experience that even to this day, continues to study at the university), showed that centralization is as necessary as true information and active organization of society. The Russian Revolution of 1917 demonstrated that a new society can be built by transforming all social relations, guaranteeing full access to health. Cuban medicine is also an example of efficiency against different epidemics. It has a medicine approach based on prevention. Argentina has a lot to contribute and needs help in this fight, which has to be international and Latin American.

Let us close by noting that a massive applause for health workers was heard in multiple cities in Argentina, where people at home thanked the workers who are on the front lines against the pandemic.

Facebook Twitter Share

Latin America

Alfredo Cisneros, Mexican land defender from Michoacán, stands in a forest. He is the fifth land defender to be murdered in the country in 2023.

Alfredo Cisneros: Fifth Mexican Environmentalist Assassinated in 2023

Alfredo Cisneros Madrigal, indigenous leader and forest defender in Michoacán, Mexico was murdered on February 23. He is the fifth environmental defender to be murdered in the country so far this year.

Axomalli Villanueva

March 13, 2023

Lula Visits Biden to Repair Relations with U.S. Imperialism

Brazilian President Lula's U.S. visit shows that he's focused on maintaining the interests of Brazilian capital while aligning with U.S. imperialism and being careful not to alienate Beijing.

Caio Reis

February 16, 2023

SOUTHCOM Chief Aims to Increase Imperialist Plunder of Latin America’s Resources

U.S. Southern Command Chief Laura Richardson has expressed interest in lithium and other natural resources in South America. It shows the country’s commitment to corporate profits at the expense of workers, Indigenous people, and the environment.

Luigi Morris

January 26, 2023

The Peruvian Uprising: Massive Protests Demand the Fall of the Coup Regime and a Constituent Assembly

Peru has erupted in a massive uprising demanding that President Dina Boluarte resign, that the current Congress be shut down, and that a new constitution be established. The protests are the culmination of years of political oppression of the country’s indigenous communities, drastic poverty rates and precarity for Peru’s workers and poor, and a political regime that continues the legacy of Alberto Fujimori’s dictatorship.


Protesters gather during a demonstration on Place de la Concorde in Paris on March 17, 2023, the day after the French government pushed a pensions reform using the article 49.3 of the constitution. - French President's government on March 17, 2023 faced no-confidence motions in parliament and intensified protests after imposing a contentious pension reform without a vote in the lower house. Across France, fresh protests erupted in the latest show of popular opposition to the bill since mid-January.

Battle of the Pensions: Toward a Pre-Revolutionary Moment in France

President Macron's use of article 49.3 to push through an unpopular pension reform bill has opened up an enormous political crisis that has changed the character of the mobilizations against the French government. We are entering a "pre-revolutionary moment" that can change the balance of power between the classes in France.

Juan Chingo

March 21, 2023

20 Years Since the U.S. Invasion of Iraq: A Reflection from a Socialist in the Heart of Imperialism

A Left Voice member and anti-war activist reflects on the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and how he learned to hate U.S. imperialism.

Sam Carliner

March 20, 2023

It is Possible to Win: The Pension Reform Crisis in France

A French socialist reflects on the way forward after Macron invites Article 49.3 to pass pension reform.

Paul Morao

March 20, 2023

“We are your economy”: Trans Youth Walkout and Speak Out

The following is a speech by a young trans person as part of an action called for by NYC Youth for Trans Rights.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

March 20, 2023