Modificación de la Ley de Quiebras After many years of struggle by workers of recovered companies, this year saw the amendment of Law No. 24,522 through the approval of Law 26,684. Law 24,522, enacted in 1955, recognized 50% of workers compensation and unless they became bankruptcy creditors, were not entitled to participate in the contests. Decreed the bankruptcy, the law provided a period of 4 months for the settlement, leaving the worker outside any system. After the crisis that Argentina went through in 2001, countless broke businesses and workers began to try to regain their jobs in what is now called "recovered companies." In 2002, the reform of the bankruptcy law (Law 25.589) introduced Article 190, which gives the legal possibility for workers to settle in the cooperative form and continue to operate the factory until its liquidation. In 2011, after a large number of court rulings that supported the reform, it was possible to go from a law of firm liquidations to a law that enables workers to keep their jobs despite bankruptcy. (Law 26 684) To analyze the benefits provided by this new law, we will focus on three points: Workers. Cramdown. Cooperative Education Workers Law 24.522 (1995) Law 26.684 (2011) Not permitted to participate in Can participate in contest contest Can integrate the Control Commitee Must be informed of creditors presented Prompt payment: It rises to 3% the amount for the down payment. Employee Payroll, debt, labor and pension 1% of gross income obligations. Empowers the court to pay the emergency room. Joined the informal worker. It does not recognize work credits It Recognizes work credits interest interest (just mortgage). Control Committee. Law 26684 This change is central because it puts the worker as a participant. It is composed of 3 workers with the following powers: Information Advice Control The law requires the trustee to notify all bankruptcy actions Workers / Bankrupcy Law 24.522 (1995) Law 26.684 (2011) Does recognize compensatory Does not recognize compensatory interests interests It only recognized a 50% of It recognizes the 100% of labor compensation labor compensation Cramdown (o salvataje). The process by which during the contest judge authorizes third parties to acquire the bankrupt company's shares for the purpose of avoiding bankruptcy Law 24.522 (1995) Law 26.684 (2011) 48a article is included that allows the Was possible. Only by workers organized in cooperatives to paying in cash participate in the bailout through their compensation, taken up to 100% of it’s amount. Cooperative Constitution Laws 24.522 (1995) / Law 26.684 25589 (2002) Before the reform, there was no way for the workers to take control of the company after bankrupcy 1- - The work serves as a guarantee credit With the amending of 2002 (art. 190) to the continuity of the farm. workers were allowed to continue the 2 - Can use a 100% of the labor credit for exploitation of the production unit by the acquisition of assets. forming cooperatives, just until the 3 - The term is for ONE production liquidation (4 months). cycle. Did not grant privileges By request of the Cooperative, the judge can suspend executions for up to 2 years Cooperative Constitution Laws 24.522 (1995) / Law 26.684 25589 (2002) Authorizes judges to decide the immediate continuation of the production unit. State is forced to assist cooperatives in the technical aspects of management Participation of the Cooperative in setting the sales value of the production unit Argentine Cooperative Legislation There is currently a General Law of Cooperatives (Law 20,337), which provides the framework and regulates all cooperatives as a whole. In order to discuss the drafting of a bill of Worker Cooperatives, a National Commission for Cooperative Work (NCCW) was created, involving different federations of cooperatives. The INAES (National Institute of Cooperatives and Social Economy) posted 12 points as the fundamental basis, proposing that the National Commission worked towards a common project, to then be submitted to Congress and seek its approval. Talking Points for the draft law At that meeting it was established that as a guiding principle of any legislation that worker cooperatives should be subject to the WORLD DECLARATION ON WORKER COOPERATIVES, adopted by the General Assembly of the ICA in Cartagena, Colombia, on September 23 2005. This declaration states that human beings carry out their work activities in three basic forms: a) independently b) as wage earners c) under a third form, the associated labor, where labor and management are carried out jointly without the limitations of individual work or exclusively under the rules of dependency-based labor. Establishing a minimum income by law for members of Worker Cooperatives. The meeting agreed to set a mobile poverty line and setting a number of exceptions that will safeguard the Cooperatives that may be unable to fulfill it in a certain time. Nature of Associated Worker Cooperatives, Cooperative Act. Third Party Procurement possibility and limits The legal relationship between the cooperative and its members is of an associative nature, autonomous and incompatible with any labor contracts, civil or commercial. As for the Test-period, it’s agreed that it should be for 12 months, and the probationer would enjoy full rights in the period. Cooperative Relationship with Labor Unions. It was established that each cooperative’s Assembly decides on the unions. If a cooperative decides not to, the right to unionize will be on the individual. Minimum number of partners and establishment of the Board and Trustee. There was majority consensus in the not innovation at this point and to maintain the provisions of Law 20,337. With a strong rejection of the possibility of incorporating the figure of a one-man management. Fate of surplus. Reserves. Distribution of special quorum fees It was decided to keep the scheme of Law 20,337 on the fate of surplus, to sustain the figure of the cooperative and to give specific destination to the 5% earmarked for the fund of labor support. There was also general agreement to establish and regulate the obligation of all partners to attend meetings, being serious misconduct the failure to do so and set special Quorum for certain key points in the life of the cooperative, such a distribution of surplus, regular assemblies, and so on. There was consensus that the bill extended to the associate as the cooperative counterpart to the withdrawal of surplus, must be more important in the current law. Cooperatives with lots of partners. Documentation Requirements and special quorum. District Assembly and action in several jurisdictions. The INAES was explicit in setting a more severe regulation in terms of oversight and requirements to be fulfilled by these kinds of cooperatives, where the labor fraud is evident. Those present expressed their support for national control authorities to deal with these entities and seek their removal. It was agreed that check fraud is more common in cooperatives that have a large number of partners (over 250), when they operate in different jurisdictions, with a great diversity of activities. The idea is to set a restrictive approach and put emphasis on supervision, attending meetings, asking for more documentation and other tools to check and discourage fraud. Social Benefits. ART and retirement arrangements, aplicable regimes. It was proposed to let the cooperatives, through its assembly, to adhere to Autonomous Regime, “Monotributo” or Social Security Scheme and SIJP, set by law 22,241 for workers in a dependent relationship. Se estableció la posibilidad de crear la caja de jubilaciones propia, Proyecto sobre el que Fecootra trabaja desde hace un tiempo para aportar a la discusión y desarrollo este tema. The possibility was established of creating its own pension fund, project in which Fecootra has been working for some time to contribute to the discussion and development of this topic. Internal regulations. Basic guarantees for partners. (180/92). Disciplinary system. There was general agreement that cooperatives should have the legal obligation to establish internal regulations at the time of its establishment. The same must have the following: Distribution of Surplus, Discipline, Rights and Duties of the partners, Minimum Work Day, Employment of children and women. It was proposed that the INAES be the one who writes rules of procedure, which sets out the rights and obligations as the basis for cooperative work. To establish a system of exceptions to the minimum surplus, to taxes and social security, that allows the existence and consolidation of cooperatives that recently started their businesses, those who are experiencing temporary crisis, recovered companies and those created by the National Government to promote employment. Se consideró importante evitar toda norma que remita a la CTL, incorporando en su caso el texto de los artículos de dicha ley a la ley de cooperativas o directamente al Reglamento Interno, ello para desalentar fallos judiciales totalmente equivocados y perjudiciales para las cooperativas. It was considered important to avoid any rules that refer to the CTL, incorporating into the text of the Law, the articles of the current law of cooperatives or directly to the Rules of Procedure, this is to discourage wrong and detrimental court rulings to the cooperatives.
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