Industrial Worker (January 3, 1933)

Articles from the January 3, 1933 (Vol. 14, No. 103, Whole No. 836) issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).


-Paupers of Boulder Dam learning hatred born of desperation

-Marine Transport Workers of New Orleans urge seamen to organize

-IWW's get six months sentence. No defense witnesses or attorney

-Open shoppers fear "Baby Hoboes" may be contaminated by IWW

-Editorial: The I.W.W. and the four hour-day

-Present order is doomed by modern machinery says Scott

-"The Kangaroo Court" to be presented by I.W.W. in Seattle Hall

-Tom Mooney makes appeal to labor from his prison cell

-Minneapolis slaves are asked to picket politicians, not boss

-Politicians put skids under strike of Berlin transport workers

-Women are forced to work longer hours and for smaller pay

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Industrial Worker (January 10, 1933)

Articles from the January 10, 1933 (Vol. 14, No. 104, Whole No. 837) issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).


-I.W.W. coal miners in Colorado win demand for checkweighman elected by loaders on the job

-Gen. Def. Committee thanked for efforts to raise Xmas relief

-Boulder Dam slaves put 'on the spot' by 6 co's carelessness

-Garrison Mills is next rebel miner to go to trial in Harlan; another bluegrass jury chosen

-Sioux lookout I.W.W.'s held incommunicado by Canadian jailors

-Financial bloodsuckers grow fat on misery of working class

-Editorial: Technocracy and the I.W.W.

-Jobless buying power by T-Bone Slim

-Canadian road camp slaves are strongly urged to join I.W.W.

-Exploiters in Australia seek to put iron heel on I.W.W.

-Seismograph: the weekly record of cracks in the system by Work Peoples College

-Another zigzag: Communist "tactics" in the International of Seamen and Harbor Workers

-Scientist predicts end of capitalism within three years

-Work Peoples College developing fine crop of youthful rebels

-Angelo Rossi dead

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Industrial Worker (January 17, 1933)

Articles from the January 17, 1933 (Vol. 14, No. 105, Whole No. 838) issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).


-Canadian "justice": Sioux lookout cases are rank frame-up

-Industrial Workers' unemployed union conference in Chicago

-Forced labor program urged on unemployed 'for God and country'

-A.L. Benson tried and convicted by blue grass jury

-Western coal miners face poverty thru lack of union

-Police refuse permit, I.W.W. seamen hold meeting without it

-Edward Quigly, well-known agitator dies of T.B. in California

-Editorials: The proof of robbery; Also the machine process; Has technocracy a plan?

-Lines of least resistance by T-Bone Slim

-Boulder Dam slaves riled at sky-pilots' efforts to whitewash

-"A man to man talk": about the marine transportation industry and its workers

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Industrial Worker (January 31, 1933)

Articles from the January 31, 1933, Vol. 14, No. 107, Whole No. 840 issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).


-I.W.W. coal miners win full demands for honest weight

-Auto workers win decisive victory big concessions

-Class war prisoners angered at attitude of International Labor Defense

-Coal miners giving IWW warm support in Colorado fields

-Wobbly reports on Ramie, Wonder plant of tehcnocracy

-German unemployed to get union pay and 40-hour week

-Editorial: That technocratic "dictatorship"; Industrial vs political objective; The right men for the right job

-Politics at Boulder Dam is tangle of cheap intrigue

-European syndicalism and the I.W.W.

-Political actionist's red tape obstructs instead of helping

-Seismograph: the weekly record of cracks in the system prepared by Work Peoples College

-I.W.W. coal miners in Colorado building strong organization

-Technocracy and political humbug by Jack Kenney

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European syndicalism and the IWW

A 1933 reply by Ralph Chaplin to, seemingly, Spanish anarchist Maximiliano Olay, about the differences between the CNT and the IWW.

The editor of the Industrial Worker was recently taken to task for stating the I.W.W. position in regard to European anarcho-syndicalism. The critic, objecting to two or three paragraphs in an editorial (now included in the new I.W.W. pamphlet, the 'General Strike') proceeds to point out that "the editor is not up to date on the anarcho-syndicalist movement in Europe, and especially in Spain," and that, "he fails to specify clearly where they (the I.W.W. and anarcho-syndicalist movements) differ, being satisfied with general statements which reveal a lack of knowledge of the development of anarcho-syndicalism."

The editor of the Industrial Worker is willing to concede, for the sake of this discussion, that Olay knows more about the anarcho-syndicalist movement in Europe and Spain than he does. Olay, being a Spaniard, Spanish speaking, and familiar with the literature of the labor movement in his own country, has a decided advantage in this respect.

Even at that, the facts seem to be against Olay. According to an International Working-Men's Association's publication, (1933) the Spanish syndicalists have only within the last few months changed fom the trade to the industrial form of organisation.

All the Conventions of the International insist upon the necessity of reorganizing the revolutionary labor movement on (the industrial) basis. One of the countries that had remained outside this scheme, and which had stuck to the "trade" union principle, was Spain. Yet, even there, at the Extraordinary Congress of the National Confederation of Labor, held in Madrid in June 1931, i.e. barely two months after the overthrow of the Monarchy, the reorganization of the revolutionary unions of Spain on the principle of Industrial Federations was carried by an overwhelming majority of the 600,000 workers represented at that Convention.

It is significant to note that, even now the Spanish syndicalists are not organized into One Big Union like the I.W.W. They are merely united nominally on the basis of "federation" similar to the A.F. of L.

This, however, is not the important point in dispute. The critic is incensed at a couple of paragraphs, only one of which he takes the trouble to quote, and that merely in part. The full text follows:

...the European anarcho-syndicalist movement and the I.W.W. differ considerably by reason of the fact that the I.W.W. is the result of a later and mature period of industrial development.

It is not so much a question of how the Spanish unions are organized as it is WHY they are organized that way.

If one will read the statement carefully and not with impetuous haste, as Olay seems to have done, it will immediately be seen that what the writer had in mind is not [WORD UNCLEAR][WORD UNCLEAR], or any other kind of comparison between the merits of the I.W.W. and the anarcho-syndicalists as organizations, BUT A COMPARISON OF THE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS WHICH BROUGHT THEM INTO BEING. As to what the editorial "implies" or how Olay "understands" it, that is quite another matter, and one for which the editor can hardly be blamed. After all, Olay is not a member of the working class and it is only natural that as non proletarian theoretician he is perhaps too prone to confuse matters of theory with matters of fact. His impatience to have the anarcho-syndicalist position explained in detail is understandable also. But this, in the small confines of a 48 page pamphlet covering such a multitude of material was obviously impossible. It took Olay two full columns to reply to a couple of carelessly quoted paragraphs, and in spite of that, his precise meaning is still lost in haze!

Needles to say the editor of the Industrial Worker has considerable admiration for the accomplishments and courage of the Spanish anarcho-syndicalists. Neither their theories nor their actions need defense as far as either the I.W.W. or the editor of the Industrial Worker are concerned. If the membership of the I. W. W. were to be transplanted, to Spain it is possible that many of them would line up solidly with the anarcho-syndicalists as the only Spanish organization resembling to any extent their own. But the fact remains that we of the I.W.W. are not in Spain, confronted with the problems of organizing Spanish industry. We are here in the United States of North America; confronted with industrial problems which belong distinctly and exclusively to this part of the earth's surface.

And it is these distinct and unique differences of local and industrial development which have, and must of necessity, made the American I.W.W.'s concept of organization structure and tactics for a proposed General Strike dissimilar in scope and detail from those of any other country. There is no criticism from the I.W.W. as to the theoretical structure of the anarcho-syndicalist unions either for the present day struggle or for the administration of industry. These things may, and perhaps do, fit Spanish conditions to a 'T'. The point is that they would NOT be entirely suitable for a country as highly industrialized as the U.S.A. which not only make possible but require the use of both a different organization structure and different tactics particularly in such a major industrial offensive against the capitalist system as the General Strike. Anyone who can understand industry at all can understand exactly what is meant. The mere theorist will still be in as much of a haze as ever.

A brief glance at few comparative figures as to the relative industrial development and technological importance of the two countries may possibly help to make this point clear. And please keep in mind that this comparison is intended for no other purpose than to show the set-up with which Spanish and Yankee workers respectively are confronted. This is the actual evolutionary material out of which the two movements grew and to which they must of necessity conform both in theory and practice.

Spain has a population of roughly 22 millions, 45 per cent of which is said to be illiterate. The area is about 197,000 square miles, 90.04 percent of which is used for agricultural purposes. This, on the face, of it would indicate that Spain, in the modern sense, can hardly be classed as an industrialized country. The entire mining industry employs less than 175,000 in prosperous times, working with comparatively antiquated equipment. Fisheries, employ about 25,000 workers and the manufacturing industry absorbs in 'normal' times less than 200,000 actual workers. To compare the transport of Spain of that of the U.S.A. would be like comparing a toy train to a modern super power steam freight carrier. Spanish import and export business for the prosperous year, 1928, amounted to only $775,000,000 and the available water power represents 6,000,000 K.W. of which 1,261,000 is developed.

As to the U.S.A. available water power is 26,000,000 K.W. with about 7,000,000 developed. Spain produces about 6,000,000 tons of coal against 545,000,000 in the U.S.A. The import and export of the U.S.A. amounted to about $10,000,000,000 in 1928. Agricultural activities in the U.S.A. cover a total of 505,000,000 acres with a population of 27,000,000, which although it is only slightly greater than Spain is still less than 22 percent of the American total. In manufacturing, the U.S.A. employs (or did employ) 9,000,000 wage earners working in 187,000 establishments with a primary installed horsepower of about 40 million and valued at 65 billion dollars.

The above rather sketchy contrast will reveal the real difference between the problems of the I.W.W. and that of the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist movement clearer than any amount of purely theoretical discussion. The figures are as accurate as any available to the editor of the Industrial Worker at the present moment. The matter of financial control would throw a great deal of additional light on the matter of the I.W.W.'s centralized rather than federated industrial union organizational policy. But space does not permit us to go into it here.

The I.W.W. position is, and always has been, that syndicalist unions in other countries, when confronted with a similarly ripe industrial and technological development, be forced to these conditions in theory and practice just as the I.W.W. has been forced to conform in the U.S.A. To expect us to adopt or agree with, for use in our immediate or ultimate struggle, the policies of the Spanish syndicalists is almost as foolish as to ask us to adopt the policies and tactics which brought Communist capitalism in Russia. Similarly a General Strike, as I clearly proved in the new I.W.W. pamphlet, would require different tactics and organizational support and coordinated effort than in any Continental or South American country.

The I.W.W. stands unqualifiedly for the abolition of the wage system and the inauguration for a new social order based on the principle of industrial freedom. It believes that the impending crisis can be handled adequately only by the working productive and technological managerial army of production - in other words by the working class, and without the services of politicians, or outside meddlers. It is in the field to day, as it always has been, not only to create a unified, fighting industrial organization for the purpose pf helping to abolish the present rotten system, but also to build up a clear-thinking, willing and disciplined force capable of helping to keep the wheels of production in operation when capitalism shall have been overthrown.

-Editor, The Industrial Worker

Originally appeared in the Industrial Worker January 31, 1933, Vol. 14, No. 107, Whole No. 840
Transcribed for libcom.org by Juan Conatz


Industrial Worker (February 7, 1933)

Articles from the February 7, 1933 (Vol. 14, No. 108, Whole No. 841) issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).


-6,000 auto workers strike in Detroit

-Workers at Boulder Dam 'gyped' again by wage-cut experts

-Ben Fletcher ill

-Editorial: Machinery vs men

-New I.W.W. pamphlet the "General Strike" discovered by press

-Robot typewriter ready to displace myraids of stenos

-The General Strike: a review and a critisism by Covami (a.k.a. Covington Hall)

-An appeal to marine workers by D.N.

-Unorganized miners helpless to combat hunger and poverty

-Seismograph: the weekly record of cracks in the system prepared by Work Peoples College

-Comrat Sam slays technocracy

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Industrial Worker (February 14, 1933)

The February 14, 1933 (Vol. 14, No. 109, Whole No. 842) issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).


-Strikers close down Hudson Body plant

-Too many "isms" and not enough action in worker's trouble

-Unorganized slaves in Washington are beginning to think

-Utah miners paying dreadful price for lack of strong union

-Revolt in breadline brings improvement

-Direct action by farmers defeating mortgage sharks

-Editorial: So you're out of a job!; Up against the real thing; Don't you think it's time?

-Turning the cat loose? by T-Bone Slim

-Jobless on increase under Mussoloni's anti-labor fascism

-Technocracy group fired from Columbia for urging 4-hour day

-"Back to the land" or forward to freedom: which?

-Revolutionary Spain: unionists vs politicians

-Work Peoples College youngsters study and frolic

-Seismograph: the weekly record of cracks in the system prepared by Work Peoples College

-Non political industrialism: a bitter pill for theorists

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Strikers close down Hudson body plant

An article by L.B. about the strike at auto-parts manufacturer, Briggs, in Detroit. Originally appeared in the Industrial Worker February 14, 1933 (Vol. 14, No. 109, Whole No. 842)

Strikers close down Hudson body plant

Three thousand more join strike, strong picket lines organized, demand pay raise and overtime

Picket lines undaunted by snow and bitter cold. Auto kings firm but strikers more determined than ever. Scabs have hard time.

DETROIT, Mich., Feb. 7.—Strikers from Briggs Plant Oust Communists in meeting today. Three thousand Hudson Bay workers walk out. Hudson main plaint shut down. Strikers demand twenty per cent wage increase and time and a half for overtime.—LOUIS GRACY, JOHN TARAZUE, JACK KENNY

Detroit, Mich., Feb. 6.—The strike of auto workers at Briggs body plants has passed into its third week with strikers still holding out. The entire strikebreaking machinery of Detroit and the State of Michigan—press, police and employer's associations—has been brought into play against those unorganized but determined strikers. The majority of the 6,000 men and women, however, who walked out of the four Briggs slave-houses here, Jan. 23, refused to return to work.

Police Guard Scabs

The company-set deadline for striking employees to return to their jobs with guaranteed base rates much lower than the strikers demanded was passed Monday, Jan. 30—picket lines still intact at all plants and would-be scabs excluded. Since then ruthless strike-breaking tactics have been employed to disrupt the picket lines and demoralize the ranks of the strikers. This offensive of the Briggs bosses was directed especially at the Highland Park Plant. Here most of the Ford bodies are manufactured and Briggs officials, spurred on by Ford Motor Company's threat to start producing their own bodies, were desperate in their attempts to establish a flow of the much-needed bodies to River Rouge assembly lines.

Highland Park police, state police, and fire department hose brigades were concentrated at Highland Park Plant's main gate. Stragglers from the ranks of the unemployed, degenerate from long unemployment, were encouraged to take advantage of Briggs wide-open employment office by this imposing array of "law and order" forces. Under escort of heavy police guard, they were ushered through the dwindling line of Highland Park Plant pickets and hired in as workers in almost every department of the factory. These scabs were booed by pickets and sympathizers who thronged Manchester Avenues but no direct action was taken to prevent scabs from entering the plant all during the day. Scabs who left the plant at the end of the shift, however, were set upon by groups of strikers as they attempted to board streetcars. During the next couple of days several scabs were severely beaten by infuriated men on strike and several arrests were made. Briggs management protected these scabbing slaves by billeting 900 of them right in the plant.

Finally the picket line at Highland Park, which at the beginning of the strike numbered 2,000, was entirely disbanded. Company officials claim that the plant is completely manned, that many of the strikers have returned to their old jobs and that loads of Ford bodies will soon be escorted by squadrons of motorcycle cops to Ford River Rouge Plants daily.

So far, practically none of the 40,000 men laid off by Ford Motor Car Company because of the strike at the Briggs plant have been called back to work. Members of the Strike Committee, moreover, maintain that most of the metal-finishers, the division of body builders who started the walk-out, have refused to scab. Metal-finishers are about the most highly skilled workers in the whole body-building process. Without an adequate department of these workers at the Highland Plant, no bodies can be completed—even for Ford.

The strike at the Highland Park Plant cannot be considered a dead issue by any means. Encouraging rumors are filtering through the ranks of the Briggs workers still picketing at the other three plants, that attempts to organize and strike on the job are being made in departments of the Highland Park Plant. Organized, these men may soon join their fellow workers in a final effort to win the original strike demands for all concerned.

The strike at Murray Body Plant failed to make headway. Most of the 4,000 men who went on strike last week have gone back on the job. Leaders of this abortive strike are making every effort to organize Murray Body men for a real strike in the near future.

Picket Line Intact

Strikers at Mack Plant, whose ranks numbers four thousand, still maintain their orderly picket line day and night. Toward the end of last week, scabs hired in at the Highland Park Plant were rushed through the Mack Plant gates in buses under police escort. Strike-breaking tactics of the auto bosses have called forth reprieves from strikers and sympathetic unemployed of the East-end community in the form of minor acts of violence. About 300 men charged a truck load of panels as it left the plant Wednesday. The driver was pulled from his seat and the panels scattered over the street. Saturday noon three streetcars which had been filled with scabs at the factory gates were stoned by a crowd of angry people a few blocks from the plant. All the windows of the car were broken and several scabs were injured. Mounted police charged down the sidewalk and dispersed the mob. Now a strike zone has been marked off both sides of the plant and the police line has been increased. Men wearing Briggs badges are allowed through to take their place on the picket line, which is still functioning 2,000 strong despite the zero weather. Officials at the Mack Plant have dipped into the slush fund maintained by the employers' associations of Detroit auto bosses for strike-breaking purposes. They have equipped an unoccupied wing of the plant with double-deck cots and a full-fledged cafeteria. 1,300 strike-breakers are now being accommodated by this set-up and so are saving their hides. Residents of the community remain friendly to the strikers and their cause.

Bosses Refuse Hearing

The Briggs officials still refuse to arbitrate with the strikers as a group. They even snub the overtures of the mayor's sky-piloted "Fact-Finding Commission" whose preachers have offered to act as mediators. Repeated attempts of the Negotiations Committee to gain a hearing have been met by deaf ears on the part of the Briggs brothers.

W.O. Briggs, president and big-muscle man of the Company, is busy issuing high-handed manifestos to the local papers:

...I repeat, this strike can end in only one way, so far as I am concerned—upon the basis of the traditional American policy of free contract between employer and employee. This cause we will maintain in defense of every other American industry as well as our own.

At a conference with R.M. Pilkington, Commissioner of Conciliation of the U.S. Department of Labor, Wednesday, Judge W.F. Connoly, Briggs big-shot coupon-clipper, said it was "a long standing policy of the Briggs company not to recognize any labor unions."

Politicians Squabble

These comic chimpanzees are staging a regular circus for those in the ring-side seats.

Edward J. Murphy, Judge of Recorders Court, scored Mayor Frank Murphy for "permitting police to lock up strikers." Murphy claims the city is following a "hands off" policy.

"The strikers don't like them," naively complains Rev. Ralph Higgins, chief "fact-finder" of the Mayor's Commission, to Chief Dan Patch of Highland Park, regarding State Police.

Norman Thomas in a lecture here intimated that the powerful position of Judge Connoly, Briggs Treasurer, in the Democratic Party of Michigan, may have considerable to do with Democratic Governor Comstock's reply to Chief Patch: "State Police will remain as long as you need them."

Politicians from the Communist Party are playing a strong hand for the favor of the Briggs strikers and the Detroit proletariat in general but are queering themselves with the rank and file as well as most of the outstanding men among the strikers by too much ballyhoo.

Rank and File Carries On

The majority of the 6,000 men and women who went out on strike are far from feeling that their struggle against starvation wages and Briggs brand of industrial tyranny will end in defeat. The dogged determination with which the Mack Plant, from which 4,000 of the strikers come, is evidence that the rank and file have plenty of fight left for carrying on the battle. The weather is freezing cold and it snows, but these courageous men and women take their turn at marching in the picket line. This Mack Plant line, which during the day reaches a strength of 2,000, is an inspiration to the strikers—to all Detroit workers who have seen it in action. Great credit must be given to Robert (Slim) Darrow, who came from the ranks of the strikers at Mack Plant as captain of the picket line, organized this fine picket line and has been its leading spirit since the strike began. Cornell, Mush and Johnson have also been doing excellent work, according to opinion current among picketers, as rank and file leaders of the Strike Committee.

Families of the Briggs strikers are holding out with aid of relief administered by their strikers own relief organization. At present they are also being aided by donations of food and clothing collected by members of the Detroit Council of Labor Youth Groups. The Council has plans under way for other relief activities.

The rank and file carries on. The metal-finishers, key men among the body-builders, are still out solid. Public sympathy remains with the strikers. Relief is reaching the strikers' families. The main picket line is still intact. The Briggs auto workers-strike determined to go back on the job with demands won, ranks organized.


Originally appeared in the Industrial Worker February 14, 1933 (Vol. 14, No. 109, Whole No. 842)

Transcribed for libcom.org by Juan Conatz

Revolutionary Spain: unionists vs politicians

An article by 'Vizzittelly' on the situation for revolutionary syndicalism in Spain. Originally appeared in the [i]Industrial Worker[/i,] February 14, 1933 (Vol. 14, No. 109, Whole No. 842).

Occasionally the old Madrid Socialists put their senile heads together to devise new laws and devise more intrigue and intimidation through which they hope to suppress the revolutionary unions of Spain. But invariably these clandestine efforts against the working class are quickly shattered by the united action of the syndicates, whose splendid fighting qualities has aroused the admiration of all the militant workers.

Before the fascist De Rivera became dictator of Spain, the number of the revolutionary syndicalists there was put up to a million. De Rivera rode into power en he arms of the blackest reaction of Europe; the Spanish Catholic Church, the "very poor but very haughty" nobility and the degenerated members of the royal house. The Dictatorship was necessary. The "scum" was to be suppressed by all costs and De Rivera was the man. During the comparatively long period of the dicatorship the syndicalist element seemed to have been stamped out, but in reality it was only the revolutionary cry that was muffled, for with the passing of the dictatorship, in a very short time, the syndicalist unions numbered again to hundreds of thousands of members. This proved again the contention that the C.N.T. (the National Confederation of Labor) is too deeply rooted in the soil of Spain and in the hearts of its proletariat, and it will triumph.

The membership of the National Confederation of Labor—which embraces all revolutionary syndicalists—is put up to one million and three hundred thousands. It publishes many regional weekly and bi-weekly papers, also two daily papers of large circulation - The Solidaridad Obrera and the C. N. T., which is the official paper of the Confederation.

Syndicalism, as it is exemplified today by the C. N. T., differs in many respects from the pre-war syndicalism and the classic French type of it. One of these differences, and which will ultimately effect the whole structure of the C. N. T.—is that he syndicates must not be abolished, as was their prewar position, but they must retained and strengthened and be the units of production and distribution and the deciding factors of all social questions. Naturally, once upon such theoretical grounds the C. N. T. will more and more orientate towards more centralization and Industrial Unionism.

Deeply involved in the affairs and workings of the Confederation is the F. A. I. (Iberian Federation of Anarchists). This federation is claimed to have about 800 to 1000 groups, each group averaging six or five members.

According to these Anarchists the relations of their groups towards the syndicates is simply one of guidance and propaganda. That is, to keep the unions from falling into the hands of politicians and keep said unions on the revolutionary line. However, the contacts between the syndicates are more than ideological as it was shown by the expulsion of Pestana, the erstwhile secretary of the C. N. T. The case of Pestana and his group is interesting. Ostensibly his expulsion was occasioned by theoretical errors on the part of Pestana and his group. According to the F. A. I., Pestana flirted with the socialists and had become a conservative. The facts are, however, always Pestana stood against any outside control of the union no matter who they may be. He demanded even from the anarchists to keep their hands off the syndicates and fought against them, sometimes, just as savagely as he fought the communists. For a while the squabble seemed as if it would split the C.N.T. and as yet the matter of the relations of the F. A. I. to the C.N.T. have not been settled. All the editorial boards of the papers are now Anarchists and they also hold the most strategic positions of the unions.

Other organizations in Spain are the U.G.T..—Socialist--and the Communist Trade Union Unity Committee, which was organized for the sole reason of "penetrating" the syndicalist unions..

The socialist U.G.T. at first collected a large membership, but it was quickly discredited to the eyes of the workers for it became apparent that the sole aim of the socialist unions was to scab the syndicalists out of existence. Now the U.G.T. has not more than about 156,000 members.

As to the T.U.U.C. (communist) its membership is put to from 2,000, but the strength of this organization can better be judged, by the total circulation of their papers—the "Frenter Roho", which has a circulation of about 2,000 and the "La Masa" with a circulation of five to six thousand. There is still other group in Spain, the Troskyites.

Small as these groups may be, under the mask of friendship they have caused much harm within the C.N.T., and especially the one controlled by the "official party" which sabotaged all the efforts of the Spanish workers for no other reason than that they were directed by other organization than the communist "leadership".

Presently the eyes of all militant workers, tired of looking at the hopeless sterility of Russia, have sifted towards the other extermity of Europe. A syndicalist revolution in Spain holds possibilities. The reverberations of it may shatter the exclusive and conservative barriers of the English Trade Unions. It may even arouse from its stupor the once very militant French syndicalism. Portugal will surely go with Spain, so will Northern Africa. (The C.N.T. has organizers in those parts). And who knows, syndicalism is not dead in Italy, either.

But on the other hand, will the black crow of Italy shut its bulging eyes at a conflagration in Spain, only a short distance away? During the last riots in Spain, Mussolini said, "I can land 150,000 black shirts in Spain in 24 hourw." Or will the militaristic and reactionary present day Spain abide the company of a red Spain.

But the' revolution in Spain holds probably far greater possibilities than these. The future developments there may swerve the labor movement into a different course. Continuous, abortive efforts or an unsuccesful revolution may be the death-knell of present day syndicalism.


Originally appeared in the Industrial Worker February 14, 1933 (Vol. 14, No. 109, Whole No. 842)
Typed up by Juan Conatz for libcom.org

Work Peoples College youngsters study and frolic

A short article about the activities of Work Peoples College, an IWW run school in Duluth, Minnesota. Originally appeared in the Industrial Worker (February 14, 1933, Vol. 14, No. 109, Whole No. 842).

DULUTH, Minn - Does the studious atmosphere at Work Peoples College give the students headaches? We'll say not. The class in labor drama takes the sad story of Mr. Peel in the famous 33rd chapter of Capital Volume I and dramatizes it. You know the story:

Capital is not a thing, but a social relation between persons, established by the instrumentality of things. Mr. Peel took with him from England to Swan River, West Australia, means of subsistence and of production to the amount of 50,000 punds sterling. Mr. Peel had the foresight to bring with him besides, 3,000 persons of the working class, men, women and children. Once arrived at his destination, 'Mr. Peel was left without a servant to make his bed or fetch him water from the river.' Unhappy Mr. peel who provided for everything except the export of English modes of production to Swan River!

The drama class is also busy with T-Bone Slim's new masterpiece, "The Uplifters", a comedy on the charity racket. They are putting their heads together to scheme apropriate action for the lines that portray the T-Bone-Marxian analysis of capitalism.

Another student persists in trying to sing the opening lines of the 32nd chapter about the historicaly tendency of accumulation to the tune of the Irish Washerwoman; another tries to reduce it all to rhyme as well as reason - but the less said about these aspects of the case, the better. Anyway we actually do study, even though at times we do find outlets for extra energy. Should we let enthusiasm drag, all we need do is look out the window at the empty silent steel mill to start us anew. - O.K.L.

Originally appeared in the Industrial Worker February 14, 1933 (Vol. 14, No. 109, Whole No. 842)

Transcribed for libcom.org by Juan Conatz

Industrial Worker (February 21, 1933)

The February 14, 1933 (Vol. 14, No. 110, Whole No. 843) issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).


-Detroit strikers rally for victory

-Six gangster crowd gives 'buy American' plan full support

-Canadian courts do the expected thing; conviction upheld

-Editorial: Why jobs are scarce; Dividends vs wages; Machinery: friend or foe of man?

-Politicians line up solid against industrial ideas

-Wobblies were sent to U.S. penitentiary for predicting this

-Some famous radicals of history

-If you want it, fight for it!

-Seismograph: the weekly record of cracks in the system prepared by Work Peoples College

-While workers starve, the parasite class is "sitting pretty"

This issue scanned for libcom.org as part of an effort which was made possible from funds donated by our users.

Industrial Worker (February 21, 1933).pdf6.1 MB


Industrial Worker (March 21, 1933)

Articles from the March 21, 1933, Vol. 14, No. 114, Whole No. 847 issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

Content includes:

-Big IWW drive is on in Detroit

-Coal barons start drive to railroad striking miners

-War-mongers attempt to to militarize bands of unemployed youths

-Miner's wife praises G.D.C.

-Important defense meeting for Chicago

-C.P.R. slashing pay of Canadian rails

-Irish railway strike is still unbroken; tactics become rough

-Editorials: Machinery, past, present, future; Science, court of last appeal; The bread and butter problem solved

-Capitalism finished by Covington Hall

-Miners in Illinois are losing patience with gun-thug rule

-Stirring mass meeting held in Oakland, California

-Solidarity at Swastika mine

-No jobless relief; Chilean slaves sent to hills for "gold"

-Big bankers get cash as banks go crash

-To the miners of Kentucky

-Youth of America driven into crime by curse of poverty

-Capitalism starves able-bodied workers but rewards idiots

-Can technocrats survive attacks of capitalism

This issue scanned for libcom.org as part of an effort which was made possible from funds donated by our users.

Industrial Worker (March 21, 1933).pdf2.51 MB

Big IWW drive is on in Detroit

An account of the Briggs strike in Detroit by L.B. Originally appeared in Industrial Worker March 21, 1933, Vol. 14, No. 114, Whole No. 847.

DETROIT, Mich., March 14. — The vanguard of the rank and file of the Briggs strikers are lining up in the Metal and Machinery Workers Industrial Union of the I.W.W. The I.W.W. came into the field at the end of last week in response to a call for a bona fide industrial union from these leading spirits among the rank and file. A strike headquarters for the Metal and Machinery Workers Industrial Union 440 has been opened up at 121 Victor in the strike zone just a block from the main gates of the H.P. Plant. Here men and women who are active in the strike are coming every day and signing up for red cards.

Several mass meetings were held last week at the Woodmen of the World's Hall near the strike headquarters. Speakers from among the strikers are being developed at these rallies. F.R. Cedervall, I.W.W. organizer who has addressed many meetings throughout the City of Detroit in behalf of the strikers, is a regular-speaker at these mass meetings. His remarks from the platform are very well received by the strikers. The mass meetings have been well attended and the new members are catching on to Wobbly songs very quickly.

The Highland Park Plant was shut down Monday, March 13. Strikers are making visits to the home of these ignorant workers who are now laid off with the purpose of teaching them the lesson of labor solidarity so that they will join in with their fellow workers in the I.W.W. instead of returning to the H.P. slave house should Briggs call them back to work.

Several educational meetings have been held by the new members. Members of the I.W.W., schooled in the principles of industrial unionism, are carrying on a vigorous man-to-man educational campaign among the ranks of the strikers. New members are eagerly reading the new I.W.W. pamphlets, "One Big Union" and "The General Strike" and selling them to their fellow strikers.

Metal Finisher Recovers

Bert Blancett, the metal finisher from Mack who was kicked in the groin so badly by H.P. Cop No. 7 in the fracas at the North End plant February 28 that rupture of the bladder was feared, has been discharged from the Receiving Hospital.

"I'm on my feet now," says Fellow Worker Blancett, "though I feel weak, I'm more determined than ever to carry on my part in the strike."

Since Blancett is no longer able to march on the picket line dike to his injury, he is working on legal defense with Paul Gonzer and Ben Linsky of the General Defense Committee, to see that no strikers are rushed through on framed-up charges.

A striker found a rusty gun in his cellar two weeks ago. Being broke, he took it down to a pawn shop to see if he could borrow a dollar on it. The pawn broker took one look at it and told him it wasn't worth a cent. Five minutes later, as the striker was walking down the street he was picked up by a police cruiser. After being held incommunicado for nine days, he was released with a warrant to appear in court March 15 on a concealed weapon charge.

Darrow Resigns

Robert (Slim) Darrow, whose excellent work as organizer and general captain of the picket line has gained so much approval for the Briggs strikers from the citizens of Detroit, resigned from the job of General Picket Captain. In his letter of resignation Darrow accounts for his action as follows:

"After considering things carefully for the past five days and with full knowledge of what I am doing, I hereby consider that the only way to keep unity and solidarity in the rank and file is to tender my resignation.

This act on my part is for the good of the strike, as I feel that I am not needed on the picket lines any more."

With compliments to the Strike Committee for their efforts in trying to bring the strike to a speedy close and to the men who worked with him on the picket line, Darrow tendered his resignation as General Picket Captain "with deepest regrets". Darrow is still serving on the Strike Committee and is now devoting most of his energies to relief work.

Briggs is gradually laying off men at Mack Plant. Employees who are being let out find notices in their final pay envelopes signed by Henry Hund, General Manager, which explain that Briggs cannot continue to manufacture bodies when nobody is buying cars. General Manager Hund thanks his scabs for their cooperation. Strike-breakers cannot produce bodies for Ford and Chrysler, it seems.

Ford's giant plant at River Rouge shut down tight as a lid Friday, March 19. Henry Ford, as Briggs' chief customer is able dictate low contract terms for bodies. He is in this way indirectly responsible for starvation wages Briggs employers recieve. Henry Ford is getting the boomerang now.

The men and women still out on strike at Mack Plant are carrying on as usual with determination. Since Mayor Murphy decreed picketing legal, picket lines are marching at both gates. A new and spacious hall a few blocks from the plant has been secured for office headquarters and regular mass meeting place. "R-r-revolutionary" politicians from the Proletarian Party are delivering pep talks this week to 4,000 fighting men and women who are carrying on the strike.

Attorneys affiliated with the Socialist Party in Detroit have drawn up plans for an "independent industrial union"/ According to these plans, a president and ten vice-presidents along with a board of control will lead the Briggs strikers and workers of the auto industry to salvation.

Personnel Men Get Busy

The Personnel Department of Briggs Mfg. Co. is being revised, according to reports originating from executives at the Mack Plant. Two experts from New York are replacing the present Personnel Director and Employment Manager for reorganization purposes.

According to the text-book definition, personnel administration "plans, coordinates, and directs all human relations within a plant to the end that production may go on at a minimum of friction and with due regard for the genuine well-being of all members of the organization".

Apparently members of this new personnel department all wear blue uniforms and nickel-plated shields. Through the windows of the Employment Building at the Mack gate where the Personnel Department is housed, they can be seen toying with their scientific instruments (black-jacks and revolvers) for "directing human relations". Ex-Judge Connoly, Briggs Treasurer, seems to be filling the rule of Personnel Director—laying plans for more efficient hiring and placing of scabs and more arrests and convictions of strikers "coordinating" the McClellan precinct police force with the Briggs employment office "to the end that production may go on with a minimum of friction". Connoly is shaking up Murphy's cops—"with due regard to the genuine well being"—of the Briggs organization. To date Director Connoly has succeeded in getting precinct officers who were slow at fixing charges on strikers replaced by uniformed yes-men who are imbued with "the spirit of co-operation."

Wobbly Programs for Strikers

A benefit dance for the Highland Park strikers will be held at the I.W.W. Union Hall, 3747 Woodward Ave. Saturday evening, March 13.

Jacob Margolis, brilliant orator and authority on the labor movement, is coming from Pittsburgh to deliver an address at the I.W.W. Union Hall, Thursday evening, March 16. His subject will be of a general nature—"Must we Wait and Starve?"

Ralph Chaplin and F.R. Cedervall will explain the "I.W.W. Way Out" to strikers and other workers at Northern High Auditorium, Sunday evening, March 19.


Originally appeared in Industrial Worker, March 21, 1933, Vol. 14, No. 114, Whole No. 847
Scanned and OCRed by Juan Conatz for libcom.org