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Preview: Industrial Workers of the World - Motor Transport Workers Industrial Union 530

Industrial Workers of the World - Motor Transport Workers Industrial Union 530

This page displays *all* news items from Motor Transport Workers Industrial Union 530. For an overview of the IU 530's history and contact information, please visit our homepage.


15 at UPS

Tue, 19 Jan 2016 03:31:29 +0000

By Coeur de Bord - The Organizer, January 17, 2016

Eleven months ago, the Package Handler’s Organizing Committee (PHOC) voted to begin a campaign demanding the starting wage at the three UPS hubs in the Twin Cities be raised to $15/hour (from the current $10), and a corresponding $5/hour raise for all hub employees.  We had our sights set on building power towards some form of disruptive action during 2015’s Peak Season.  Now that Peak has arrived, I would like to share some of my feelings on the progression, evolution, and execution of this campaign, as well as some ways it has influenced our organizing in general at UPS in Minneapolis.

I feel this document is useful as part of a future retrospective assessment of the Boxmart campaign and the PHOC committee itself.  However, I hope it can also serve as a useful reference for other IWW organizing committees thinking about taking on labor-intensive, medium- to long-term campaigns such as this.  Whether or not such a campaign would have a positive impact on your organizing is a decision that only your committee can make, but I hope that by offering my perspectives other Wobblies will be able to make a more informed decision.

The motion (original language):

Notes 16/01/15

What: $5 hourly raise across the board, which would bring starting wage up to $15. Also, end petty wage theft and other shop floor issues where possible.

When: Major direct action during peak season 2015 aimed at entire Twin Cities operation.  Smaller DAs before them, at moments to be determined. Campaign to start within two months (petitions coming out along with Screw ups at MPLS, Eagan, Maple Grove and airport).

Who: Petition to be drafted by core committee, Mass meeting to be run by ——, other tasks delegated to —, —- and — wherever possible to gather support from rest of branch. New shop floor contacts will be expected to further trenchwork on shop floor, canvass for issues to be addressed by escalating Direct Actions, and inoculation. OTC to arrange an OT soon after mass meeting for new contacts. Core committee (eg —–) to fill in gaps where people cannot attend a full OT.  

Where: Meetings at TC IWW office, actions in MPLS, Eagan, Maple Grove and airport.  Actions to focus on Minnesota operation unless tempting opportunities arise.


  1. Use petition to gather contacts for mass meeting. Create Facebook, etc contact points.
  2. Use mass meeting to identify people willing and able to be organizers (and other roles) and set broad outlines of effort, changing as necessary to reflect workers’ concerns.
  3. Follow up with potential organizers, get to OT where possible and patch with one-on-ones where not. Create a campaign committee to broaden work, bring in smaller escalatable issues (eg petty wage theft, harassment etc), grow committee itself.
  1. Do direct actions on smaller issues, symbolic stuff where appropriate. Include off-shop-floor issues eg prison slave labour ala hands up don’t ship.
  2. Follow up on retaliation for the above.
  3. Bring smaller issues back in, build excitement and commitment and hold mass meetings in the months leading up to peak to organize peak action.
  4. Mess everything up during peak.
  5. Publicize concessions and workers’ eye view analysis of fight, follow up on retaliations.
  6. Set further goals.

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Free Parking

Tue, 19 Jan 2016 03:17:19 +0000

By Phineas Gage - Recomposition, January 7, 2016

(image) Ike and I walked into Sam’s office at exactly ten in the morning. Not a minute before or after. We never talked to management, especially the Labour Relations guys, with less than a pair present. Sam ran the video on his computer screen for us to look at. It was a clip of a woman walking at night towards a door. She looks over her shoulder and a shadow glides towards her, she lunges for the door and struggles to open it with the key card. Then a leg that ends with a bicycle pedal and two wheels drifts into plain view and off camera. She opens the glass door and then slams the door behind her and leans on it, panting. The clip then looped and played over again.

“So, in the investigation, you told the sister that you think the union put her up to this?” I asked.

I was starting to feel a keen rage swelling up inside of me but I grabbed the arms of the chair tightly and tried to keep my cool.

Sam’s face was like cold stone.

“It’s too convenient. You guys start complaining about the health and safety at the Transportation yard and all of a sudden someone almost gets ‘attacked’ in the yard?” He was doing the scare quotes with his fingers.

The video clip completed another loop.

I could feel my anger at the situation starting to effect my judgement. He was probably egging me on.

“I don’t think this is staged Sam. I mean, really, all things being equal, what is more likely: a confrontation with someone at night outside a downtown workstation or an elaborate conspiracy to put a show on for the cameras?” I was smiling and trying to insert some humour into the situation.

The clip completed another loop.

I could feel a light stinging sensation on the back of my thighs as soon as Sam started to talk again. The hairs on my arms were starting to stand on end.

“What are you laughing at? This isn’t funny. See, this is his problem, Ike, he doesn’t take this stuff seriously.” Sam was dripping with condescension. That and cologne.

I shot out of my chair, like a bullet, and leaned over his desk stuffing my index finger into the space in front of his chest. I could see Ike’s eyes go wide as my one arm stretched out towards him, my index finger stopping just shy of his chest. ‘Never, ever, touch them, Phineas, especially when angry’, I told myself.

“You’re fucking lucky all I’m doing is laughing, you dickhead. A woman almost got assaulted in your parking lot and your first response is to spin an insane conspiracy theory about performance art in front of surveillance cameras? What kind of piece of shit sociopath does that?”

I regained composure and looked at Ike.

Ike nodded and said, “I think that is about as of thorough an exploration of the issues we are going to get today,” He gently grabbed my arm and we walked out.

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Media Files:

Truckers United Volume 1 - Issue #4 Out Now

Wed, 06 May 2009 19:47:26 +0000

Featured Story 15 - NC and VA Drivers Laid Off, IWW Responds

(image) In a move seen often by workers attempting to improve workplace conditions, trucking bosses fired 15 drivers in North Carolina and Virginia early in January this year. The companies claim it was for decreased business volumes, but most of the drivers were among internal organizers for the IWW. In addition, the companies began hiring new drivers immediately following the lay offs. "We have no doubt this was in retaliation for our organizing efforts," one driver said at a meeting held January 17.

The IWW conducted a scheduled meeting, January 17, which was originally planned to formally establish the union was altered to determine how to proceed with the organizing effort given the firings. Undeterred by the boss’s aggression, many drivers (including many of those laid off) still joined the union. A petition for charter is still being circulated.

In an outpouring of altruism, IWW members across the globe responded to the layoffs by donating money to the struggling drivers.  IWW members in Cambridge, England and Cologne, Germany held fundraisers to help the drivers in NC and VA. This act indicates that Wobblies everywhere believe in this movement. The money has been an incredible help to the drivers and the campaign in general. The campaign continues in the Southeast.

Download a Free Copy (PDF)

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Volunteers Needed for Independent Truckers Campaign!

Wed, 11 Feb 2009 00:22:01 +0000

(image) Organizing is heating up for the truckers in the southeastern United States. Though the independent drivers of North Carolina and Virginia have come a long way this past year, there are still aspects of the campaign that need attention. Right now there are a handful of wobblies helping out, including two part time organizers/volunteer coordinators. For efficiencies sake, we've divided up the current campaign needs into three different teams, Organizing, Logistics, and Strategy. Many of the tasks can be completed outside of the North Carolina area or even the United States. If you can help we ask that you can devote a steady amount of time or a regular task, whether big or small. We'll have organizers that will work with you. Possible internships available.  For more info about the campaign visit our website at

Check out our needs below...Interested? Write to freighttruckers [at] or call Sarah at (847) 693 6261

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First 3 issues of Truckers Unite available for download on

Fri, 06 Feb 2009 01:31:44 +0000

Download them here:

  • Issue #1 - PDF
  • issue #2 - PDF
  • issue #3 - PDF

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Emergency Appeal – Funds Needed Immediately for IWW Truckers

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 20:33:02 +0000

(image) As many of you know the IWW has been organizing Truck Drivers in Eastern North Carolina and Virginia for much of the past year. In response to our growing power and planned founding convention this upcoming weekend, the bosses have begun firing the union's leadership. Two log drivers and five container haulers have lost their job over the past two days.

The union is already discussing legal and direct action means to fight these unjust firing, but right now we need funds to support our fired drivers.
These drivers have families to support and this is a part of the country where economic opportunities are very limited. Please offer whatever you can, drivers are counting on you.

Checks can be sent to the Freight Truckers Organizing Committee at
PO Box 274, Waukegan, IL 60079. Please include "emergency relief" in the memo line.

We are in the process of setting a PayPal Acct for online donations. You will be informed as soon as it is ready.

Thank you and please be generous.

Past Press Releases from the Freight Truckers Organizing Committee:

NC Truckers Form Union, Hold Work Stoppage - United Truckers Cooperative to Picket Outside of Weyerhaeuser Mills

NC Truckers to Formalize Union Over MLK Weekend - Negotiating Committee Already Formed in Preparation for Talks

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NC Truckers to Formalize Union Over MLK Weekend - Negotiating Committee Already Formed in Preparation for Talks

Thu, 18 Dec 2008 01:27:00 +0000

(image) On the weekend of Martin Luther King Day, log truckers and container haulers from Eastern North Carolina and Virginia will be gathering to formally charter the United Truckers Union. This event will be the culmination of a nearly year-long organizing drive that led to a work stoppage on the morning of December 8, 2008. That action, which saw small but lively pickets outside of Weyerhaeuser mills along coastal North Carolina, reduced the amount of logs entering the New Bern mill by approximately 35% and shut down several tree stands in the Plymouth area. Only six trucks left BTT's yard, one of Weyerhaeuser's primary subcontractors and a target of the strike. Following the mornings' stoppage, a unnamed Weyerhaeuser representative announced to local media that management agreed to the workers' key demand: that mill management recognize the drivers' organization and arrange a meeting between the drivers' negotiating committee, Weyerhaeuser, and representatives of the subcontractors who employ the drivers. Accordingly, the union has directed a letter to the Vice President for Southern Timberland in Seattle, Washington offering several dates and places for an initial meeting.

Community support has proven integral to the drivers' success. In particular, local churches have vocally supported the organization. "Preacher," a union member and an ordained reverend, described this relationship: "The drivers represent the community, the church represents the community. What affects one of us, affects all of us. We're all in this together." Along much these same lines, the solidarity shown by the larger labor movement has been a source of moral as well as real world support. The drivers would to take this opportunity to thank the unionists and environmental activists who picketed Weyerhaeuser corporate headquarters on the day of their recent strike. Likewise, they are extending their sincerest appreciations to USW Locals in North Carolina and Washington State, UE 150, and the Northwest Log Truckers Cooperative.

The drivers have already announced their intention to affiliate with the Industrial Workers of the World Motor Transport Workers Industrial Union (IWW IU 530). Founded in 1905, the IWW is a democratic and militant rank-and-file industrial union. The IWW believes that only through organization can the men and women who carry everything our communities need break the pattern of injustice faced by America's truck drivers.

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NC Truckers Form Union, Hold Work Stoppage - United Truckers Cooperative to Picket Outside of Weyerhaeuser Mills

Tue, 09 Dec 2008 08:17:03 +0000

For Immediate Release:

Contact: IWW IU 530; Billy Randel – IWW rep, 646-645-6284 

On Monday Dec 8, the drivers of the United Truckers Cooperative will hold a work stoppage and picket outside of Weyerhaeuser Mills in Plymouth and Vanceboro, North Carolina.  The workers are demanding Weyerhaeuser arrange a meeting between mill management, subcontractors, and representatives of the truckers to address the drivers’ legitimate grievances and negotiate a formal agreement on wages and working conditions. 

A local driver who goes by the handle “Hollywood” explained the reason for the action: “If you see injustice, there’s something wrong and you are bound to stand up and say ‘no more.’  What’s going on with North Carolina truck drivers is wrong, so we’re standing up.” 

The workers will be joined by concerned community members.  In particular, local ministers will be in attendance.  “Preacher,” a union member and an ordained reverend, recognized “The drivers represent the community, the church represents the community.  What affects one of us, affects all of us.  We’re all in this together.”   

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A Heavy Load - The ports say they have a plan for cleaner, safer trucks. But do they have a plan for the truckers?

Thu, 12 Jun 2008 19:48:24 +0000

Disclaimer - The opinions of the author do not necessarily match those of the IWW. The image pictured to the right did not appear in the original article, we have added it here to provide a visual perspective. This article is reposted in accordance to Fair Use guidelines.

(image) Before sunrise on a Monday morning, outside a sterile office park in Compton, a convoy of small, beat-up cars, none of them newer than 1995, arrives at the offices of the trucking firm Calko Speedline. One by one, the car's drivers emerge, ranchera and mariachi and est?s escuchando a Piol?n por la ma?ana! competing from their radios. They buy coffee from the taco truck that follows them in, and assemble in small groups, huddled in circles among their big rigs - hulking red, green, blue and white mammoths lined up along the curb, their diesel-burning engines grumbling into action one by one.

The drivers' day of waiting begins.

"My name's Chicho. Everybody knows me. You can ask anyone, 'Do you know Chicho?' and he'll say yes."

Chicho, born Hernan Robleto, is short, round, nearly bald and, when he speaks, energetically animated. His English is nearly indistinguishable from his Spanish; sometimes, while listening to him, it's possible to lose any conscious sense of which language he's speaking. At the Calko office, he paces among the various groups while office personnel inside quietly field calls from terminal operators at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach about ship traffic and schedules; later, they'll give each of the men directions to their first load of the day, a container of goods destined for an intermediate shipping facility somewhere inland or farther down the coast, where it will be transported still farther, to distribution centers all over the country, by truck or train.

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Stockton Truckers Call Out the Industry with 400 on Strike

Tue, 20 May 2008 09:09:13 +0000

(image) By: J. Pierce with Adam Welch

Independent truckers in California's San Joaquin Valley shut down their rigs on Friday, May 2nd declaring an open-ended strike. At $4.80 a gallon, sky-rocketing diesel prices top the list of grievances. As their main demand, drivers insist on doubling the rates paid for hauling a container. The second biggest demand is a fuel surcharge of upwards of 55%. The brokers currently pay surcharges varying from 30-40%. If drivers can keep the trucking bosses from stealing it, the increased surcharge would help place the burden back on those who can afford it.

"We're fighting for survival." That's how Gerardo Cordoba explains the struggle. He's been driving for 10 years and raises a seven year-old on what he brings home after costs. The rates haven't seen an increase in a decade and most truckers bring home less than $30,000 year. In fact, when asked how much an average driver earns, Dewey Obtinalla, a Filipino driver who regularly does long haul up the coast, replied, "If you're making $30,000, that's good, very good... With fuel, insurance, and registration, I don't know a lot of people who are doing that well." Brave strikers don't need to look far for others willing to fight.

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