IWW North America have decided to participate in creation of the new international with CNT et al.

37 posts / 0 new
Last post
OliverTwister's picture
OliverTwister
Offline
Joined: 10-10-05
Sep 8 2017 15:29
IWW North America have decided to participate in creation of the new international with CNT et al.

For those who haven't yet seen, the North American IWW's Delegate Convention voted by a margin of 90% to participate in the creation of the new international, which the CNT, FAU, USI and other unions have been organizing for.

Although the IWW has committed to participate in creating this international, the decision about eventual affiliation will be put off to a referendum sometime after the International is officially created.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 8 2017 17:10

What would that mean for IWW Germany? (I don't believe IWW has a group in Spain or Italy) Would it mean it merging with FAU? What do German comrades think about that?

deathspiritcommunist's picture
deathspiritcommunist
Offline
Joined: 12-08-14
Sep 8 2017 22:18

I was tolled that they voted to affiliate.

Ragnar
Offline
Joined: 29-12-15
Sep 9 2017 01:08

Steven.
In the New International could be more than one section per country, this is the idea. Then it is compatible with FAU and IWW Germany.

Lugius's picture
Lugius
Offline
Joined: 19-04-10
Sep 9 2017 02:37

If you read this from the CNT International Secretary (not to be confused with the CNT applying to re-affiliate to IWA) it's clear that they intend to pursue 're-founding' the IWA.

https://revolutionary-iww.org/beyond-iwa-interview-cnts-international-secretary

Forming a new international is fine and no problem but the idea that the CNT (or any other section) can arrogate to itself the authority to 're-found' the IWA is, in and of itself, authoritarian.

Going by the noise on social media, it seems there are a lot of wobblies are confused as to what it actually is they voted for. It looks as if the greater p[art of the IWW membership is the victim of a monster snow job.

If you don't have access to all the relevant information when making a decision (or worse, the relevant information is deliberately withheld) you don't have equal decision-making. Indeed, you have hierarchy with those who have the info in a position of power over those who don't.

So much for 'democracy'.

Ragnar
Offline
Joined: 29-12-15
Sep 9 2017 11:03

For those who have gone to the conference in Frankfurt it is very clear that the aim is to create a new international with a different name. That is one of the consensus.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 9 2017 12:34
Ragnar wrote:
Steven.
In the New International could be more than one section per country, this is the idea. Then it is compatible with FAU and IWW Germany.

okay thanks for the info. Although that does seem quite strange. If the groups are so close they form one international organisation, then what is the difference between the two organisations in Germany? And what do FAU/IWW Germany members think about that? Not trying to stir here by the way, just genuinely wondering, especially as we have had a fair few FAU members posting here over the years, like robot

Ragnar
Offline
Joined: 29-12-15
Sep 9 2017 12:44

As far as I know, FAU and IWW Germany are in collaborative processes. Why they maintain separate organizations, in my subjective opinion, has to do with some problems in the past and personal problems that are not overcome overnight.

In any case it is a question of being able to work with revolutionary syndicalism and anarcho-syndicalism in the same international. Maybe Solfed wants to join at some point also even though IWW UK is also there.

If someone from FAU can answer as well, I hope I am not out of mind.

boozemonarchy's picture
boozemonarchy
Offline
Joined: 28-12-06
Sep 9 2017 13:26

My US perspective on the dialogue surrounding this;

Information has been spotty, weird and at times contradictory.

Examples;

CNT announces refoundation conference and doesn't pay dues for a long time which together represent effective leave of the organization (fair enough, but I do say there are more constructive ways to take ones leave). Much later, IWA meets at normal conference time and basically has a procedual removal of the exiting organizations (who at this stage have already met in conference). The info and narrative deliberately spread in the US by numerous sources described a mad-hatter IWA expelling with hostility those thousands of members. I witnessed this repeated ad nasuem in my IWW communications, some of which turned hostile quickly.

Many serious charges have been leveled against the sec. IWA but these all seem to be merely utterances with no evidence and no one willing to pursue in a serious way. Such a tactic is one whose goal is confusion over clarity.

Now, we see this announcement on libcom, which is a half truth. Us rank and filers still get to debate this and vote individually in referendum. The title of the thread is an excellent example of the confusing use of words that has sorta followed this shitshow from the start.

spaceman spiff
Offline
Joined: 9-12-11
Sep 9 2017 17:11

This whole thing is a confusing shitshow

melenas
Offline
Joined: 10-12-14
Sep 9 2017 18:26
boozemonarchy wrote:
My US perspective on the dialogue surrounding this;

Information has been spotty, weird and at times contradictory.

Examples;

CNT announces refoundation conference and doesn't pay dues for a long time which together represent effective leave of the organization (fair enough, but I do say there are more constructive ways to take ones leave). Much later, IWA meets at normal conference time and basically has a procedual removal of the exiting organizations (who at this stage have already met in conference). The info and narrative deliberately spread in the US by numerous sources described a mad-hatter IWA expelling with hostility those thousands of members. I witnessed this repeated ad nasuem in my IWW communications, some of which turned hostile quickly.

Many serious charges have been leveled against the sec. IWA but these all seem to be merely utterances with no evidence and no one willing to pursue in a serious way. Such a tactic is one whose goal is confusion over clarity.

Now, we see this announcement on libcom, which is a half truth. Us rank and filers still get to debate this and vote individually in referendum. The title of the thread is an excellent example of the confusing use of words that has sorta followed this shitshow from the start.

I read it several times and from the first it was totally clear that what vote IWW was only to take part in the Congress, and you didn't say anything thing different.

About charges against IWA sec. At least CNT always did it base on proves that are accessible to every IWA member. But no reason to bring back that kind of things.

Ragnar
Offline
Joined: 29-12-15
Sep 10 2017 09:57

boozemonarchy, I understand that you, as a member of WSA-IWA, want to be the champion of the defense of that international. But coming here to drop shit again is not good tactics.

I also understand, that you, as a member of IWW USA you did not like the result of your congress, which is to participate in the creation of the new international, which is not going to be called IWA. And that after it becomes a new international IWW USA will call a referendum to finish joining or not. I see it quite wise, I do not know why you do not.

robot's picture
robot
Offline
Joined: 27-09-06
Sep 10 2017 11:57

Just a few words regarding the question on FAU and IWW in Germany. As always my personal opinion. The FAU proposed that within the new international project there should be the possibility for more than one union per region / country to join. As far as I understood this was the idea of most if not all others at the Francfort conference as well. So I guess it won't be a problem for both FAU and IWW in the German language region (Germany, Switzerland and Austria) to join.

While there are of course quite a couple of questions that would be agreed upon by the FAU as well as the IWW, they are in fact to different organizations with their respective political and union culture. While for instance the FAU defines itsself as an anarcho-syndicalist union (though by far not everyone in the FAU would tend to qualify itself as being an anarchist), the IWW in the German language region does not. The wobblies got quite a couple of more leninist leftists in there ranks that have their problems which the supposed anarchist character of the FAU.

There are some differences on the job floor as well. While the IWW in Germany advocates takng part in work council elections as an industrial strategy, FAU doesn't take part in those elections. We rather focus on the job floor union than on the councils and in one case managed to force a company to equip our job floor union with about the same rights the council would normally have,

I guess there might as well be a problem with the number of union members. FAU outnumbers the IWW in Germany by about 6 to 1. That's not always the best precondition for a merger.

Nevertheless, there are quite a couple of double-carders and there is a lot of support during workplace conflicts. The first industrial workshops for the German Wobblies were organized with experienced FAUistas and FAU members are taking part in IWW workshops. So while we have a couple of different strategies and cultures, there are a lot of things we share.

boozemonarchy's picture
boozemonarchy
Offline
Joined: 28-12-06
Sep 10 2017 13:59
Ragnar wrote:
boozemonarchy, I understand that you, as a member of WSA-IWA, want to be the champion of the defense of that international. But coming here to drop shit again is not good tactics.

I also understand, that you, as a member of IWW USA you did not like the result of your congress, which is to participate in the creation of the new international, which is not going to be called IWA. And that after it becomes a new international IWW USA will call a referendum to finish joining or not. I see it quite wise, I do not know why you do not.

Okay, first paragraph is reading like some sort of dark alley psuedo threat, so I'll just leave that there. Totally inappropriate. ?

Second, you can just ask for my total position rather than attempting to infer it, you did a shit job.

1. Anyone looking at the split objectively would determine that it was undertaken in a sloppy and harmful way that looks horrible internally and externally to all anywhere remotely close to a revolutionary type of syndicalism.

2. But, these things happen and we have to move forward and look to the positive. I think the IWW joining with other revolutionary unionists abroad is really a right and natural development that should be pursued. That said, I'm unsure if information and discussion within the IWW has been accurate or robust enough, or that it was undertaken with a serious concern for democratic engagement on what is a big question. The situation is somewhat extraordinary in that it raises constitutional and to a lesser extent, (see Robots post) practical concerns.

3. If you asked for my prediction - I would say the referendum will probably vote yes on affiliation by a slightly closer margin. Though I can't see in the future, I honestly hope it helps all involved grow and deepen their movements and that whatever tensions that linger down the line can be soothed with practical solidarity stuff. Said respectfully, I hope the CNT cools down a bit on how it handles international stuff and is a better partner in the new international.

4. I may be critical of how this all went down but I'm more concerned with finding ways to move on, as in, practical solidarity down the line.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 10 2017 13:59

Thanks for your comments, robot, appreciated

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Sep 10 2017 20:11

Interesting Robot.

I am reminded of the time when FAU-Berlin was engaged in the Babylon Cinema back in 2009. (https://libcom.org/forums/organise/fau-berlin-call-solidarity-labor-conflict-cinema-babylon-29062009 )

Although WSA was not part of the IWA (FAU was), we did our small part in standing in solidarity with the FAU. But I recall how it was impossible to get a number of dual WSA/IWW members to get interested in the campaign. It fell back in the lap of some of us older members. I found it strange how some of the dual members would favor IWW organization over IWA organization in lands where the IWA had a historical membership and active sections. The German situation I particularly found odd, but at least I have some understanding as to the composition of that IWW branch.

All said and done, yesterdays cold shoulder is todays warm embrace, I guess.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Sep 10 2017 22:55
boozemonarchy wrote:

Now, we see this announcement on libcom, which is a half truth. Us rank and filers still get to debate this and vote individually in referendum. The title of the thread is an excellent example of the confusing use of words that has sorta followed this shitshow from the start.

I don't believe that is true. I believe usually only Constitutional Amendments automatically go to referendum. Some things get settled at Convention, although I'm not absolutely sure on this.

OliverTwister's picture
OliverTwister
Offline
Joined: 10-10-05
Sep 11 2017 19:01
Juan Conatz wrote:
boozemonarchy wrote:

Now, we see this announcement on libcom, which is a half truth. Us rank and filers still get to debate this and vote individually in referendum. The title of the thread is an excellent example of the confusing use of words that has sorta followed this shitshow from the start.

I don't believe that is true. I believe usually only Constitutional Amendments automatically go to referendum. Some things get settled at Convention, although I'm not absolutely sure on this.

The decision to engage in the process of building the new international took immediate effect. This does not go to referendum.

Assuming that the international does come into being, at that point there could be a referendum on whether or not to actually affiliate.

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Sep 11 2017 21:30

Never mind. Question withdrawn

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Sep 11 2017 21:41

I know I've gone on and on in the past on letting what the IWW does in relation to this stand or fall on its own merit. There's something about this issue (formal relationships with mostly European anarcho-syndicalist/syndicalist organizations) that leads some people to do all kinds of dishonest stuff like pocket vetos, lying, red-baiting, anarcho-baiting etc.

For example, the former chair of the GEB is publicly encouraging people to be cautious of these conferences, even claiming that European IWWs are not participating. That's incorrect. Both WISE-RA and GLAMROC have sent living, breathing human beings to these conferences who have made suggestions and circulated reports internally! Either this person is straight out lying, or as the person who was responsible for carrying out the 2016 Convention mandate, chose to not really inform themselves.

Again, let this stuff stand or fail with honest discussion and arguments, without lies, exaggeration and misinformation.

boozemonarchy's picture
boozemonarchy
Offline
Joined: 28-12-06
Sep 12 2017 12:22
Juan Conatz wrote:
boozemonarchy wrote:

Now, we see this announcement on libcom, which is a half truth. Us rank and filers still get to debate this and vote individually in referendum. The title of the thread is an excellent example of the confusing use of words that has sorta followed this shitshow from the start.

I don't believe that is true. I believe usually only Constitutional Amendments automatically go to referendum. Some things get settled at Convention, although I'm not absolutely sure on this.

Thanks for correction, retracted. Seems to have been some confusion all around - at beginning of August you described the process as including referendum in that IUC thread. Anyway, sorry for adding ng to confusion.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Sep 12 2017 12:34

I wasn't at Convention so I'm not absolutely sure. But I know just from what has happened in the past that Constitutional Amendments are the only motions that automatically go to referendum. Others get settled at Convention. Usually if they are seemingly contentious, an amendment to the motion will be made to send to referendum. It's not clear if that happened here or not. It's confusing because 'common sense' in the IWW says that everything at Convention goes to referendum. That's what is often said, but that's never been how it works in practice.

OliverTwister's picture
OliverTwister
Offline
Joined: 10-10-05
Sep 12 2017 15:55
Juan Conatz wrote:
I know I've gone on and on in the past on letting what the IWW does in relation to this stand or fall on its own merit. There's something about this issue (formal relationships with mostly European anarcho-syndicalist/syndicalist organizations) that leads some people to do all kinds of dishonest stuff like pocket vetos, lying, red-baiting, anarcho-baiting etc.

For example, the former chair of the GEB is publicly encouraging people to be cautious of these conferences, even claiming that European IWWs are not participating. That's incorrect. Both WISE-RA and GLAMROC have sent living, breathing human beings to these conferences who have made suggestions and circulated reports internally! Either this person is straight out lying, or as the person who was responsible for carrying out the 2016 Convention mandate, chose to not really inform themselves.

Again, let this stuff stand or fail with honest discussion and arguments, without lies, exaggeration and misinformation.

That's interesting. I assume this is the same former GEB chair who tried to prevent us from participating in the Frankfurt conference, despite the Convention decision, and who also posted on Facebook encouraging a split or expulsions during Convention?

Lugius's picture
Lugius
Offline
Joined: 19-04-10
Sep 13 2017 04:06

Juan Conatz wrote:

Quote:
Again, let this stuff stand or fail with honest discussion and arguments, without lies, exaggeration and misinformation.

What's this then?

https://revolutionary-iww.org/beyond-iwa-interview-cnts-international-secretary

It's clear from this interview with the CNT International Secretary (not to be confused with the CNT applying to be admitted to the IWA) that the IWW is signing on to 'refound' the IWA.

This is not creating a new international, this is the CNT/FAU/USI/IWW et al. arrogating to itself the authority to 'refound' the IWA. btw, how do you 'refound' something that is already founded?

Rank and file wobblies are getting snowed big time.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Sep 13 2017 04:29

I would assume if it kept the IWA name that would be a non-starter for the IWW. They should just let you have your little club tbh

Lugius's picture
Lugius
Offline
Joined: 19-04-10
Sep 13 2017 06:18
Quote:
your little club

An appeal to the authority of public opinion is in and of itself authoritarian. Might is Right, yeah?

Assume whatever you wish but it remains clear that the CNT think they're 're-founding' the IWA but rank and file wobblies have been told the proposal is to create a new international. How can you have equal decision-making without access to all the relevant information? If some have the facts and others don't is that not hierarchical given that information is power?

Quote:
Again, let this stuff stand or fail with honest discussion and arguments, without lies, exaggeration and misinformation.
Ragnar
Offline
Joined: 29-12-15
Sep 13 2017 10:30

For CNT is creating a new international that reflects the spirit of the old IWA of 1920, that added revolutionary syndicalism and anarcho-syndicalism.

I repeat, in Frankfurt there was already a very clear consensus that the IWA exists and that this new (and not so new) project must have a different name. If you want to continue with the story of the dairy as yourself.

OliverTwister's picture
OliverTwister
Offline
Joined: 10-10-05
Sep 13 2017 12:32
Lugius wrote:
Quote:
your little club

An appeal to the authority of public opinion is in and of itself authoritarian. Might is Right, yeah?

Assume whatever you wish but it remains clear that the CNT think they're 're-founding' the IWA but rank and file wobblies have been told the proposal is to create a new international. How can you have equal decision-making without access to all the relevant information? If some have the facts and others don't is that not hierarchical given that information is power?

Quote:
Again, let this stuff stand or fail with honest discussion and arguments, without lies, exaggeration and misinformation.

That article was translated into English and spread as far as possible among IWW members - along with several others - to give as much context as possible. (Edited to add: It seems ridiculous to claim that information was being withheld. If so, it's been withheld by the opponents of engaging with the new international.) There were probably a lot of different opinions when the CNT, FAU, and USI began this initiative, and some may have wanted to hold on to the IWA name, but it is clear from the Frankfurt meeting that whatever is created is not going to be called the IWA. The resolution which passed the IWW Convention also contains our own priorities, including that the name should be something other than IWA.

Those who oppose the IWW engaging with the new international have had over a year to make their case within the IWW, but they have only resorted to trying to find ways to prevent the discussion from happening, or to muddy the waters. And now that the memebership has had a chance to vote, we see that 90% of branches were in favor of participating in this project.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Sep 13 2017 13:01
OliverTwister wrote:

Those who oppose the IWW engaging with the new international have had over a year to make their case within the IWW, but they have only resorted to trying to find ways to prevent the discussion from happening, or to muddy the waters. And now that the memebership has had a chance to vote, we see that 90% of branches were in favor of participating in this project.

Pretty much. Although I'm not involved or pay as much attention to IWW discussion as much as I used to, the only thing I've really seen is stuff like "we haven't discussed this enough" (false, it has thoroughly been submitted through proper channels and decided through delegate democracy), or "it is being pushed through" (false, it has been submitted to Convention in the normal timeline and has been voted on by branches).

A few people I've seen have briefly brought up concerns about what they think may be aiding a split, which I think is an actual valid objection to make. However, unless I'm missing something, I've not seen anyone really push that further. I've also seen a few individuals make objections revolving around that the IWW is not anarcho-syndicalist.

What's left of the IWA or their sympathizers keep bringing up the name thing but they really don't care about that. Not really. What they want is for organizations to freeze the CNT, FAU and the USI out so that they are isolated and pay for what they have done. Then maybe they'll come crawling back on what's left of the IWA's terms. They're not mad about "taking sides" in a split, they're mad that their side isn't being took.

melenas
Offline
Joined: 10-12-14
Sep 13 2017 20:45

Doesn't matter how many times we explain to Lucius the things, he continue repeating the same. However, in Frankfurt was clear that the name mast be different to IWA. CNT went to Frankfurt with an agreement in the same line, not to use the IWA name for the new international.

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Sep 13 2017 21:27
melenas wrote:
Doesn't matter how many times we explain to Lucius the things, he continue repeating the same. However, in Frankfurt was clear that the name mast be different to IWA. CNT went to Frankfurt with an agreement in the same line, not to use the IWA name for the new international.

I would really like to ask this in a simple way: why was the original conference literally calling for the "refoundation of the IWA"? I mean, it was out there in black and white. That obviously what the original thinking was. Now maybe that has changed, but it was initially proclaimed as being a conference to discuss the refounding the IWA.