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Preview: Industrial Workers of the World - All Branches

Industrial Workers of the World - All Branches

This is the news page for all our membership branches. Click on a Branch title to get the latest news for a particular Branch, or browse this page for news from every Branch. To get an overview about our contact info, news and events, please visit our Br



Sat, 17 Sep 2005 10:03:00 +0000

Η εργατική τάξη και τα αφεντικά δεν έχουν τίποτα το κοινό. Δεν μπορεί να υπάρξει καμία ειρήνη εφ' όσον η πείνα και η ανέχεια συνυπάρχουν ανάμεσα στα εκατομμύρια των εργαζόμενων, ενώ οι λίγοι, που αποτελούν την εργοδοτική τάξη κατέχουν όλον τον παραγόμενο πλούτο.

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New York: Wobblies at Singing Restaurant Win Major Victory

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 23:28:38 +0000

By Stardust Family United - October 4, 2017 In a major victory for the singing servers at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, their employer has reached an agreement with their solidarity union, Stardust Family United, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). By entering into the settlement agreement, the company will narrowly avoid a trial on some 19 violations of the National Labor Relations Act, including 31 retaliatory firings. Under the terms of the agreement, all 31 employees terminated over the last year in retaliation for union activity have been offered immediate and full reinstatement, and will receive back pay from the time they were fired. Of the terminated employees, 13 will immediately return to work at the popular Midtown diner. In addition, the restaurant is required to mail official notices to all employees, informing them that the company will not violate federal law by engaging in certain unlawful practices such as surveilling and threatening workers, interfering with their use of social media, and discouraging them from taking action to improve working conditions. For the singing servers, this has been a long road. The union, which is a branch of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World), initially went public in late summer of 2016. Weeks after making their efforts known to management, 16 active union members were fired. Over the fall and winter, the workers continued to engage in direct workplace action to improve health and safety conditions, as well as pursue other demands. Another mass firing in January 2017 brought the total of terminated singers up to 31. Despite this, Stardust Family United remained active, both inside and outside the restaurant. “I’m thrilled and proud to know our struggle and vigilance over the last year has paid off,” says returning employee Matthew Patterson. “I’m looking forward to returning and making a positive impact inside the diner.” #Stardustfamilyunited #IWW #Wobblies #SFU #Singingunion #Labormovement #Workersrights #Solidarity #Weareallstardust read more[...]

(2017) GEB Statement on the Misuse of Boston GMB Funds in 2016

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 21:29:34 +0000

In 2016, $4,510.00 was illegitimately withdrawn and spent from the Boston IWW General Membership Branch’s bank account. This is a statement of what occurred in that case.


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Milwaukee, WI: General Defense Committee Rallies Against Islamophobes

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 23:02:14 +0000

By The Milwaukee Industrial Workers of the World General Defense Committee Local 19 - It's Going Down, September 11, 2017 When the Milwaukee IWW General Defense Committee heard that Act for America was scheduled to have a rally in Milwaukee we immediately began organizing to oppose it with the goal of shutting it down completely. ACT for America is an organization that stokes fear and hatred of immigrants and Muslims to lobby for heightened national security. We spoke with Twin Cities General Defense Committee members who had opposed ACT for America in the streets previously. They told us that ACT for America drew Islamophobes and Trump supporters, with some Alt Right fascists thrown in the mix at a rally in St. Paul. We knew we couldn’t let this organization take the streets of our city, so we organized logistics, started doing turn out and made a plan. ACT for America had scheduled their rally for 8 a.m. at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Milwaukee, so that’s where we would go. In the past several weeks debates on antifascism have erupted all over the country. Some suggest we ignore them, some suggest we hold rallies on the other side of town, but we believe that we must go where they go. We must always confront them with the goal of allowing no platform for racism and fascism. Shortly after masses of people in Boston smashed a fascist march, ACT for America canceled their rallies all over the country. Some questioned if we should bother turning out at all, but we felt we had to make good on our commitments and send a message to the far right that they would be opposed at every turn. We also knew there was a possibility that some rightists would turn out anyway. We set two rendezvous points, one in front of the courthouse and the other two blocks away, so we could engineer a coordinated confrontation with the right if needed.But the right didn’t really show. As we gathered and began to march, a few right wing goons heckled us, but then quickly scuttled away. They must have turned up to assessthe scene. Across from the courthouse approximatelysixty people gathered as we heard from speakers on the importance of solidarity, the struggle living as an immigrant in America and the vile racism of our society. Speakers called for unity with oppressed groups and the importance of working class organization. A General Defense Committee member said, “ACT for America has tremendous influence not only over the average person where they can play on fears, but over the State as well. But appealing to representatives is a dead end; a fruitless act. We have to use collective action in our communities to build the power we need to stop this threat.” As we build our organization we navigate a difficult path. We know that there must be mass opposition to fascism and racism in order for it to be combated, but we have to do what is necessary to no platform the far right. It’s a path worth navigating in order to build a mass organization that can utilize direct action. Every day on the shop floor, in the school, and in the neighborhood, we must build working class self-organization. We have to have conversations about who is really responsible for the outsourced jobs at huge old Milwaukee plants like Allis Chalmers and Tower Automotive and who is responsible for the cuts to education, public service, food share, and transportation. The rich are the ones who suck the blood of our class. If we don’t have those conversations the right wing will. read more[...]

Portland, OR: Fast Food Workers at Burgerville Launch Strike on Labor Day

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 01:54:04 +0000

By Staff - It's Going Down, September 4, 2017

(image) Members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) launched a strike in Portland, Oregon at fast food chain Burgerville. The strike is the latest move by workers at the chain who have been organizing for months and demanding wage increases, an end to harassment for union activities, better schedules, and improvements of conditions. The group announced the strike on Labor Day with a statement on their Facebook page:

The very first Labor Day was a massive strike and parade organized by thousands of workers in New York City in 1882. The chance for millions and millions of people to spend time with family and community this Monday was made possible by power wielded time and time again by striking workers.

Ironically, we workers at Burgerville don’t get to enjoy this day dedicated to celebrating the power of workers. Working at Burgerville means we can’t take proper holidays, since doing so means taking a substantial pay cut or facing retaliation from management. Working at Burgerville means that we spend our holidays working for minimum wage just like any other day, fully aware of all the memories with friends and family we are missing out on.

That’s why we are going on strike today.

Instead of going to work for poverty wages while corporate bigshots take vacations, we are taking a stand. We are taking back Labor Day for our families, our friends, our coworkers, and ourselves. We are taking back Labor Day because we know that better pay, fair schedules, consistent hours, and healthier work environments have only ever been won by workers standing together and fighting for them.

We are the heart of Burgerville and we deserve a change!

The strike also takes place as fast food workers at McDonald’s in the UK are also on strike. Burgerville workers union writes:

McDonald’s workers at two shops in England voted to go on a strike on September 4. These workers are organized through the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), whose demands include wage increases and more consistent scheduling (Sound familiar?)

Immediately after the announcement of a strike, McDonald’s stated that by the end of 2017 they will implement a guaranteed hours contract to every McDonald’s worker in the UK. The BFAWU plans to carry on with their strike to push for their other demands and to hold McDonald’s to their word.

Victory to the strikers!

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Berkeley, CA: IWW Recycling Workers Walk Off Job Over Unpaid Wages

Sat, 26 Aug 2017 00:47:00 +0000

By the Bay Area IWW - It's Going Down, August 24, 2017

(image) Workers at Buyback, a recycling centre in Berkeley, have walked off the job this morning after the payment of their wages was delayed without explanation.

The workers, who are members of the Industrial Workers of the World, discovered at the start of their shift that none of them had received their scheduled payment for the previous fortnight’s work, which was due to come through earlier this morning.

This the third occasion this year that wages have not been paid on time – something that can cause extensive problems for the finances of workers and their families. After turning up at 8 AM this morning and being offered no explanation from management for the error, Buyback workers held a union meeting and voted 18-0 to immediately walk out.

Buyback workers have already struck twice this year – the first an unannounced half-day walkout during the February 16 ‘Day Without Immigrants,’ and the second a two-hour stoppage to hold a celebratory barbecue on May 1.

Workers have not yet returned to work and it’s unclear at this stage whether the action will continue into tomorrow.

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Building Mass Antifascism in Milwaukee

Sat, 26 Aug 2017 00:35:50 +0000

By Milwaukee IWW - It's Going Down, August 21, 2017 On Saturday August 12th, white nationalists converged on the city of Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee and the renaming of Lee Park to Emancipation Park. The fascists were outnumbered by antifascists and were driven from the park, but not without great cost, as we all know. On that day a fascist drove his car at high speed into the antifascist demonstration, injuring over 20 people and killing one, a 32 year old paralegal named Heather Heyer. In Milwaukee we had been communicating with people in Charlottesville since Friday night. A friend said he worried someone from our side would be killed. To our horror this came to be true. The event gripped the country, and people were called to the streets to condemn the rising tide of fascism and racism, and in remembrance of the brave antifascist Heather Heyer. As news of Heather’s death spread on Saturday afternoon, we called for an emergency meeting that night in a park in the Riverwest neighborhood. Around 30 people came together to discuss how to respond to the attack in Charlottesville and move forward. The assembly agreed to call for a vigil the next day at 7:00 PM in the same park, rather than downtown. Mass demonstrations against Trump and other targets are typically held in Milwaukee’s downtown area in the evenings. We decided that since few people live downtown, and that the downtown area is not a working class neighborhood, we should instead hold the vigil where we stood, in the heart of Riverwest. There was some consideration of stepping outside of the comfort zone of a friendly neighborhood, but ultimately the group determined that for this demonstration, we should organize where we have a base. It was this decision which helped ensure a large turnout of working class people. We went about doing the work to make the vigil happen. We gathered literature for tabling, collected our megaphones, banners, and flags. Artists provided sign making materials for people to make their own signs as the vigil was getting underway. We edited our General Defense Committee outreach flier to announce a follow up meeting, and quickly found space to host it. Organizers put together a speakers list and made sure to raise the voices of our comrades of color and women members. Members even put together a screen printing table in the park with a “Good Night Far Right” image. Allied organizations turned out their members and provided support. We made sure to have marshals wearing identifiable vests who knew how to handle themselves in the street. The marshals were tasked with managing traffic and ensuring the march proceeded slowly so everyone could stay together as a group. An experienced member crafted a media advisory and called all the major media outlets in town. On Sunday night as 7:00 neared, people poured into the small park. Speakers opened with a moment of silence for Heather Heyer and emphasized the importance of the broader struggle. We spoke of the need to support the fights against deportations, the police, racism, and white supremacy, and the importance of organizing the working class. The crowd had swelled to around 400 people by the time the last speaker finished. After the speeches, people then flooded into the streets to march through the neighborhood. Chants of “No Nazis, No KKK, No Fascist USA” reverberated off the polish flats and duplexes of Riverwest. We headed down a side street and people came out of their houses to join in and cheer us on. Families waved and cheered from their porches, joining us in the chants even if they didn’t join the march. A sea of people waved red and black flags, IWW flags, and antifascist flags. The march was led by two black IWW banners, one reading “Direct Action Gets the Goods” and another for the General Defense Committee that[...]

Seattle, WA: August 13th Solidarity Against Hate Reportback

Sat, 26 Aug 2017 00:24:51 +0000

By the IWW Greater Seattle General Defense Committee Local 24 - It's Going Down, August 18, 2017 The IWW Greater Seattle General Defense Committee (GDC) put a wide-reaching public call-out to amass a significant contingent of individuals and organizations to confront yet another hateful “Freedom” rally by Joey Gibson and Patriot Prayer scheduled for August 13th. Sure enough, the rally was attended by white supremacist groups like Cascade Legion, the self-proclaimed “Western-chauvinist” Proud Boys, Anthony Parish the homophobic street preacher, and many other far-right bigots marching in the name of “free speech”. This was the third time this year that Joey’s crew descended upon our city to espouse their reactionary prejudices and ethno-nationalist, extreme-right fascist politics in our public space. This is the same crew that rallied with the likes of Jeremy Christian; he is the one who, this May, stabbed three people on a Portland MAX train (murdering two) for standing up against his Islamophobic tirade against two young women. For this counter-protest, we intended to meet their rally in Westlake Park and confront them where they stood, stop their march, shame them, and disrupt their event. We assigned marshal roles to a small coalition of the GDC and other chosen leftist organizations in order to keep our march safe from outside threats and ensure smooth coordination throughout. Our marshals were specifically trained and practiced for this role. We didn’t know what our numbers would be, which made it difficult to prepare in advance. We set several tactical goals, planning for numbers as high as 200, but we made fallback plans for fewer. The terrorist attack in Charlottesville on Saturday changed everything, and overnight, the number of attendees for our Sunday march grew exponentially. We suddenly found ourselves side by side with hundreds of people who didn’t necessarily share our objectives and who had a very different understanding of what confronting fascism means. We marched, because that seemed like the right thing to do. As we got within a two block radius of Westlake Park, The Seattle Police Department, along with Bellevue PD, Tukwila PD, and Renton PD, flanked us and barred our path at every turn towards the direction of the rally. The bloc and other various brave attendees made a break down an alley to cut through, but were met by SPD at the other end – who relentlessly hosed the charge down with pepper spray and stole their banners. The SPD would later re-tweet photos of a seized banner and picket sign handles, calling them “weapons”. One was arrested. Treated by medics and reconsolidated with the main contingent of the march, we continued together again. Road by road, riot police wielding batons, pepper spray, and grenade launchers lined every intersection’s only entry towards Westlake. We eventually stopped. We waited and amassed before the police. SPD, seemingly threatened after being covered in harmless silly string, responded with pepper spray and even launched blast balls directly into the center of the densely crowded intersection. Another marcher was arrested. One person with a head wound had to be evacuated to Harborview hospital, and many others were treated by medics on the spot. Despite this, SPD officially claimed to the press that there were no injuries. A call went out that the Westlake rally was over, and that we had won. This call was a miscommunication on our end that ultimately resulted from faulty intelligence that indicated a dispersal order was given at Westlake – and before it could be confirmed, the word eventually morphed down the chain into a story that the fascists left the park early. Nonetheless, the call was given and acted upon. We were turned back to Denny Park. Smaller groups of the bloc attempted to dive[...]

Milwaukee GDC Joins 6k Run in Remembrance of Temple Shooting

Sat, 26 Aug 2017 00:14:36 +0000

By Milwaukee IWW, General Defense Committee (GDC) - It's Going Down, August 15, 2017 On August 5th a 6k run was held in remembrance of the attack on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. Six victims were killed on August 5th 2012, Paramjit Kaur, Satwant Singh Kaleka, Prakash Singh, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, and Suveg Singh. The shooter was a neo-Nazi named Wade Michael Page living in Cudahy, south of Milwaukee. He was a member of the Hammerskins, a notorious Neo-Nazi Skinhead Gang. Every August 5th the community remembers those lost. The event focused on a spirit of resilience in the face of tragedy. A dozen members of the IWW joined our fellow worker Jesse, who worships at the temple, to promote the General Defense Committee (GDC) and stand in solidarity with the Sikh community. We participated in the run, tabled with literature, and handed out around 250 fliers. Text from Outreach Flyer by Jesse:  On the Morning of August 5, 2012, I was getting ready for work like I did every other Sunday. For some strange reason, I decided to channel surf until I was stopped by breaking news about a shooting at a temple. When I learned it was my own temple, I started to cry hysterically – for the victims, for my community, and in terror of thinking it could have been me if I wasn’t working that day. The following weeks were spent in fear of going into public places and full of hate for anyone that looked like Wade Michael Page, the shooter. I became physically exhausted and I finally had to surrender. Eventually time has healed. Things have returned to normal but I still live in the shadow of that day especially when it comes to verbal abuse by the public. Instead of swelling up with fear or hatred I decided to become an educator about my religion to dispel ignorance. But since the election we have seen a new trend in violence against racial and religious minorities and the LGBT community. The things that I thought I was working to eradicate have seemingly exploded across the country and it will only get worse with further impending economic crisis. I learned that Facebook posts about working on my inner dealings and educating people isn’t enough to fight this growing problem we see before us. The only solution is a working relationship with a community of self-defense and working-class power. It’s clear we can’t look towards politicians to solve society’s woes. It is imperative to get active and build the society we wish to see and it starts with organizing the workplace and for community self-defense. We have to learn to see ourselves in others who are targeted by discrimination and injustice because an injury to one is an injury to all. Other Side Of Flyer on GDC: The General Defense Committee (GDC) is the community self-defense arm of our grassroots labor union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The IWW is a democratically run union for all workers that believes we can use collective action to improve our working conditions and our lives. The General Defense Committee takes these principles and applies them to organizing in defense of our communities, especially in support of targeted groups such as immigrants, racial and religious minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community. The General Defense Committee believes we must not only reject and condemn hate speech, but that we must unite and put forward a vision of equality, solidarity, and collective action. Since our formation the General Defense Committee has acted in solidarity with victims of police violence, staged positive counter-demonstrations when hate groups have threatened to march in our communities, provided marshals for rallies in support of immigrant justice and trained our members in physical self-defense. We work to educate, support, and defend our community. We hope to contin[...]

Official Endorsement of Voz: Workers’ Rights Education Project by the PDX IWW

Sat, 26 Aug 2017 00:03:57 +0000

Portland IWW - August 15, 2017

(image) The Portland IWW is proud to endorse Voz: Workers’ Rights Education Project. Founded in 2000, Voz has been connecting day laborers to work, supporting worker-led organizing, and offering trainings.

Voz is a worker-led organization that gives power to immigrant workers that may not otherwise have the means to organize and bargain for humane working conditions and fair wages. Having the ability to organize and fight for these universal goals gives immigrants the ability to work, to better empower and enrich their communities and lives.

The Voz: Workers Rights Education Project is currently campaigning for their Building The Dream campaign, petitioning the city of Portland for the rights to purchase the property at 240 NE Martin Luther King JR Blvd., to provide immigrant workers and day laborers with a place to meet potential employers, discuss the conditions of their labor, while having the choice to sell their labor to whomever they believe will give them the respect that they deserve.

As such, Voz requires support from community organizations to help them fight for these rights, and to show the city of Portland that the community stands with them and will help defend the exploited and under-privileged workers that move our city and society forward. The Portland Industrial Workers of the World has long worked alongside the VOZ: Workers Rights Education Project and firmly believes that day laborers – like all workers – should have secure sites from which to organize and direct their own labor.

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