Two Septembers ago I was asked by a long time friend in the movement about what I saw the IWW’s responsibility to be as the largest left organization in North America. And while I don’t know if that is actually the case, it did push me to think about what we need to do as an organization to improve our structure and to do so with real urgency. Below is a series of internal changes necessary to do just that.
Two Septembers ago I was asked by a long time friend in the movement about what I saw the IWW’s responsibility to be as the largest left organization in North America. And while I don’t know if that is actually the case, nor am invested in fighting over definitions required to determine that, it did push me to think about what we need to do as an organization to improve our structure and to do so with real urgency.
There are many important reasons to evolve the IWW’s structure, including to...
-Address the reality that most people feel disconnected, unhelped, or hindered by the IWW’s national structure
-Grow an organization that reflects the demographics and needs of the actual working class
-Actually promote the industrial organizing our name suggests
-Shift from a toxic culture co-created by echo chambers, overwork, and lack of meaningful collective in person prioritizing and strategizing
-Lay the groundwork for a transformation of our organization to a vehicle that can truly promote practical revolutionary organizing
I believe that this can be done by a series of small structural changes to our current organization, and that beginning this conversation will incite many more related conversations and small changes such that a new IWW can emerge in the shell of the old.
See a more holistic and theoretical framework for most of the changes presented in these articles in my article entitled From ‘Man Monsters’ to Revolutionary Industrial Unionism - https://lifelongwobbly.com/2017/10/02/from-man-monsters-to-revolutionary-democratic-industrial-union/.
How do we do this? Here are an initial set of manageable be meaningful proposals based in concrete experience over the last decade, but are by no means an exhaustive list - they are meant to start, not end the conversation, and in doing so, more towards creating a common proposal to evolve our North American Regional Administrative Structure by Convention 2018.
1. Create Supports and Organizing Stages to Incubate Industrial Unions - https://docs.google.com/document/d/15tOggM148Ga5lRxR9Is1vWGw_F4eKACz6rncAzE3LTQ/edit?usp=sharing
2. Focus on Organizing to a Specific Base - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K9pid3b99mNrZy2_rNEzoaDteze6sCjqfBBdDajwFYQ/edit?usp=sharing
3. Narrow National Officer Mandates to Promote Effectiveness and Industrial Organizing - https://docs.google.com/document/d/16qrv8rfcM2oL_sLbCgd46_C7Dlu3cjL9yj5idlozbmI/edit?usp=sharing
4. Create an Updated Organizational Calendar and Regional Structures - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XkJM7i-zucxTvRlXTqghyG0mdh_MKP0G-kax2ca09Go/edit?usp=sharing
5. Evolving GMBs to Promote Organizing and Strong Branches - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hmz7t34BriY7CyhNZwJX0JDkHlE8o91oJPSudb-PX7Q/edit?usp=sharing
6. Expand Convention Mandate, Purpose, and Impact - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j2cVRYfOwrMmPoyVffHJLfGd7L__fOMrYThffgY04Eo/edit?usp=sharing