The women of Aurora Grundig
In the 1980s, in Tierra del Fuego, there was a factory remembered by all Argentines. The famous Aurora Grundig. The company had five large industrial plants in Ushuaia. Over time, it became an emblem of the domestic industry for the quality of its products. Who can’t remember those powerful washing machines that lasted 30 years? Or your advertising “Save Big Aurora Grundig”?
But, in the 1990s, imports opened indiscriminately and, as in an unforeseen rain, Asian goods rained into the country. 1996 became a sad year for Argentina. When no one expected it, the powerful Aurora Grundig shut down. At that time 750 workers formed the factory’s staff. A lot of them were women. The blow was hard and the factory was abandoned overnight. The administrative offices were filled with dust. The machines that produced the most commonly used washing machines in Argentina stopped working.
Start from scratch
The factory disappeared, but not its workers. It was them, the women, who took the reins of the situation and decided to fight for their work. Watching inside the factory, they organized a peaceful resistance. In 2003 they formed the Cooperative Renacer and, the following year, the factory stood up and produced again. “Everything had to be rebuilt from scratch,” recalls Monica Acosta, president of the cooperative. “They underestimated the women, that we were the ones who drove the fight,” she said. Thus, with great effort, the dream of the domestic industry was reborn.
“ Our first salary was 430 pesos,” Acosta recalls. Alone 80 families managed to survive the long years of the resistance. Many were on the way, some got sick and those who died from cancer are remembered in tables in offices. The factory had cut off the water and the gas, they only had electricity. A long time worked frozen in winter, with temperatures below zero.
Thereafter, there were good times and bad times. 2012, by example, was the best year of the Cooperative. 240,000 microwaves have been sold! Unfortunately, despite being a beloved cooperative on the island, the crises they didn’t take long to arrive. The competition of leading companies, the swings of economy and dependence on imports generated large obstacles.
Live the day by day
Today, microwaves, like TVs, come unarmed from China. The 180 workers working at the Cooperative do something else than assemble them. Women are the majority. They sort the material, make welding, assemble the control panel, load the software and join 200 pieces in manual form. “We used to manufacture everything. There is no economic independence if we depend on China,” sums up Acosta.
In order to maintain wages (all charge the same) they must manufacture 1000 household appliances per day. Despite the crisis, they were able to complete the delivery of homes and create a popular baccalaureate within the factory. So, in the same workplace, they can finish their studies. To keep running, the women of former Aurora Grundig will have to keep fighting. The path is not easy, but it is the only one to keep alive the dream of
Madrynense y argentina. Lic. en RRPP (UP), especializada en Comunicación e Identidad Corporativa (UNIR) y docente universitaria. Apasionada por la comunicación en todas sus expresiones, porque como dice Paul Watzlawick “Todo Comunica”… las palabras, las reacciones y nuestro cuerpo. Mi desafío profesional es cuidar de “ese todo”, aportando mis conocimientos y gestionando las herramientas necesarias para que las comunicaciones fluyan como las olas del mar.
You may also like
Festival of Jesus Mary: from celebration to death
The Festival of Jesus Mary always brings us joy. It is the most anticipated event; however, this 2020 brought us
4 young innovators
These are the finalists of the Innovator Under 35: four young Argentines chosen from among the best innovators in the
Happy birthday to you, La Mona!
If it's about celebrating anything, we'll be there. Ah, but if it's La Mona and celebrating her existence, we're all
We're not a joke! Or is it?
We Cordoba bear the stigma of being funny. Positive or negative quality, we don't know. If they cross us, yes
A loss for Cordovan jazz
The Cordoba Symphony Orchestra mourns and we pay tribute to the artist Amado César Caniza, who is part of the