Three months ago, workers at a German bicycle company occupied their factory to protest its closure. Now, they’ve started production of a limited edition “strike bike” to prove the company’s viability and without a boss or manager in sight. The bicycles are being assembled by the 135 former employees of the Bike Systems company in Nordhausen in the German state of Thuringia. Production started on Monday, and by Friday, the group hopes to have the limited run of 1,800 pre-ordered bikes ready for shipping throughout Germany and Europe.
The workers are getting support from the anarcho-syndicalist union FAU and some local organizations as well as from organizations and individuals from across Germany and the EU. “The mood is great,” said one of the occupying workers, “We really hope that we will be able to continue to produce bikes on a permanent basis.”
The workers have occupied the Bike Systems factory since July, after the company was asset stripped, closed down and declared insolvent. The workers are looking for investors who are willing to put several million euros into the business and if successful in finding this financial support they hope to run the business as a cooperative.
Offers of support or indeed orders for a Strike Bike can be made here,