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Viome, a self-management factory in T...
thessaloniki
By Michele Lapini
29 May 2013

Before the beginning of the international crisis, Viome were a factory in Thessaloniki with around 80 workers. The factory produced chemical products for the construction sector, owned by Philippou family. The main company of the Philippou's group, Philkeram-Johnson S.A, were in bankrupt in 2011 and the consequences for Viome were immediately adverse. After institutional meetings without a clear solution, the workers decide to re-take the factory and the production. In September 2012, after a 48hours strike, the workers start to discuss the idea of self-management, and the 97% of workers vote for it.

After the occupation of the factory, on 12 February 2013, the workers started the self-management production, selling cleaning products. A huge solidarity movement support the workers, with national and international inititatives to promote and diffuse the "Viome way", where now workers control the factory, without any owner.

Around 40 people work in Viome, with a basic wage for everyone and 8 hours working time 5 days a week. The general assembly decide the main question and a weekly meeting discuss he more operative aspects. "At the beginning was difficult, but we are sure that our situation is gonna be better, even better than before the crisis", said a worker of Viome. Economic crisis and bad decision from the Viome's leadership, contribute to the difficult situation of the factory, with with the probable dismissal of around 80 workers.

Since the workers have retake the factory, they've started a new production of cleaning products, looking for a sustainable and ethical production, including workers rights and a big challenge: spread the idea that workers create everything, and the have to take bake what they onw, in any cities and countries around the world.

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Viome 9
Thessaloniki
By Michele Lapini
29 May 2013

"It's all about workers. The workers create everything, they have to take back what the own", said a Viome's worker.

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Viome 18
Thessaloniki
By Michele Lapini
29 May 2013

One of the main problems for Viome was the Filkeram factory (building product), owned by Georgios Filippou. Even before the crisis, when the Viome's situation was good, the owner started to cut wages and hire workers.

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Viome 1
Thessaloniki
By Michele Lapini
29 May 2013

"What we are doing in Viome is not only about this factory. We want to spread this way of production all over Greece and Europe, without bosses and injustice" said a Viome's worker.

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Viome 13
Thessaloniki
By Michele Lapini
29 May 2013

"The politicians don't want the self-management, because unemployment and crisis are often useful for low wages and foreing investors", said a worker during a break.

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Viome 10
Thessaloniki
By Michele Lapini
29 May 2013

"At the beginning was so difficult, we occupy the factory and now the situation is gonna be better every day, even better than before the crisis", said a worker of Viome.

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Viome 17
Thessaloniki
By Michele Lapini
29 May 2013

After bankrupt, workers decide to occupy the factory and then to self-organize the production. Now they produce cleaning products.

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Viome 6
Thessaloniki
By Michele Lapini
29 May 2013

A worker close the factory after his 8 hours working shift at Viome in Thessaloniki.

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Viome 2
Thessaloniki
By Michele Lapini
29 May 2013

In February 2012, after the occupation of the factory, the workers started a new self-management production, selling cleaning products and trying to expand their experience in other factories in Greece.

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Viome 4
Thessaloniki
By Michele Lapini
29 May 2013

A worker during a break in Viome.

Through a formal proposal dating from October 2011 they have been claiming the establishment of a workers' cooperative under full workers’ control, demanding legal recognition for their own workers’ cooperative, as well as for all the others to follow.
Thessaloniki, 29.05.2013