In this article, Madaline tells the story of how she fell into organizing and the IWW – pushed both by terrible bosses and by amazing solidarity among her coworkers.
If the first week of work at Artistry Bakery and Cafe was any indication, there was no way this four-month experience should ever have resulted in two of the strongest friendships in my life. I was introduced on the first day to a group of men and women, mostly about University age, who were also going to be working with me at the restaurant.
Dave Stannton's account of his experiences as a “pink collar” militant working at an immigrant-serving non-profit organized by a large public-sector union in Northern Alberta.
This article is an account of my experiences as a “pink collar” militant working at an immigrant-serving non-profit organization (NPO)1
- 1. NOTE: In much of the academic literature surrounding the non-profit industry, the terms NPO (non-profit organization) and NGO (non-governmental organization) are used interchangeably.
An organizer's overview of an ended Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) campaign in the Twin Cities.
Oftentimes as workplace organizers, we have a difficult time admitting our mistakes. We are driven and strong-willed, and though these attributes often aid us in the struggle, they can also hold us back from self-reflection and acknowledgment of our flaws. As Wobblies, how do we cope with the realization that our entire campaign was perhaps a mistake from the start?
This essay is the second in a series articulating a methodological framework for developing Wobbly organizers and identifying key features of workplace committee building at the micro level.
Much of the content of the Industrial Worker, as well as the Organizer Training 101, discuss the nuts and bolts of workplace struggle including how to conduct a successful 1-on-1 and form a workplace committee. What is often left unspoken is the path by which Wobblies go from the unemployment line to worker-organizers fully engaged in the social fabric of their job site.
An account written by Abbey Volcano about non-profit employment, lack of medical insurance and divisions in the workplace.
This is a story about anger, “non-profits,” and pissing blood. I was in my fifth year working at an independent health food store run by religious fanatics in a suburb outside of the city and I needed more money. I started off part-time at a cultural center, working the events.
Nate Hawthorne reviews Solidarity Federation's upcoming pamphlet, Fighting for ourselves: anarcho-syndicalism and the class struggle.
In October you should get a copy of a new pamphlet called Fighting for ourselves: anarcho-syndicalism and the class struggle by the UK revolutionary organization Solidarity Federation or SolFed for short.
A fellow IWW member sent us this article about the importance of relationship building in our organizing, and the importance of not limiting our relationships to being narrowly about work.
When I first started out as an IWW a number of years ago my organizing was very detached with my co-workers and the thought of focusing on them never crossed my mind much. Because of that I kept the majority of my co-workers at a certain arms length and even with my fellow committee members I was emotionally unavailable.
Juan Conatz reviews a new pamphlet by Solidarity Federation. We’re excited about the new pamphlet. You can read excerpts from it here.
Fighting for ourselves: anarcho-syndicalism and the class struggle by Solidarity Federation is a relatively expansive document from a membership-based group (as opposed to a writing group like Recomposition or Aufheben).
Recomposition started at the end of August, 2010. We’re pleased with what’s happened in the last two years, and we hope you are as well. It seems appropriate to celebrate the two year mark with a work story and by getting more more interactive for a change. Below, Siobhan writes about her first job. In the comments, please tell us what your first job was, how old you were when you got it, and what that job was it like.
My first job
By Siobhan Breathnach
Preview excerpts of the forthcoming text by the Solidarity Federation setting out the background and the tasks ahead for anarcho-syndicalists in the 21st century.
In this post we are excited to present some excerpts from Fighting for ourselves: anarcho-syndicalism and the class struggle, by the Solidarity Federation (‘SolFed’).
This post gives a brief account of some of the history of the capitalist state’s sponsorship of contracts for unions in the United States, with an emphasis on the reasoning that politicians and judges gave for their support of collective bargaining. The piece argues that what the U.S. government wanted out of introducing state support for collective bargaining was, in the words of the National Labor Relations Act, to ‘Promote the flow of commerce’ through ‘friendly adjustment of industrial disputes.’
The U.S. government increasingly promoted collective bargaining in the early part of the 20th century. To take one important example: In 1919, economically disruptive disputes escalated between the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) and capitalists in the textile industry.
This article is based on several interviews with workers that IWW members spoke with while supporting a couple strikes at Canada National Rail. The piece deals with the politics of the several unions who were all vying to become the One Big Union on the railways. It’s also worth looking at the rhetoric and practice of current contemporary Industrial Unionism and the revolutionary vision of the early 20th Century. There’s a lot of talk about mergers and consolidation right now in the labour movement. This is something pay attention to over the next few years.
The union seemed to start out in a strong position with a strike mandate from the membership of over 95%, but early in the strike cracks began to form. While the Canadian administration of the United Transit Union (UTU) was 100% behind the strike the international body based out of Cleveland Ohio, claimed they had to be asked first before workers could walk off the job.
Our friend Amédée Garneau sends along this story about small scale tenant organizing in New York.
The other day I met a student named Yusuf who said he wanted to figure out how to organize with the other tenants in his building. “I was active in community stuff when I was back in L.A.” he said. “But since I moved to New York, I haven’t met any of my neighbours.
Attached documents from the Provincial Labour Central of Quebec and the Canadian Labour Congress designed to wipe out any Canadian union assistance to the radicals in the Quebec student movement.
Recent correspondence from Ken Georgetti (President of the Canada Labour Congress) and Michel Arsenault of the FTQ (Provincial Labour Central of Quebec) and various officers in the broader Anglophone Labour Movement sends a clear message: labour jurisdiction trumps labour solidarity.
At the bottom of this article are links for how your trade union or community group can support the students’ struggle. That will help tremendously, but spreading the struggle to your own job or school will do even more. This article is meant to help explain how, by showing how students in Quebec were able to organize their general strike.
I arrived in Montreal the night the government of Quebec had turned the province into a police state. Jean Charest had passed a law declaring any demonstration over 50 people not pre-approved by the police to be an illegal gathering punishable by up to $1,000 in fines for individuals and $125,000 in fines for any organisation endorsing the action.
A member of Seattle Solidarity Network shares some steps she thinks organizations could take to encourage involvement from their members with children.
Eight days after my daughter was born, I sent this message to the organizing committee members of the Seattle Solidarity Network:
A central part of our organising practice at Recomposition is direct action. In this piece our comrade Marianne addresses criticisms of Occupy Wall Street and the importance placed in that movement on a direct action strategy.
The following is not a commentary on, much less a defense of, David Graeber – with whom I disagree. It is a critique of key facets of the ideology of Andrew Kliman.