discussing with conceptualizations that reduces popular sectors' social mobilizations to an answer "to hunger", recent studies adopted the idea of "struggle for recognition", developed by a. honeth. nevertheless, these arguments introduce a separation, referring, on the one hand to "survival" and to "political action", on the other. in this separation the first one is related to material conditions and the second to social recognition. from this distinction, a hierarchy is established, through it the search of sense related to political action, prevails over the "survival" idea. taking as a point of departure the results of our ethnographic research on recovered companies in buenos aires city, this article examines the way in which both dimensions appeared articulated in this "struggle for work", considering the arguments and the practices unfolded in the process of demands construction.