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Industrial Workers of the World - News - All Departments and Unions



This is the news page for all IWW Departments and Unions. This page displays *all* news items from every Department and Union. To see news only from a particular Department, click on the Department title below.For an overview of the IWW's Union structure,



 



Audio Report: Burgerville Workers Union Finish Three Day Strike

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 01:32:40 +0000

By Burgerville Workers Union - It's Going Down, February 6, 2018

In this audio report, we talked to someone with the Burgerville Workers Union (BVWU), which is a part of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a revolutionary anti-capitalist union founded in 1905. The Burgerville campaign went public in 2016, and in the past several years, has launched a series of strikes, job actions, pickets, and various campaigns in the face of an ongoing anti-union crackdown.

In response to this repression, members of BVWU have built relationships with various local groups and unions, who have in turn brought people to walk pickets lines and often serve free hamburgers outside of Burgerville stores during various job actions. To learn more about this back story, check out our previous podcast interviews with BVWU members here and here.

In this interview, we specifically talk about the recent three day strike launched by BVWU, which grew to include four stores in total who were involved in the strike. Over the course of three days, IWW members picketed stores, encouraged customers not to pay patronage to the business across the city, held rallies which were joined in solidarity with other unions, and also announced the “Boycott Burgerville” campaign.

While certainly not the first or only large scale fast-food worker strike, the Burgerville campaign is historic, and represents the growing capacity of rank-n-file workers to self-organize and take action where they are to fight back against their bosses and conditions in a rapidly gentrifying city.

More Info: Burgerville Workers Union, Donate, and Boycott Burgerville

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Burgerville Strike Spreads to Four Stores as Three Day Strike Ends

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 01:28:14 +0000

By Burgerville Workers Union - It's Going Down, February 4, 2018

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On Saturday, February 3rd, members of the Burgerville Workers Union, (BVWU), a part of the revolutionary anti-capitalist labor union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), announced that a third and fourth store had officially joined the strike. Meanwhile, Burgerville Workers Union members also announced a public boycott of the store as pickets continued over the weekend. On Sunday, the union announced that it was ending its three day strike and that on Monday, workers would be returning to work, however the struggle would continue.

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Burgerville Strike Spreads Into Second Store, Pickets Continue

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 01:19:32 +0000

By Burgerville Workers Union - It's Going Down, February 4, 2018

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Yesterday, fast food workers and members of the Burgerville Workers Union (BVWU), a part of the revolutionary anti-capitalist union the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), launched a strike at the Burgerville USA chain in Portland, Oregon. Today, they announced that the strike had spread to yet another store. Below are updates from the Burgerville Workers Union social media accounts. 

On February 2nd the union announced:

ANOTHER STRIKE! Today at 11:15 a.m. union workers at the 25th and Powell store delegated management and walked off the job on strike. Union members and supporters are out picketing the store now and have been providing pizza to Cleveland High School students and staff who’ve joined them on the picket lines! This is the second store to walk out in as many days, and wiith Convention Center workers on day two of their strike, this is now the largest strike in BVWU history! Convention Center workers: we got your back! Special thanks for the purple solidarity we received from SEIU 49! 

The Burgerville Workers Union has been hard at work for months now to empower workers and organize a strike. Yesterday, we got to see all those hours of hard work and planning come to fruition after the walkout and strike performed at the Convention Center location. Now is the time for Burgerville Corporate to hear what we’ve been trying to communicate for years. As workers, we deserve better.

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Fast Food Workers in Portland Launch Strike at Burgerville

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 01:12:46 +0000

By Burgerville Workers Union - It's Going Down, February 1, 2018

(image) In Portland, Oregon, fast food workers with Burgerville USA have walked off the job and launched a strike. In recent months, more Burgerville workers in a variety of stores have joined the union, the revolutionary anti-capitalist Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). What follows is a direct report and announcement on the strike from the Burgerville Workers Union. Follow their social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook for up to the minute updates, and be sure to check our past coverage of their struggle as well as their appearances on our podcast.

Workers at the Convention Center Burgerville just walked off the job, launching a strike and kickstarting the biggest weekend of action yet from the Burgerville Workers Union.

April will mark the BVWU’s second anniversary of going public. Since 2016, our demands have largely remained the same: fair wages, consistent scheduling, and affordable health care. We as a union have grown since then. We have found new ways to support each other, and we have won victories in the workplace that make the weight of our day to day lives easier to bear.

Despite all of this, however, Burgerville still refuses to negotiate with the union. The company continues to ignore the voices of its workers, prioritizing profits over the human needs of the workers who make those profits possible.

We are on strike today because no one deserves to live in poverty. Life in Portland only gets harder – rents go up, groceries get more expensive, and Burgerville wages stay unlivable.

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Portland, OR: Burgerville Workers Union Pickets and Expands Into More Stores

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 04:10:04 +0000

By BVWU - It's Going Down, January 25, 2018

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On Wednesday, January 24th, the Burgerville Workers Union (BWU) held its first picket of 2018 outside of a Burgerville store in Portland. BWU is a part of the revolutionary anti-capitalist union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and in the past year has grown to include workers in a variety of stores across the chain. Burgerville, which brands itself as a “local” and “woke” large fast food corporation, has refused to negotiate with BWU, and has even hired anti-union goons in an attempt to stop the IWW, as well as firing various organizers over trivial incidents.

 

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First Incarcerated Worker Industrial Union Branch Forming

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 01:02:37 +0000

By IWOC - It's Going Down, January 18, 2018 The following article from the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) announces that the Mandingo Warriors & Associates has put in an application to be the first union branch to be chartered inside of prison. The Industrial Workers of the World’s (IWW) Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) is excited to announce our first Incarcerated Workers Industrial Union 613 branch application. The charter is currently being reviewed by the IWW's General Executive Board. When approved, this will be the first ever IU613 Branch in IWW history. In fact it will be the very first Incarcerated Workers union branch period. Below is their announcement of the formation and a riveting history of prison organizing over the past few decades. REVOLUTIONARY GREETINGS & FELLOW WORKERS, On behalf of “Mandingo Warriors & Associates—IWW/IWOC,” we would like to express our most sincere gratitude and appreciation regarding the valuable time, efforts and sacrifices that you, along with the entire IWW/IWOC revolutionary family of this Struggle, have put into this difficult and complex “dilemma” of pursuing the necessary steps required to “effectively” assist in the organizing of those of us, whom are incarcerated within the numerous “Business Corporations” disguised as “Reformative Institutions” (Aka Prisons), around Unifying Principles and a Universal Philosophy that is inclusive of all of Humanity (this is definitely a Struggle Rooted in Equality for all of Humanity and not just the Few & Wealthy!)….     We shall hope and pray that all of our Comrades, in the “Semi-Free Society,” are doing well and are enjoying the best of health possible. Your most recent communication (dated: 10/20/’17) was well received and we look forward to receiving future communications from any and all IWW/IWOC members (with a robust invitation to the African People’s Caucus) in the near future.     Before We/I begin to address your most recent letter, Comrade it is our responsibility to inform and make you guys aware of the latest developments concerning the Movement of our Branch… You guys will have no doubt noticed the change in name/title—“Mandingo Warriors & Associates—IWW/IWOC” (M.W.A.—IWW/IWOC), from the previous name--                         A meeting was held, 10/27/’17, in response to your letter and concerning IWW/IWOC’s agenda in general. Amongst the few issues that were discussed and resolved, included the uncertainty of some, as-to whether IWW/IWOC represent the realities of True Revolutionary Movement, or, will the Tribe (another name used to describe the entirety of the M.W organization)—as a Revolutionary organization in-and-of-itself, be bounding itself, by mutual agreement, to Honor, Respect, Uphold and abide by the Constitution, By-Laws, Principles and General Philosophy (whenever related to IWW affairs) of a bunch of “Armchair” Revolutionaries, who pontificate upon revolutionary concepts, but, fall far short of actual Revolutionary Movement (The Tribe has been “burnt” by such “revolutionary organizations” before, in which “they talk a good game,” but, when the “heat” is turned-up they are  nowhere to be found…)… read more[...]



New York: Wobbly Waiters Stage “Sip In” to Demand IWW Recognition

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 00:52:25 +0000

By Stardust Family Unted - It's Going Down, January 17, 2018

This following report and video comes from the Stardust Family Diner, which is a group of workers who are fighting as part of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) to be in a union. Recently the workers won the rehiring of several dozen employees who were fired in an anti-union campaign conducted by management. 

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Some footage (video, above) from (January 16, 2018) “Sip In” at Stardust diner, where servers and former staff are fighting for the right to join a union (that’s right, they don’t even have the right to fight for their rights), along with a laundry list of other abuses perpetuated by management.

The idea was to disrupt the Saturday dinner rush—several arrived, were seated, and only ordered water (with copious amounts of lemon), stayed for an hour or so, tipped the server generously (so that they wouldn’t be punished financially), and then as we left, told the manager that they should allow the servers to join the union.

The very talented singing staff started the action by singing Twister Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (feat. in the musical “School of Rock”), then went into Woody Guthrie’s “Union Maid.” During the chorus (“Oh, you can’t scare me, I’m sticking to the union…”), those participants in the diner, stood up, held their waters and ketchup bottles aloft and sang along (To the wtf-bewilderment of all the tourists). Then one of the servers who was fired last week for joining the union came in off the streets, grabbed a mic, and somehow turned “New York, New York” into an accusatory political anthem. She stood on the booth, pointed to the patrons, and after she belted the final note, raised her fist, and shouted “Worker’s Rights!”

Best dinner in quite a while…

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Inmates Launch Month-Long Strike to Protest 'Slavery Conditions' in Florida Prisons

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 02:14:46 +0000

By Julia Conley - Common Dreams, January 14, 2018 Inmates in Florida's prisons launched a month-long strike on Monday in protest of the state's use of "modern day slavery" within its correctional facilities. In a statement released by the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons, one of several advocacy groups supporting the movement, the state's prisoners urged the prison population to refuse all work assignments during the strike: We are encouraging prisoners throughout the DOC to band together in an effort to demand payment for work performances...Our goal is to make the Governor realize that it will cost the state of Florida millions of dollars daily to contract outside companies to come and cook, clean, and handle the maintenance. This will cause a total BREAK DOWN. African-Americans make up about a third of Florida's prison population, despite accounting for only about 17 percent of the state's overall population. Calling their movement Operation Push, after Rev. Jesse Jackson's 1970s campaign to improve the economic status of African-Americans, the state's inmates are fighting against the Department of Corrections' price-gouging practices and Florida's elimination of parole as well as its use of unpaid labor by prisoners. Florida is one of five states that offers no payment to inmates for their work—from washing prison uniforms and cooking meals to completing maintenance work and serving on cleanup crews after Hurricane Irma hit the state last September. "There's a word for that, it's called slavery," Paul Wright, executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center, told the Guardian. "Some states might say they pay 10 cents a day, or 15 cents an hour, or whatever, but here they make it pretty clear they don't pay prisoners anything, they're not going to, and prisoners are totally enslaved at every level." On top of receiving no compensation for their work, inmates—and their families—have to come up with money to afford food and other items sold in prisons. "We can no longer allow the state to take advantage of our families' hard earned money by over-charging us," wrote the inmates in their statement. "Take for example: one case of soup on the street cost $4.00. It costs us $17.00 on the inside. This is highway robbery without a gun. It's not just us that they’re taking from. It's our families who struggle to make ends meet and send us money—they are the real victims that the state of Florida is taking advantage of." Black Lives Matter, several local chapters of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Florida State University's NAACP chapter are among more than 100 groups that have announced their support for the movement. Many of the groups planned to hold a rally with inmates' friends and families at the state's Department of Corrections on Tuesday. read more[...]



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[...]



“Destroy All Prisons Tomorrow”: IWOC Responds to Jacobin

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 22:57:13 +0000

By IWOC - It's Going Down, September 11, 2017 The weekend of August 19 2017, amid the second nationwide inside/outside mass protest against prison slavery in as many years, Jacobin Magazine published an article against prison abolition entitled How to End Mass Incarceration by Roger Lancaster. Lancaster argued that returning to an ideal of puritan discipline and rehabilitation is more realistic than pursuing the abolition of prison entirely. Jacobin caught a lot of deserved flack from abolitionists on social media for it. Numerous scholars, organizers and journalists decried Lancaster’s article, creating such an online storm that Jacobin decided to publish a response article entitled What Abolitionists Do penned by Dan Berger, Mariame Kaba and David Stein. Unfortunately, this response fails to fully critique Lancaster’s arguments and instead sells other abolitionists out. Their thesis paragraph reads: Critics often dismiss prison abolition without a clear understanding of what it even is. Some on the Left, most recently Roger Lancaster in Jacobin, describe the goal of abolishing prisons as a fever-dream demand to destroy all prisons tomorrow. But Lancaster’s disregard for abolition appears based on a reading of a highly idiosyncratic and unrepresentative group of abolitionist thinkers and evinces little knowledge of decades of abolitionist organizing and its powerful impacts. The Lancaster article levies the typical straw-man critique of abolition as an unrealistic “heaven-on-earth” vision. He presents Michel Foucault’s vision of a carceral society from Discipline and Punish as an alternative aspiration and argues that “we should strive not for pie-in-the-sky imaginings but for working models already achieved in Scandinavian and other social democracies.” He accuses abolitionists of being “innocent of history” and “far out on a limb”  when comparing prison to chattel slavery. These arguments expose a poverty of Lancaster’s analysis, and they are easily refuted. The idea that the US could adopt a Scandinavian style prison system through simple public awareness campaigns is desperately naive to the history of racial capitalism on this continent. The idea that a Foucauldian carceral society could exist here without massive quantities of racially targeted violence and coercion is far more pie-in-the-sky than the abolitionist recognition that prison depends on and cannot function without abominable levels of dehumanization and torture. Lancaster is the one with a utopian vision divorced from history, his prisons without torture or slavery can only be imaged by someone who hasn’t honestly grappled with the history of the US as a settler colonial nation that has always been existentially dependent on putting chains on Black people. read more[...]