Agreements of the 2nd national convention of the Chilean IWW 1921

Resolutions passed by the 2nd national convention of the Chilean IWW in 1921 which includes discussion of housing, gender, and prisoner struggles along with calls to propagate libertarian communism and factory councils. Translation by S Nicholas Nappalos.

Submitted by s.nappalos on December 24, 2015

The 2nd national convention of the (Chilean) IWW was held from the 15th to 18th of May 1921. 55 delegates attended representing 86 labor organizations from Aleta Buena, Iquique, Antofagasta, Taltal, Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, Santiago, Talca, Talcahuano, Tomé, and Concepción. This would be their first formal meeting. There the Chilean IWW adopted the following agreements:

"Common Home. The local unions favor pooling finances spent on small trade halls to build a common home that can accommodate large meetings of Local Unions or industrial departments, and give space for libraries, theatres, clinics, and hiring halls.

Pro-Printing Press. It was agreed that each trade association affiliated to the Industrial Workers of the World will pay a minimum fee of one peso to acquire a printing press.

Working day. Seeing the excessive physical wear on workers and to promoting greater employment of the unemployed, a maximum time of 44 hours a week was recommended, in all factories and trades, divided into 8 hours per day and 4 hours on Saturday.

Wages. Departments and local unions must fight for a minimum wage to compensate the maximum possible needs of workers; however we support the abolition of wages, the main factor of tyranny and capitalist exploitation.

Work contracts. It was agreed to try to abolish the system of contracts and contractors especially in the maritime labor, due to it being considered contrary to the interests of workers and because in factories and shops competition between workers and only benefits the capitalist.

A lack of work. A justified shortage of work in factories, workshops and jobs, calls for a rotation of shifts or reduction of working hours in order to prevent the suspension or forced layoff of workers.

Recruiters. Boycott them in all forms and senses, and hold free and open positions or direct contracts to prevent speculation and unbridled despotism by recruiters.

Registration seafarers and identity photograph in factories and sites. Remember to maintain and expend every possible effort to annul these imposed measures by capitalist government.

Maximum weight carried on the shoulder. Local unions should demand the capitalists set the maximum weight of 70 kilos.

Tools for the job. It was suggested to start fighting for the abolition of the tools carried by workers in all sites and manufacturing sites, and demand the costs be provided by the capitalists and bosses.

Emancipation of women. Local unions and affiliates in particular must fight in all fields propagating, advancing, organizing, and supporting the emancipation of women. Create in our newspaper special sections where women are invited to collaborate, and similarly publish leaflets and resolutions for the cause. Also the struggle for logical and just equality in work with equal pay should be promoted to counter the competition between the sexes that indicts the capitalist regime.

Alcoholism. It is responsibility of the Centers for Social Studies adhered to the IWW and those who sympathize with our principles to vigorously intensify practical and theoretical campaigning to the extent possible and with the assistance of local unions to inoculate against this vice, fostered by the winemakers and rulers.

Workers Housing. We do not recognize the right of usurpation of land by a few, especially when they exploit us blatantly forcing us to live in tenements or other expensive and unsanitary cramped quarters, we recommend maintaining constant agitation for lowering rent and for sanitation until the tenant strike: ie Do not pay leases for dirty expensive housing.

Healthcare Assistance. Departments and local unions should demand medical care in factories, workshops, mines, bay, etc., from the capitalists. Also to help with healthcare assistance, we should found health care clinics extending services to its members and their families to counter the hypocrisy of bourgeois charity with proletarian solidarity.

Funeral. It is recommended that the funerals of members should be in solidarity only with organizations that have lost members in social struggles or accidents at work, as a means of emancipating propaganda and to insult capitalist indolence. In other cases organizations are free to act as they see fit.

First of May. The first of May is a day of global protest and revolutionary action. However, we, the Industrial Workers of the World declare that as long the capitalist system exists with its armies of parasites usurping the forces of the producer and hoarders of land are striving to convert all into private property, and with the exploitation of man by privileged men, every day while this state persists will and should be one of protest and continued proletarian agitation.

Prisoners for social issues. Local unions and allied organizations should maintain a constant agitation for freedom of our comrades who serve the proletarian cause and are victims of capitalist revenge, kidnapping them in jails and prisons. Nor should there be inadequate attention paid to the households of all these dedicated fighters.

Libertarian Communism and Factory Council. It is recommended that workers study libertarian communism and also the models of factories councils designed and implemented in Russia and Italy, and to ensure the dissemination of both issues by speakers and editors in their newspapers and leaflets.

Fraternal greetings. The convention agreed to send a fraternal greeting to the revolutionary comrades of the world, and to show to our worthy comrades that today we find in jails and prisons, those infamous stains of capitalism, we express our protest for them and affirm to fight with the warmth of our conviction until we secure their freedom.

Sympathy vote. Considering the Federation of Chilean Students and the Federation of Workers of Magallanes, we walk linked by the harassment and crimes we were victims of in the last administration and taking into consideration that first, there are members who have given selfless assistance to our organization, and second, that common interests bind us, the commission agreed to a vote of sympathy and solidarity with these federations to be a protest against our common perpetrators".

“Bases, Principios y Métodos de la I.W.W. Aprobados en la Segunda Convención efectuada del 15 al 18 de Mayo de 1921”, Acción Directa, Santiago, primera quincena de agosto de 1921. “Segunda Convención de los IWW”, Claridad, Santiago, 4 junio 1921.

Taken from Praxis Libertaria blog accessed 12/24/15.



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