Vio.Me – which stands for “Viomichaniki Metalleutiki” (Industrial Mineral) – used to be a factory producing construction material and was abandoned by its bankrupt owner, leaving workers without wages nor benefits. In July 2011, workers (organised notably thanks to the union present in the factory) decided with a very large majority (97.5% approved at the General Assembly) to occupy the factory. The workers reopened it in February 2013 as a social cooperative, under the name of Vio.Me. This is the first self-managed cooperative in Greece.
«As a result of the legal battle waged against the workers of the occupied self-managed VIOME factory in Thessaloniki, Greece, the state-appointed trustee is now organising a series of auctions with the aim of liquidating the plot of land on which the VIOME factory is located. A possible sale of the land would create the legal ground for evicting the workers from the factory. Although the workers and the solidarity assembly are decided to stand their ground and defend the factory in all eventualities, the auction process represents a threat and it requires mobilisation in order to be prevented. A first step is to block, through direct action, the first such auction that is programmed for November 26th 2015». Source viome.org
Though the social cooperative which runs the factory since 2013 worked to legalize their activity and collectively own the infrastructure, in November 2015 the State aims to sell the lot where the factory is located through an auction. Workers and supporters claim for solidarity to protect the project.
«Utopia in the making: the Vio.Me self-managed workers’ cooperative«, European Alternatives
«Threatened with eviction, Vio.Me calls for solidarity«, article in Roar Magazine, in November 2015
(Ocupar. Resistir. Producir: VIOME – subtítulos en español aquí)