IWW Sites

Burgerville Workers Fight and Win Co-Worker’s Job Back

Industrial Workers of the World - Tue, 2018-07-17 19:29

By Burgerville Workers Union - It's Going Down, July 12, 2018

Report from the Burgerville Workers Union of the IWW who recently fought and won the rehiring of a co-worker.

Meet Brookelynn, a longtime Burgerville worker at the Gladstone store and a strong union supporter. She worked at Burgerville for two years before leaving the job in December for family reasons. Brookelynn reapplied shortly afterwards, much to everyone’s excitement, and it’s even Burgerville policy to rehire workers who reapply within three months of quitting

Because of how strong a union supporter she is, however, Burgerville refused to rehire her, violating their own policy. The General Manager, Michael Dawson, hired at least ten other people while Brookelynn kept reapplying, discriminating against her over and over again for her union membership. Meanwhile, Burgerville has spent thousands and thousands of dollars on ads claiming to value their employees and that they do not intimidate or retaliate against workers for being part of the union.

After months of fighting, Brookelynn and the union finally won her job back! She returned to work today and everyone is thrilled. Furthermore, the National Labor Relations Board found merit in Brookelynn’s charges of anti-union discrimination, which means Burgerville will likely face legal consequences for their union busting activity.

We’re excited about the ongoing contract negotiations, but this just goes to show how important it is to keep fighting outside the bargaining room as well.

Welcome back, Brookelynn! When we fight, we win!

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Fundraiser to Support Members of IU650

Industrial Workers of the World - Tue, 2018-07-17 19:16

We’ve received an incredible outpouring of solidarity during and since the end of out lockout. While we may be able to win back the lost two weeks of wages through court battles down the line, many of our workers may have trouble making rent and paying other vital bills this month with the short paychecks. Any support you can give will go a long way towards helping those folks out and making sure we can stand strong as we continue our campaign.

Click here to donate to IU650’s hardship fund, which will directly benefit our fellow workers who experience financial hardship as a result of GCI’s illegal and immoral lockout.

Statement from IU650

We are not the first canvassing shop to threaten to Unionize. We aren’t even the first canvassing shop to follow up on that threat with an NLRB election.

But in a canvassing shop when you go down that path you always hear the same threat. The Bosses will close down your shop. Thats illegal, so they whisper it, they tell it through innuendo, they imply it with stories about other offices that tried.

On June 11th IU 650 Seattle was informed that operations were suspended at the office. We were locked out in response to legally protected concerted action and they were, you know, basically closing the shop.

We launched into action. We took legal recourse. We reached out to our friends and supporters asking them to help with our call in campaign. We reminded Grassroots Campaigns that we work in the street. You can’t lock us out of the street. We organize for a living, they cannot expect us not to organize.

We picketed. Wobblies in multiple cities, from Seattle to Boston took direct action on picket lines. Our IU 650 friends in the Deep South stood up for us.

And people called. Eventually they heard us.

The Seattle office of Grassroots Campaigns reopened its doors on June 21st and the members of IU 650 have returned to work. The terms are still under negotiation, many workers have been forced to change campaigns and it has of course provided cover for yet another round of unilateral changes.

But that office is open.

If you are a canvasser. If you organize folks for a living and your boss tells you that you will be punished for organizing with your coworkers. If they subtly imply that canvassing shops get closed down for organizing.

Seattle says they can’t.

Thank you so much for all of your help.

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Categories: IWW Sites

IWOC Endorses National Prison Strike and Pledges Support

Industrial Workers of the World - Wed, 2018-06-20 16:49

By IWOC - It's Going Down,May 23, 2018

Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) announces its support for the national prison strike starting on August 21st, 2018.

Whereas, trusted comrades, collectives, and networks behind the prison walls have convened, called for a “National Prison Strike” from August 21 to Sept 9, 2018, issued a set of demands and guidelines and requested outside support, (1)

Whereas, we, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee of the IWW have heard their call for support and find the strike and its goals completely aligned with our material work and with all points of our Statement of Purpose (2),

Be it resolved, we endorse the strike, pledge our support and furthermore, embrace the work of solidarity.

We, as the national body of the IWOC network strongly encourage all outside branches and members-at-large to take on the support work to the utmost of their capacity and according to their best judgement.

As the strike develops, the scope of of work will also develop and will need further guidelines and ratification, so we offer this motion as a framework and a beginning. Further motions to amend are entertained as the work demands and teaches. The areas of work appropriate to our network, as we see them now, are as listed below:

1. Immediately add our name to the list of endorsing organizations and solicit other organizations to endorse and support.

2. Spread the word of the strike and demands inside as best and responsibly as we can so that our inside members and contacts can make informed decisions as to their positions and possible actions.

3. Media

a. National Media Committee: assist and coordinate with the Jailhouse Lawyers Speak/Millions for Prisoners media representatives according to their protocols in fielding and fulfilling media requests, strategizing, spreading social media, and assisting in generating original works in all available mediums.

b. Locals: generate, share and publish educational and agitational material in all available mediums.

c. Make available whatever vetted media representatives we can muster regionally and nationally to speak on the strike to groups or to media outlets (according to the prisoners’ protocols for media requests).

4. Anti-repression

a. To immediately begin building networks of outside supporters committed to phone blasts, demonstrations, and pressure campaigns of any type to combat repression and retaliation against prisoners. Repression is already underway and prisoner groups are already making requests for support.

b. Educate all IWOC members and groups, all other support groups and public at large on the tactics and depth of retaliations undertaken against prisoners.

5. Local demands: Outside IWOC groups can aid prisoners in their area in adding their own demands to local strike messaging. Such addition has been approved by existing inside strike leadership.

Let the work begin.

For solidarity over the walls and wire,

For a world without prisons,

For liberation!

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Categories: IWW Sites

Solidarity Actions for J20 Defendants

Industrial Workers of the World - Thu, 2018-06-07 17:55


A statement from the North American IWW General Executive Board


For over a year, the US has been pressing felony charges--including “riot,” “inciting a riot,” and “conspiracy to riot”--against protesters who were arrested at the inauguration of Donald Trump. After a revelation that they had been withholding evidence from the defense, federal prosecutors dropped all charges against 10 defendants last week, including against members of our union. Today, the second J20 trial ended in a mistrial for three defendants and full acquittal for a fourth.

The state is reeling from this defeat, and lashing out like a wounded animal as it retreats. 44 defendants are still awaiting trial. The hour is late; the time to act in their defense is now. We are calling for an international day of action in solidarity with the J20 defendants on Monday, June 25th.

From the beginning, the J20 case has represented an escalation of the state’s attempts to criminalize revolutionary politics. The Riot Act is an archaic law with a racist history, once used to repress and attack the black liberation movement in the US, which has not been used in Washington, DC since the Matthews case of 1968. Its application against protesters today signals the beginning of a wave of state repression comparable to the Red Scares of the 1920’s and 1950’s. Despite not even being present on Inauguration Day, an IWW member had his door kicked in and his house raided by police, before being slapped with the same charges as other protesters. We live in an era when fascists and white supremacists can attack us in the streets without legal consequence, but antifascists face over 60 years in prison for a demonstration.

If you live in the US, organize a demonstration outside your local DOJ building. If you live in another country, organize a picket of a US embassy. Call a 1-day solidarity strike at your workplace. Do whatever you can to raise the profile of our courageous comrades who are facing down the forces of reaction. The more scandal an action produces, the better.

Until all are free,

Industrial Workers of the World


Compañeros y compañeras

Hace más de un año que el Estado acusó a los manifestantes arrestados durante la inauguración de Donald Trump de provocar “disturbios”. La semana pasada, la fiscal retiró las acusaciones contra 10 de los procesados en el juicio en curso del J20 (20 de enero), incluidos miembros de la IWW. Esa victoria se logró al mismo tiempo que se revelaba que la fiscal había ocultado pruebas a la defensa deliberadamente. Hoy, el segundo juicio de J20 terminó con juicio nulo para tres de los acusados y absolución completa del cuarto.

El Estado se tambalea con su derrota, y ataca como un animal herido a la vez que se retira. 44 acusados están todavía a la espera de juicio. Ya es hora de actuar en su defensa. Convocamos un día internacional de acción solidaria con los acusados para el lunes, 25 de junio.

Desde el comienzo, el juicio del J20 (20 de enero) ha sido un intento descarado de criminalizar las ideas revolucionarias. La ley vigente, la llamada "Riot Act" arrastra una historia racista. Fue usada para reprimir y atacar al Movimiento de Liberación Negra. La última vez que se utilizó en Washington, DC, fue en el caso Matthews en 1968. Su uso actual contra manifestantes señala el comienzo de una oleada represiva que se puede comparar con las histerias anticomunistas de los años 20 y 50. Un miembro de la IWW fue objeto de un registro en su domicilio, en el cual la policía derribó su puerta, antes de ser incluido en el mismo proceso. Sin embargo, ni siquiera había estado presente en el día de la inauguración. Vivimos en una época en la cual los fascistas nos pueden atacar en la calle sin consecuencias, pero en la que los antifascistas se enfrentan a más de 60 años de cárcel por una manifestación.

Si vives en EEUU, organiza una manifestación frente al edificio local del Departamento de "Justicia". Si vives en otro país, organiza un piquete en la embajada o consulado estadounidense. Convoca una huelga solidaria de 24 horas en tu centro de trabajo. Haz lo que puedas para dar a conocer el caso de nuestros valientes compañeros y compañeras, que se enfrentan a las fuerzas de la reacción. Cuanta más repercusión tenga una acción, mejor.

Hasta que todos y todas sean libres,

Industrial Workers of the World

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Categories: IWW Sites

Dialysis Workers of Humboldt County CA Strike Back!

Industrial Workers of the World - Mon, 2018-06-04 12:46

The dialysis workers of Humboldt County are going IWW. Worsening working conditions at the only two dialysis clinics in the County, both owned by the German based company Fresenius, has culminated in a unionization drive that continues to grow momentum. Lives in the community are being put at risk as individual technicians are being routinely forced to take care of 6 to 8 patients at a time for 10 to 16 hour shifts. Grossly underpaid and overworked dialysis technicians who fear for their patients safety, have pleaded for years for more staff, more consistent scheduling, better training and fair pay. Having union representation has been a subject fraught with fear and secrecy at a company whose new hire orientation process consists of having to sit through an anti-union information video. However, workers feel they have run out of options. A proposed law in California would make it illegal to have more than three dialysis patients for every dialysis technician. If passed, the law still wouldn’t be enacted until 2020; however, staff is refusing to wait any longer. 

For years staff and patient’s concerns have been ignored by corporate and has continued to reveal a disconnection from a company that has put cutting costs over the well being of its clients and workers alike. The company hasn’t wasted any time combating organizing efforts, less than a week after formally announcing their intentions to have a union; corporate has called for “mandatory informational meetings”. These captive audience meetings are forcing staff into separated groups to sit through an hour and a half of management and HR agents trying to convince them in vague terms that conditions will get better and that they don’t need to be union. A patient advocate, who is a patient themselves, was forcibly excluded from the meetings. Ironically Fresenius had to bring in temporary (traveling) workers to perform their duties while staff was in these meetings. In the months prior, shortly after hearing of union activity, management brought in a nurse from corporate’s employee relations department. Along with distributing a poster designed to scare workers from giving personal information to union organizers, they were caught in a lie on day one by claiming that the IWW “doesn’t apply to our work because they only organize factories and sex workers”. One of management’s main tactics is trying to attack the union’s legitimacy in the healthcare industry. The election for union representation set to take place June 7th and 8th.

For more information call 707-840-5012

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Categories: IWW Sites

Burgerville Workers Union Wins Second Victory

Industrial Workers of the World - Tue, 2018-05-15 20:50

By Burgerville Workers Union - It's Going Down, May 14, 2018

The following statement was released yesterday from the Burgerville Workers Union, after another store successfully won union recognition. The BVWU is the first officially recognized fast food union in the United States and is a part of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

Today Burgerville workers once again voted overwhelmingly in favor of the BVWU, this time at the Gladstone location. This is the second NLRB election the BVWU has won in a month. The first, at 92nd and Powell, made us the only fast food union in the country, and this one demonstrates the momentum the BVWU has going into contract negotiations.

Gladstone workers in particular deserve extra celebration for their win today. Despite the friendly attitude Burgerville has taken in the press about being willing to work with the union, Gladstone workers didn’t see anything close to friendliness on the shop floor. During the election, despite all their words of openness and cooperation, Burgerville was up to its old tricks: retaliation, intimidation, even straight up lying. Gladstone workers faced down all of that and STILL won a major victory for the union. Standing up to your boss like that takes bravery and every one of them deserves applause.

The win at 92nd wasn’t the end of the fight, and neither is this win at Gladstone. The fight won’t be over until Burgerville stops paying us poverty wages, stops threatening undocumented immigrants through their use of e-verify, and stops treating us like we’re disposable. We demand respect, and we won’t stop until we get it. Gladstone is an important step in that journey.

Remember too that the boycott is on until the company signs a fair contract. They’re not off the hook yet.

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Burgerville Workers Union Becomes First Formally Recognized Fast Food Union in the US

Industrial Workers of the World - Mon, 2018-04-30 14:45

By Burgerville Workers Union - It's Going Down, April 24, 2018

Burgerville Workers Union has won a union election in one location, meaning that the company will be forced to negotiate a contract with the workers. Other stores are expected to soon come on board. BVWU, a part of the IWW, also becomes the first fast food chain in the US to be unionized.

We won the election. We did it. We made history.

Today workers at 92nd and Powell overwhelmingly voted yes, making the Burgerville Workers Union the only formally recognized fast food union in the country. For a long time people have dismissed fast food as unorganizable, saying that turnover is too high, or the workers are too spread out. Today Burgerville workers proved them wrong.

The fight isn’t over, of course. We still need to bargain a fair contract with Burgerville, and until then the boycott still stands. And we need to remember what got us to this point: workers taking action for themselves, standing up against poverty wages and horrible conditions. We got here because of the strike, union benefits, pickets, and marches on the boss. We got here through direct action, and that won’t change now that we’ve won an election. If anything it’s even more important.

In this moment of victory we want to celebrate, yes, but we also want to turn our attention to the 4.5 million other fast food workers in the United States. We want to speak to everyone else who works for poverty wages, who are constantly disrespected on the job, who are told they aren’t educated enough, aren’t experienced enough, aren’t good enough for a decent life. To all of those workers, to everyone like us who works rough jobs for terrible pay, we say this:

Don’t listen to that bullshit. Burgerville workers didn’t, and look at us now.

Because our win today isn’t just about Burgerville. It’s about history. It’s about a movement of workers who know that a better world is possible, and that together they can make that world real.

Today we became the only recognized fast food union in the country. But we won’t be the only one for long.

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Spring 2018 (May Day) Industrial Worker

Industrial Workers of the World - Mon, 2018-04-30 14:24

May Day!

Long a celebration of renewal, as Spring shows its stuff with abundance in Nature, May 1 was the perfect day for workers to come out in their numbers, celebrating their unity and strength in demanding the eight-hour workday and safe working conditions. It took anarchists and socialists to stand up to the money men and demand what simply should have been a right of Nature, which knows how to take a good rest to gear up for astonishing productivity.

There's a third meaning to "Mayday," but it's just as appropriate to our movement as the connection to Nature is to dignity for all workers. We've heard it in countless war movies: "Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!" It has to be said three times to work, just like Dorothy's clicking her heels to "There's no place like home!" and "Oyez, oyez, oyez!" (Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye!) to call a court to order.

"M'aidez, m'aidez, m'aidez!" It means "Help me." That's what Wobblies do. It's solidarity, Fellow Workers!

Download a Free PDF of this issue!

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