The reinvention of the economy in crisis due to the pandemic: the Argentine example


Sectors of the popular economy in Argentina call for the industry as a whole to transform itself to meet the demands of the health system, which is in short supply in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The MadyGraf cooperative, which was in the publishing house, now produces disinfectant gel alcohol and protective masks.

In Argentina you experience that feeling of expectation prior to an impact. This is the expectation for the most drastic increase in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus —beyond the asymptomatic infections that are not detected— and hospital admissions, either because the diagnostic capacity or the number of COVID tests is improved. -19.
This is why the production of sanitary supplies and medical instruments it is one of the priorities. So different initiatives from the public, institutional and private sectors begin to manufacture them against the clock before the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.
“Just as our first project was to produce notebooks that we later donated to public schools, today we are making these sanitizing elements and face protection masks in solidarity with public health,” Laura Arévalo, a nurse and worker at MadyGraf, a company recovered by its workers.

Located in the northern area of ​​the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (AMBA), the printing press workers cooperate in an initiative in conjunction with employees of the National Atomic Energy Commission, technicians in the chemical area, and science and technology students from the University Nacional de San Martín, which is located in the northwest area of ​​the AMBA.
The first test production of 200 containers of alcohol gel will be to supply the needs of the families of the workers and donate the surpluses to the Dr. Enrique Erill General Zonal Hospital of Agudos in the town of Escobar, in the north of the province of Buenos Aires, which so far has four patients with COVID-19 confirmed.
The formula for the production of the disinfectant gel is the one shared by the World Health Organization (WHO), they assured. The manufacture of transparent acrylic masks and their plastic fastener are built from 3D printers and they hope to deliver more than 200 in the short term.

“The idea is to continue producing with the help of the donation of supplies by the Municipality of Escobar [donde se encuentra la fábrica, en la zona norte del conurbano bonaerense]. The first batch was delivered by the bank of Nicolás Del Caño, deputy of the Left Front [partido de orientación trotskista, minoritario en el parlamento]”Arevalo said.

MagyGraf is the livelihood of 150 families, workers of the old Donnelley printing press who have supported their jobs through self-management since 2014, after the previous owners brought the company to bankruptcy and bankruptcy. In 2017, the State expropriated the plant and ceded control to the workers, which has continued to operate as a cooperative since then.


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