IWW North America has officially joined the International Confederation of Labor

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OliverTwister's picture
Joined: 10-10-05
Dec 15 2018 15:07
IWW North America has officially joined the International Confederation of Labor


The North American IWW was part of the process around forming the ICL over the past several years, but our decision at our 2017 Convention was that the final decision about affiliation would have to happen through a referendum. That referendum has now happened and the result is that the IWW in North America has affiliated. This is, I think, the first time in history that the IWW in North America has fully joined a larger international movement, which is pretty historic in its own way.

I know for a couple of years this has been discussed on here but purely from a theoretical and speculative point of view. Now that it's reality, that could spawn other discussions.

CHICAGO—In its annual referendum, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) North American Regional Administration voted overwhelmingly to officially join the recently formed International Confederation of Labor (ICL). The ICL is an international organization linking together revolutionary unions in eight different countries in Europe, Latin America, and North America.

The focus of the ICL is building a visible model for revolutionary unionism, a way to build unions that are based on solidarity, direct action, and which prefigure a world which has shaken off capitalism. ICL unions have already begun to coordinate their activity among app-based workers, such as those working for Deliveroo and Foodora, leading to coordinated strikes against Deliveroo in multiple countries.

The IWW brings to the table our growing experience organizing in prisons through the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC). The ICL and its member unions endorsed the U.S. #PrisonStrike earlier this year, which was co-led by IWOC. Through the ICL, the IWW has begun to make contact with unions of prisoners in other countries.

Aside from day-to-day organizing practice, the ICL allows member sections to share experience about mass working class struggles. Earlier this year, the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT – the Spanish section of the ICL) played a major role in coordinating a Feminist General Strike on International Women’s Day on March 8, which the CNT and ICL will try to build on for 2019.

The IWW’s vote to join the ICL culminates several years of joint work between these unions to bring the new international into existence. We hope to continue to develop our mutual projects and build relationships in other parts of the world. The IWW will share its experience and learn from the experience of others – to inspire and be inspired. With the continual economic, ecological, and political crises that capitalism is bringing on to us and intensifying, we need a vibrant and internationalist revolutionary unionist movement now more than ever.

Long live the international!

Industrial Workers of the World - North American Regional Administration

Affiliated to the International Confederation of Labor