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Workers’ Assembly Halls (Argentina)

Date of Submission: 05/12/2023
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(vi)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
National Commission of Argentina for Cooperation with UNESCO
State, Province or Region:
Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires
Coordinates: E347244.297 N6173691.335 UTM Zone 33U
Ref.: 6696
Other States Parties participating

The Tentative Lists of States Parties are published by the World Heritage Centre at its website and/or in working documents in order to ensure transparency, access to information and to facilitate harmonization of Tentative Lists at regional and thematic levels.

The sole responsibility for the content of each Tentative List lies with the State Party concerned. The publication of the Tentative Lists does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the World Heritage Committee or of the World Heritage Centre or of the Secretariat of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries.

Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party


Workers’ Assembly Halls is a proposed transnational serial nomination that is representative of the global phenomenon of mass organisation of workers by the international democratic labour movement in the context of industrialisation during the formative period of working-class internationalism from 1850 to 1950. Purpose-built and established by international democratic labour movements from the 1850s onwards, the tradition continues with new workers’ assembly halls still being built today. They are located in proximity to industrial zones or directly related to developing industrial areas and were always managed by international democratic labour movements. They were self-confident in architectural expression and intended to stand out in the surroundings, thereby signalling a permanent presence of the international democratic labour movement. The buildings continue to function as meeting places with public access, either in direct continuation or in clear relation to their original purpose. They are in a good state of conservation and still retain the layout and floorplan of their original function. This includes meeting rooms of various sizes, service areas, offices, often kitchens and sometimes apartments, printing press, cooperative businesses, or other sources of income. Decorations and architectural features intended to motivate a sense of community are also preserved.

Name(s) of the component part(s)

Edificio de la Confederación General del Trabajo, CGT, Buenos Aires, Argentina
UTM Zone: 21H E374649.310 N6168567.979

Description of the component part(s)

The building of the Confederación General del Trabajo de la República Argentina [General Confederation of Labour of the Argentine Republic] (referred to as C.G.T.), is located at the corner of Azopardo Street number 802, in the neighbourhood of San Telmo, situated on the historic centre of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, within an area full of historic buildings and monuments regarded as heritage value. At present, its surroundings are categorized as a protected area. The building was inaugurated by President Juan Domingo Perón on October 18th. of 1950 and became the most emblematic, representative and historic Workers’ House, which identifies the whole Argentinean labour movement and was the centre of historic conquers, great mobilizations, tireless struggles and far-reaching decisions.

The building was designed by architect Jorge Sabaté and it is in tune with the characteristic layout of rationalism, being inserted into a very carefully maintained corner lot, with a set of pure prisms. It is composed of (1) basement, and (6) floors, terraces and garages. The upper part of the building, built in two step levels, ends in the acronym CGT and faces the four compass points; its clean facades emphasize the straight lines of these pure prisms which shape the building morphology. Together with the architectural value, the building has excellent state of conservation murals, such as the artwork of Miguel Petrone, «La dignidad de los trabajadores» [Workers’ dignity], exhibited at the Salon Felipe Vallese, the most important room of the building. The artwork was vandalized in 1976 by a group connected with the last Argentinean military dictatorship[1]. In 2017, the plastic artist Daniel Santoro was charged with a new series of murals. These pieces of artwork lead to reflect on the historic account about the workers’ organization, their history of glory, tragedy, misfortune and heroism. The two murals at the right side are entitled «Nace un sueño» [A dream was born] and «La felicidad de los humildes» [The poor’s happiness]. The two murals at the left side are entitled «Tragedia, resistencia y lucha» [Tragedy, resistance and struggle] and «El retorno, la reconstrucción y la noche desgaciada» [The return, the re-construction and the unfortunate night]. 

The Testimonial Museum of Eva Perón is located at the second floor of the CGT building. It has been in operation since July of 2003, as an initiative of the Instituto de la Mujer [Woman Institute] of the trade union association. The museum is composed of two rooms, which used to be the office of Eva Duarte de Perón and after her death in 1952, upon her express request, her body has been exhibited for nearly three years until it was kidnapped in 1955. The museum is currently visited by the CGT union members. It is not open to the public; however, it is open to the general public for special occasions, such as the festivals organized by the Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, called "the night of museums". 

The Workers’ library Eva Perón and the Historic Archive are located at the third floor, in which there are approximately 10,000 copies of books. Even though it used to be a popular library in the beginning, today, it includes books referred to the labour movement and trade unionism, which makes it be considered a specialized library, visited by many researchers, always by appointment. Anyhow, the library has a collection donated by Eva Duarte de Perón, which consists of universal literature works and was included at the moment of its founding as a workers’ library.

The room called « Ubaldini » is located at the fourth floor, and it is used for the CGT Board of Directors’ meetings, suitable for placing 35 people.

At the fifth floor, you can find the room called « Jose Ignacio Rucci », suitable for placing 100 people.

The CGT building is considered a Historic Heritage of the Argentine Republic, by means of National Decree 1,233/2007 signed by President Néstor Kirchner on September 12th. of 2007.

The Building has the same functions as it used to have at the times it was first opened, which were only interrupted by the brutal participation of the various military dictatorships, which tried to close or partially destroy it, making an attempt to eliminate the history of the Argentine labour movement struggle.

The Building was and still is a dynamic centre for trade union activities, which include union and political education and training programmes.  There, many events have been performed by political, social, religious and cultural leaders, both Argentineans and foreigners.

[1] The intervention of the CGT, extended throughout the period of military government, was ordered by statement No. 58 of the Military Junta. Through the provisions set forth by Minister of Labour Tomas Liendo, the main 2nd degree union organizations were intervened, and officers from the Army, Navy and Airforce were appointed as controllers. According to Law 21,356, among others, union elections, assemblies and all union-type activities were prohibited. Contemporary Argentine history is affected by coups d'état. After the establishment of secret and mandatory suffrage in 1912, six coups d'état were declared in 1930, 1943, 1955, 1962, 1966 and 1976. The first four established temporary dictatorships, while the last two established permanent dictatorships, according to the bureaucratic-authoritarian State model. The last one, in 1976, imposed a State terrorism regime, in which human rights were massively violated and thousands of disappearances, murders, torture, baby thefts, rapes, illegal imprisonments, ideological persecutions and forced exiles took place. During the 53 years elapsed from the coup of 1930 until the last civil-military dictatorship fell in 1983, there were six illegal regimes in power, having totalled 25 years, where there were 14 dictators self-proclaimed as "president" and several de facto authorities throughout the country. During that period of time, all democratically elected governments both radicales [Radical Party] and justicialistas [Peronist Party] were interrupted by coups.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

Workers’ Assembly Halls is a transnational series that bears eloquent testimony to the development of the international democratic labour movement and its impact on societies on a universal scale. It comprises the most significant examples of a distinctive type of multifunctional building which is the most tangible expression of the cultural tradition of the international labour movement. The halls were designed and built by this movement, independent from the state, during the formative period of working-class internationalism from 1850 to 1950. They were physically, and symbolically, fundamental to the mass organisation of workers.

The social and cultural phenomenon of the international democratic labour movement was self-organisation as a response to industrialisation and industrial capitalism. It became increasingly globalised from the mid-19th century and gained significant impetus during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to serve as a platform for the establishment of both trade union and political labour movements. These movements profoundly shaped our modern world.

The distinct building typology of a workers’ assembly hall is recognisable by its architectural form and function. Foremost, multifunctionality and the ability to accommodate large groups of people were central to the success of mass organisation, while high-quality and imposing architecture was used to reflect national and period styles and to instil pride and belonging. The halls were strategically placed in industrialised centres. A large and commonly ornate main hall provided for assemblies, political meetings, and communal events. Additional facilities typically included kitchens and communal dining rooms, educational classrooms for workers and their families, libraries and reading rooms, and numerous offices for trade unions and workers’ clubs accessed on multiple storeys via staircases and hallways. Some were international models.

The multifunctional workers’ assembly hall was part of the daily lives of the working class in Europe, Australia, the Americas and with examples in Africa and Asia, and lay at the centre of their collective political, social, educational, and cultural activity. Core values of equality and democracy, community and solidarity, welfare, identity, and belonging empowered workers to unite and improve all aspects of life.

Criterion (iii): Workers’ Assembly Halls bear exceptional testimony to the cultural tradition of the international democratic labour movement, which flourished during the formative period of working-class internationalism from 1850 to 1950. A group of the most significant assembly halls are some of the most tangible monuments to the development of the labour movement and its universality.

The buildings bear testimony to the establishment and development of the international democratic labour movement as a political, social, and cultural framework for the lives of workers. As sites for a multitude of activities and the daily workings of associations, the buildings both concretely and symbolically testify to how the international democratic labour movement offered a community and a new identity to millions of people uprooted by processes of industrialisation. Central aspects of the cultural tradition of the international democratic labour movement are:

·    The expression of a universal longing for emancipation, belonging, and dignity of workers through mass organisation.

·    The principle of self-organisation as a central to achieving the ideals of freedom, liberty, and solidarity.

·    The education and training of workers to take part in democratic dialogue.

Throughout its development, the international democratic labour movement has fought for and achieved significant rights for workers. These include the 8-hour workday, holiday bonuses, access to healthcare, labour leave, equal pay for equal work, and maternity protection. The progressive attainment of these rights by the working-class reflects the evolution of societies in relation to production systems, as well as the vital role that labour unions play in safeguarding dignified working conditions. The buildings comprising this transnational serial nomination bear living testimony to the struggles of workers for labour rights and the ongoing defence of these rights to enhance the quality of life for workers.

Criterion (iv): Workers’ Assembly Halls are an outstanding example of a type of building which illustrates a significant stage in human history, that of the international mass organisation of workers by labour movements, independent of the state, from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries. These multifunctional buildings were central to the establishment of both trade union and political labour movements that profoundly shaped democracy, welfare, and workers’ rights.

These buildings bear physical testimony to the main features of organisational and identity-shaping efforts of the globally distributed international democratic labour movement in the context of the dramatic and unprecedented processes of industrialisation, population increase, and urbanisation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These were:

·    Collectivism and multifunctionality in both physical and immaterial terms as central to the success of mass organisation.

·    The importance of self-governed physical meeting-places as central to identity building among workers.

·    Presence in industrial centres and central in working-class cultural landscape.

·    The emergence of a type of building and the need to claim space.

Criterion (vi): To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.

Workers’ Assembly Halls is directly and tangibly associated with ideas, events, achievements, and living traditions of the international democratic labour movement and its outstanding universality across continents. The human rights of workers to freely associate and organise, the development of trade unions and labour political parties, the 8-hour day movement, and May Day celebrations, are examples that are joined by others.

Workers’ Assembly Halls are of outstanding universal significance for their manifest association with and architectural reflection of central ideas and beliefs about the path to popular emancipation, welfare, and justice for workers promoted by the labour movement on a global scale. Established around the call for unity among workers, they embody ideas about social relations and the conditions of wage labour highly influential on the development of societies across the world. These included:

·    The idea of workers as a particular class in society defined by the relationship between capital and labour, reflected in the construction of assembly buildings as whole-of-life environments.

·    The belief in formal organisation and formal democratic institutions as a pre-requisite for the emancipation of workers, reflected in the flexible and multifunctional layout of assembly buildings.

·    The transformational influence of mass organisation of the international democratic labour movement on societies.

·    Events in Workers’ Assembly Halls and effect on society and the cultural expression of the working-class heritage.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity


Workers’ Assembly Halls comprises a series of monuments that constitute a single property that fulfils the overall condition of integrity. In terms of size and wholeness as a coherent group, the series contains the most significant examples of workers’ assembly halls, worldwide, that are the most tangible expression of the cultural tradition of the international democratic labour movement and its global spread. The halls span the formative period of working-class internationalism from 1850 to 1950 and contain all cultural and architectural attributes necessary to convey proposed Outstanding Universal Value. There are no extant threats from development or neglect.

Some additional workers’ assembly halls, as revealed in comparative analysis, may have the potential to enhance specific aspects of integrity of the overall series, especially in terms of history of the international democratic labour movement, its geo-cultural reach, other aspects of internationalism, and variations in architectural form, function, and style. States parties that collaborated on their shared Tentative List entries welcome other States Parties that wish to consider the possibility of joining an incremental serial transnational nomination.

The CGT building is composed of two buildings, one of which used to be an expropriated military depot, and the main building is erected on the adjacent parcel of land, which was donated to the workers by Fundación de Ayuda Social Eva Perón [Social Assistance Foundation Eva Perón], which main office was in process of being built opposite it, at that time  (today, that spectacular building is being used as one of the headquarters of the Engineering Faculty of the University of Buenos Aires -UBA- , also declared as part of the national historic heritage). At the first floor, you can find the well-known Salon Felipe Vallese, thus named in memory of the metallurgical union delegate kidnapped on August 23rd. of 1962. He was one of the first Argentineans disappeared, together with Joaquín Penina (1901-1930, a Catalan anarchist builder disappeared in Rosario) and Juan Ingallinella (1912-1955, a communist doctor tortured and disappeared in June of 1955)[1].  In its recent history, Argentina experienced serious repression episodes against workers. One of them was the Semana Trágica [Tragic Week], thus named to refer to the repression and massacre suffered by the Argentinean Labour Movement, in which hundreds of people were murdered in Buenos Aires during the second week of January in 1919, under democratic administration. The government’s repression to demonstrators was brutal and caused a great number of casualties. Although there were no missing people, in the sense of clandestine and enforced disappearance, as occurred during the last military dictatorship (1976-1983), it is estimated that there were around 700 people dead and over 4,000 injured. Different historians have stated that it was one of the first state terrorism acts, together with the execution of thousands of strikers of Patagonia trágica [Tragic Patagonia] in 1921. Unfortunately, apart from these cases, during the last civil-military dictatorship, the kidnap and disappearance of 30 thousand people took place. The 66 per cent of said people were delegates, activists and union leaders. The Salon Felipe Vallese is nowadays complete. However, its murals have been restored, as they had been vandalized during the civil-military dictatorship that seized the power in 1976, by covering the date when the workers’ rights were proclaimed in white paint, “February 24Th. 1947”. The Auditorium Felipe Vallese, placed at the first floor of the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), has undergone a refurbishment by the late 2007 and the first months of 2010. The work was in charge of the architects’ studio Cajide-Farji-Gombinsky Arquitectos, associated with the architects Slavinsky and Gattas. Three hundred Cumbre model seats were manufactured, as well as 90 square metres of acoustic ceiling. The work implied a 30-day period of installation, carrying out the products assembly in progressive stages.   The room curtains, scenic lightening, audio and video were also renovated. The acoustic advice was provided by engineer Antonio Luaces.

In 2017, a new series of murals was assigned to the plastic artist Daniel Santoro. These pieces of artwork lead to reflect on the historic account about the workers’ organization, their history of glory, tragedy, misfortune and heroism.

To continue with the building description, the Testimonial Museum of Eva Perón is located at the second floor. It was originally the office where Eva worked when she was at the CGT, and later, it was where her body rested until 1955, when it was kidnapped. At present, the room where Dr. Ara, the doctor in charge of Eva’s corpse for its subsequent exhibition (something really usual at those times) worked is recreated in the Museum. The second adjacent room recreates Eva’s office. It is important to highlight that this museum has been open since 2005, as an initiative of the CGT Women’s Secretariat, and it has no founding document. It is not registered in the corresponding Registry, either.

The Workers’ library Eva Perón and the Historic Archive are located at the third floor. It is a second category specialized library, registered in CONABIP[2]  (National Committee of Popular Libraries) under number 2390, Record 244-C-37, currently removed (no date found).

  • Foundation: May 12Th. 1949
  • Acknowledgement: October 19Th.1949
  • Bibliographical material: 8,200 volumes (year 1954)
  • Readers: 11,799 yearly (year 1954)
  • Currently used system: Aguapey.
  • Material registered in Aguapey: 1,050 volumes. (There are other databases created by the librarian in Excel files).
  • Type of users: Researchers. They visit the library by appointment.

On the library material

Bibliographical Collection: it is estimated that there are approximately 10,000 copies. Even though it used to be a popular library in the beginning, today, it includes books referred to the labour movement and trade unionism, which makes it be considered a specialized library.  Anyhow, the library has a collection donated by Eva Duarte de Perón, which consists of universal literature works and was included at the moment of its founding as a workers’ library.

The librarian is in charge of the inventory, catalogue, classification, lettering and digitalization of the bibliographical material, placed in wooden furniture.  

Newspaper Archive: collections of bound socialist and anarchist newspapers (“La Vanguardia” and “La Protesta”).

Purging: there is no purging. No possibility of purging can be considered, as all the material must be preserved for historic purposes. It could imply a future issue due to the lack of physical space. 

The most significant documents are as follows:

  • Minutes books of the Board of Directors: they include the period of time from 1930 until the decade of 1950 and they vary in their state of conservation. A volume dated in 1952 is considered to be in very good state, but, according to the librarian, the oldest books are seriously damaged, with broken or missing pages, etc.
  • Minutes books, union-related documents and documents related to other federations prior to CGT, which subsequently joined it.
  • Letter-copying Books: 1904-1920.

These three first groups of documents are the most significant ones in terms of their conservation state, due to their antiquity and their damage degree, whether total or partial.  

  • Resolutions, Acts, bills.
  • Congresses (1936. 1950,1963, 1973)
  • Circular letters (1948-1952, 1953-1955)
  • Press releases (decade of 1980). They are preserved within a polypropylene box.
  • Articles of Association (1950, 1962, 1974, 1992)
  • Annual Reports and Balance Sheets (1939-1942, 1944, 1947-1948, 1949, 1970-1971, 1972-1974, 1986-1990).

Some of these books were printed and others were typed.

In 1956, the Aramburu’s dictatorship sanctioned the Decree number N° 4161 to make the Argentinean people get rid of «Peronist culture», by forbidding every activity that could be considered Peronist. One of the first actions undertaken was to destroy the books and all the written material related to Peronism.

At the fourth floor, the room « Saúl Ubaldini », used for the CGT Board of Directors’ meetings, is located in an outstanding place.

At the fifth floor, you can find the room « José Ignacio Rucci », suitable for placing 100 people. It is thus named in honour and memory of the union leader of UOM (Metallurgical Workers’ Union) and of the CGT during the period of time 1970-1973. Rucci, as General Secretary of the CGT fostered the return to the country of General Perón, who had been exiled in Spain since1955. Rucci was murdered by a commando group when leaving home in the neighbourhood of Flores in the City of Buenos Aires. The corpse had 23 bullet wounds. The murder took place in full daylight, in front of a great number of witnesses, including those people who were accompanying him. The official investigation into Rucci`s murder was conducted during Perón’s administration. However, it was not possible to determine who were involved in the crime. The case was reopened in 2009, with no evidence enough to bring it to trial. 

Finally, you can find the upper constructions and the terraces.

The CGT building is deemed Historic Heritage of the Argentinean Republic, which was established by National Decree 1,233/2007 signed by then-president Néstor Kirchner on September 12th. of 2007. In this respect, the COMISION NACIONAL DE MUSEOS Y DE MONUMENTOS Y LUGARES HISTORICOS [National Committee of Museums and historic monuments and places] performed the corresponding formalities and proceedings set forth by sections 4th. and 6th. of Law number 12,665, modified by Law number  24.252; sections 1st. and 2nd. of Decree number 9830/51, and the sections 8th. (modified by Decree number 144.643/43), 9th., 10th. and 11th. of its Regulatory Decree number 84.005/41, giving notice to the interested parties about the scope and content of the provisions mentioned and the responsibilities determined by section 8th. of the above mentioned law,  in the first place, and by sections 40, 41 and 42 of its regulation. Furthermore, it performed the corresponding record in the Official Land Register.

On July 27th. of 2023, a Cooperation and Collaboration Agreement was entered into between the CGT and the Ministry of Culture of the Nation, which makes it possible to work jointly both with the Dirección Nacional de Patrimonios y Museos [National Directorate of Heritage and Museums] of the above mentioned Ministry and with the Biblioteca Nacional  Mariano Moreno, [National Library Mariano Moreno] aimed at providing the CGT with the necessary resources and expertise to properly develop all duties related to the inventory, catalogue and conservation of all the historic material kept in the confederation of labour, especially in its Library; as well as prioritizing the contents, especially  those of the Museo Testimonial [Testimonial Museum], which will allow it to be open to the public in the near future.

The CGT is directed and administrated by means of its government bodies: the National Congress, the Comité Central Confederal [Confederal Central Committee], the Consejo Directivo [Board of Directors], and the Secretariat. Among the duties and powers determined by its articles of association, the Board of Directors shall be specifically responsible for the conservation and maintenance of the Confederation of Labour building, taking all the actions necessary for such purposes.


Workers’ Assembly Halls have high authenticity overall, especially regarding form and design, material, substance, use and function. Buildings have been extended and modified to accommodate core functions associated with the contemporary evolution of the labour movement and its changing needs, while still retaining substantial original form and architectural detail. Some halls retain their original function while others have assumed compatible cultural functions, continuing important parts of the original role of the building. 

The CGT building, as a part of the transnational series, has distinguishing features that reflect the universal workers’ desire of emancipation, belonging and dignity through mass organization. 

Shape and design: This rationalist style building reflects the idea of salaried workers as a particular class in society, defined by the relationship between capital and labour, evidenced in the construction of Assembly buildings as integral environments for all working life. This idea is reinforced with the mural “Ayer y hoy” [Yesterday and Today] (1949) by Miguel Petrone, which has two parts: On the left side, you can find the workers fighting against a giant octopus that symbolizes the past times characterized by the exploitation of capital; and on the right side, you can find the present times, represented by a working-class family living in peace. At the back, on both sides, you can see factories, but on the left (past times) the chimneys are put out and the sky is stormy, while on the right (present times) the sky is clearing and the chimneys are smoking. Both parts of the mural are separated by a stone monument in which three columns support the letters CGT. The central column says: “February 24th 1947, social justice triumphs.” The date corresponds to the proclamation of the worker's rights incorporated in 1949 into the Constitution abolished in 1956, through a military proclamation of a civil-military dictatorship. Under the inscription you can see the national coat of arms and at its base it says: “October 18th, 1950”. The date corresponds to the building's inauguration. The CGT monument is supported, at its base, by a crowd.

Use and Function: It is the meeting venue of the Argentinian organized labour movement, where the Board of Directors makes decisions on the strategies to be developed for the best advocacy of workers' rights. It is also the headquarters where workers can receive vocational education and training. The CGT is still the meeting place for democratic dialogue between the labour movement and the Executive. Several Presidents of the Nation have visited the Azopardo headquarters to hold conversations with the workers.

The Workers Library and the Historic Archive Eva Perón are part of this specialized library that contains reference material for researchers.




10,000 copies

Newspapers Archive

Collections of bound socialist and anarchist newspapers (“La Vanguardia” and “La Protesta”).

Relevant Documentation

Minutes Books of the CGT Board of Directors: they include the period of time from 1930 until the decade of 1950 and they vary in their state of conservation.

Minutes books, union-related documents and documents related to other federations prior to CGT, which subsequently joined it.

Letter-copying Books: 1904-1920.

Resolutions, Acts, bills.

Congresses (1936. 1950,1963, 1973)

Circular Letters (1948-1952, 1953-1955)

Press Releases (decade of 1980).

Articles of Association (1950, 1962, 1974, 1992)

Annual Reports and Balance Sheets (1939-1942, 1944, 1947-1948, 1949, 1970-1971, 1972-1974, 1986-1990). Some of these books were printed and others were typed.

Spirit and Sensitivity: The CGT, as an attribute of its exceptional universal value, expresses the sense of unity and self-organization of the working class, as a central axis to achieve the ideals of freedom, equality and solidarity. The CGT building has an excellent state of conservation. A key part of the building's authenticity lies in the fact that it has been developed and transformed in parallel with the changing needs of the activities and natural development of the Argentinean labour movement.

Tradition:  Considering the period of time comprised from 1890 to 1914, you can observe a very particular moment in the history of working class in Argentina. It is the one that captures some of the core elements present in the process of building up its urban working class and the union organizations that expressed it with their conflicts and demands.

  • During the period of time comprising 1888 – 1889 there was a dramatic increase in immigration numbers, which coincided with the development of urban centres in our country, and with the increase of workshops, factories, as well as services and transportation extension, as a result of the crisis of 1890. The year 1889 was the beginning of political and protest actions that would exhibit a continuation without solutions.
  • The situation of women's work in urban centres has been one of the main axes of the labour movement's campaigns since the beginning of the 90s, where the denunciation activity of socialist or anarchist feminist groups was particularly intense, especially the Centro Socialista Femenino [Women's Socialist Centre] . The issue of women's work was addressed in the preparatory discussions of the 1906 Congress of the Unión General de Trabajadores [General Union of Workers].
  • The Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) [General Union of Workers] was a trade union association founded in Argentina in 1902. It was created as a result of the breakaway of several unions (bricklayers, carriage builders, mechanics, tailors, etc.) belonging to the newly created FORA, at that time still with the name of FOA. Thus, two union associations were established in the country. The reason for the division was due to the confrontation between the anarchist sectors, on the one hand, and the socialist and revolutionary union sectors, on the other hand. The first group belonged to FORA and the second one to the UGT.
  • In 1909, the UGT dissolved itself to merge with other autonomous unions and create the Confederación Obrera Regional Argentina (CORA) [Argentinian Regional Workers' Confederation]. The CORA, in turn, would dissolve in 1914 to join the FORA, as a previous step for the revolutionary union and socialist currents to displace the anarchists from leadership, in the IX Congress of 1915.

Throughout all the evolution herein described, you can see the strong influence of the European labour movement in the discussions that defined the creation, division and consolidation of an urban working class ideology, when the economic conditions were not yet appropriate (the predominant model was the agro-exporter one) for the creation of an industrial working class (possible with the substitution of the import model, the promotion of migratory flows from the countryside to the city and the emergence of Peronism). When the process of substitution of the import model began in Argentina, between 1930 and 1943, there appeared both a business sector and salaried workers groups, objectively interested in national-industrial programmes and, therefore, potentially incorporable into an eventual nationalist-populist movement.

The Confederación General del Trabajo de la República Argentina (CGT) [General Confederation of Labour of the Argentine Republic] is the historical union association of Argentina. It was created as a result of the merger of two pre-existing union associations: the Unión Sindical Argentina (USA), [Argentinian Trade Union], as a continuation of the FORA of the IX Congress, and the Confederación Obrera Argentina (COA) [Argentinian Workers' Confederation]. It was founded in 1930 as a result of an agreement between socialists, revolutionary unionists, communists and independent thinkers to generate a united and plural union association. In general, it had a socialist majority until 1945 and a Peronist majority since then.

Evolution of female participation in the union movement:

Female participation in the Argentinian trade union movement has been historically significant and played an important role in the advocacy of labour rights and the fight for gender equality in the workplace. From the early 20th century, women began to join unions, particularly in those such as Commercial, Food and Graphic Employees, which, at that time, had a large female workforce. During the Peronism era in Argentina (1946-1955), the participation of women in the union movement was promoted and specific protection policies and labour rights for female workers were implemented. Peronist unionism had a strong gender component and sought to empower female workers. In fact, the right of women to elect and be elected was officially acknowledged on September 9th, 1947, when Law number 13,010, also known as Evita Law, was enacted in honour of Eva Perón, who was a leading figure in the fight for women's rights. In the subsequent decades, women continued actively participating in the trade union movement, holding leadership roles, organizing protests and fighting for equal pay, actions against gender discrimination and recognition of domestic and caring tasks as remunerated work. However, despite the progress made, there are still many challenges in terms of gender equality in the Argentinean trade union movement. Female representation in union leadership positions still does not fully reflect the proportion of female workers in various sectors. Furthermore, women are still facing obstacles as regards power positions access and the elimination of the gender pay gap. In recent years, there has been an increasing recognition of the importance of female participation and representation in the trade union movement, as well as a greater emphasis on addressing gender issues within the trade union agenda, promoting equality and fighting against discrimination. In 2021, he leaders of the CGT ratified a new article, which determines that the leadership of the organization must be made up of 50% men and 50% women, and also sets a floor of at least 30% of female presence so that each meeting of the Board of Directors can begin to be conducted. Argentina formalized before the ILO (International Labour Organization) the ratification of Convention 190 on workplace violence and harassment. Thus, it officially became the fourth country in the world to have achieved definitive ratification of the Convention. It is important to highlight that the CGT-RA, together with the national union movement, actively promoted the ratification of the Convention throughout the entire process, together with international and Americas unionism.

[1] In legal terms, the enforced disappearance of people (also known as involuntary disappearance of people) is a complex crime that involves human rights violation and, committed in specific circumstances, also constitutes a crime against humanity. Victims are commonly known as missing people or disappeared people (even disappeared detainees), especially in Latin America. The crime of enforced disappearance, included under the criminal legislation of several countries and considered in international documentation, is characterized by any form of deprivation of a person's liberty by State officials or groups or individuals supported by it, or acting with its authorization or acquiescence. It also implies the refusal to recognize said deprivation or its fate, in order to exclude it from the protection of the law. The murder of a person, who is the victim of an enforced disappearance, in general, after having been tortured in a hidden whereabouts, aims to deliberately favour the impunity of those responsible, who act with the purpose of intimidating or terrorizing the community or social group to which the person belongs.

[2] Report performed by CONABIP: Lic. Marian Feylling, Archive and Documentation Area and Bibl. Pablo J. Ruiz, Librarianship Area.

Justification of the selection of the component part(s) in relation to the future nomination as a whole

The Confederación General del Trabajo de la República Argentina (CGT) was founded on September 27th., 1930. The trade union movement in Argentina had exponential growth as from the 1920s., reaching its greatest visibility as from 1945. From that time on, the union perspective has been developed through industry and national scope and over the years, it adopted a strong vision of social and political unionism. Both the growth and the vision of large sectoral unions required a common space that expressed precisely both characteristics. 

The CGT building constitutes a relevant part not only as the heritage of workers, but also as the testimony of a history that intertwines the union movement, migration and new demographic emergencies, which have been creating idiosyncratic aspects of our history.

Comparison with other similar properties

The transnational serial nomination of Workers’ Assembly Halls responds to the relative absence of “popular” sites on the World Heritage List, that is, sites associated with ordinary people and their long struggle for recognition. In more recent years, the List has been improved by the addition of industrial heritage sites, including Blaenavon Industrial Landscape, the Derwent Valley Mills and Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape in the United Kingdom, Volklingen Ironworks in Germany, the Wouda Pumping Station in the Netherlands, and several more. Other sites, such as the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Australia, reflect the development of industrialisation and trade throughout the world in the 19th century.

What these industrial sites have in common is an emphasis on the development of industrial technology and economic processes, important themes to a World Heritage List that tries to accurately represent the motive forces behind the development of human cultures. What the Workers Assembly Hall nomination does is focus on the people that made these technological and economic processes possible, providing the social, political and cultural context, and showing how those processes were shaped by, and in turn shaped, the actions of ordinary people. Studies of workers’ assembly halls and the research done for this nomination project show that thousands of workers’ assembly halls were built around the world on the initiative of local union organisations across a substantial period of time since the late 19th century and well into the 20th century and beyond. A large number of these have been refurbished or rebuilt, while others have been lost. Thus, only a few buildings have retained their integrity and connection to their original purpose as assembly halls.