Industrial Workers of the World

Syndicate content
Preamble to the IWW Constitution.
Updated: 9 hours 36 min ago

Solidarity Actions for J20 Defendants

Thu, 2018-06-07 17:55

 

A statement from the North American IWW General Executive Board

Comrades,

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

read more

Categories: IWW Sites

Dialysis Workers of Humboldt County CA Strike Back!

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

read more

Categories: IWW Sites

Burgerville Workers Union Wins Second Victory

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.

read more

Categories: IWW Sites

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

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.

read more

Categories: IWW Sites

Spring 2018 (May Day) Industrial Worker

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!

read more

Categories: IWW Sites

Rest in Power Stephon "Zoe" Clark

Fri, 2018-03-30 18:53

Members of the Sacramento IWW write this letter with solemn condolences to the family and friends of Stephon "Zoe" Clark.

On March 18th, Sacramento Police Department officers Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet shot ten bullets each, killing the 22-year-old father of two. He was the seventeenth person killed by Sacramento-area police in the last two years. In the wake of this tragedy, a routine that we know all too well has played out: police chief, Daniel Hahn, has called for calm as his department "gathers more facts" about the incident; city mayor Darrell Steinberg voiced his initial "full support" of the involved officers; and local newspaper Sacramento Bee has called for "calm" while glorifying the police, going so far as to ask "what's a cop to do?" when faced with explosive community accountability.

That accountability comes in the form of rolling demonstrations led primarily by Black folks and supported by a wide swathe of Sacramento residents who refuse to accept another police execution of a Black person as "business as usual". Beginning on March 22nd, thousands of demonstrators pushed riot police from intrusion on a highway takeover and shut down access to the Sacramento Kings' home game. Community members have since squared off with police into the early hours of the morning; hosted a benefit music and arts night to fund raise for Zoe's family and funeral services; disrupted a city council meeting; prevented access to a second Kings' home game; and faced off with riot police after taking an unsanctioned march from District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert's downtown office.

The current moment in Sacramento emerges from both spontaneous social anger and years of community organizing by many groups. In particular, protests focused on the Golden 1 Center demonstrate an understanding of the connections between ways that Sacramento government and business prioritize money at the expense of Black and poor lives. In addition to direct police violence, this includes ongoing "urban renewal and renovation" targeted at raising property values, eliminating mom-and-pop stores and their owners, creating a playground for a growing segment of Silicon Valley tech executives out-priced of Bay Area living, and pushing specifically workers and people of color, to the city's furthest limits. Protesters recognize city officials' complicity and active efforts to bring in more capital to swell its coffers, while leaving larger and larger numbers of its residents houseless. Police officers' protection of the Sacramento Kings' arena crystallizes the direct connection between the state and capitalists through its protection of publicly-financed private property and revenue accrual.

Stephon Clark will be laid to rest today but it does not mean that we should. Members of the Sacramento IWW write this statement in full support of the ongoing efforts taken by community members and call for their expansion. Revolutionary activity begins in the streets but ends in a new society. That end goal—a world which dismantles structural racism in all of its forms and eliminates wage slavery as the primary way to survive—requires expanding this momentum to all corners and crevices of the city.

Ways to expand the uprising include:

  • Talking to coworkers about actions of solidarity, like sympathy strikes or slowdowns
  • Talking with your neighbors about SacPD's actions and hosting fundraising block parties
  • Talking to your coworkers and neighbors about instances of racial and other forms of discrimination by managers, bosses, and landlords and developing ideas on how to fight back collectively
  • Organizing and conducting research to document the connections between city officials and businesses
  • Continuing protest of and strategizing against police violence and prisons, including immigrant detention
  • Working with friends on ways we can support each other without government or police-supporting institutions as intermediaries, like sharing food and resources, learning health care skills and supporting victims of domestic violence
  • Targeting other urban renewal projects that seek to turn the city's population into subservient, destitute, downtrodden workers, like Amazon Warehouses, with collective demonstrations
  • Sharing contact information with protest participants and organize strategy sessions

Actions taken by community members and workers offer a glimmer of a world in which social norms are disrupted, inverted, and we take brief control over the streets, state offices and meetings, and our lives. We can take more ground and control, but we must do it together.

Rest in power Zoe and all other victims of state- and capitalist-sanctioned violence in all of its forms.

An injury to one is an injury to all.

read more

Categories: IWW Sites

IWW wins half-million dollar backpay settlement

Wed, 2018-03-14 14:58

Stardust Family United, a solidarity union of the Industrial Workers of the World, has claimed a huge victory over the repressive owner of Ellen’s Stardust Diner (home of the world famous singing waitstaff), Ken Sturm.  In the largest settlement received by the IWW in recent history, Sturm has succumbed to the will of his workers and started payment of almost half a million dollars in back wages.

In September, just one week before a scheduled hearing to settle allegations of 19 Unfair Labor Practices, including illegal surveillance of employees engaged in protected concerted activity, the interrogation of employees regarding union activity, and the unlawful termination of thirty-one employees for organizing, Sturm reluctantly offered reinstatement to all thirty-one employees and agreed to cease harassment and surveillance of the union. Although the employer also agreed to pay back wages, it should come as no surprise that Sturm strung his former employees along for another four months, through the holiday season, before finally bowing to the power of the workers and starting payment of the $490,000 he owes them.

Stardust Family United was formed in 2016, in an effort to fight for the underserved employees of Ellen's Stardust Diner in their struggle against the unfair, unsafe, and unlawful labor practices of their employer. Blatant disregard for the workers' well-being ranged from ignoring pleas to fix dangerous equipment in the shop, resulting in multiple injuries on the job, to bullying tactics designed to shut down communication between employees. Undeterred, the members of SFU waged a struggle in the shop, in the streets, and in the courtroom. By refusing unsafe or unpaid work, the singing servers have dramatically improved conditions on the job. Through protests, pickets, and walkouts, they placed pressure on the boss to re-hire the illegally terminated workers. And despite Sturm's repeated attempts to break their spirit with shameful tactics, from hateful "anonymous" text messages to false allegations in a NY Post article, SFU has stood their ground every single time. And every single time, they've won.

With invaluable support from the One Big Union, SFU has been relentless in holding Sturm and his army of corrupt lawyers and dictatorial managers accountable for their actions. Now that back wages are being paid to those illegally terminated, an injustice has been righted.

read more

Categories: IWW Sites