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Re: <nettime> wobblies
... pj ... on Sat, 28 Aug 2004 17:08:22 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> wobblies

another small correction...

> this slightly jocular and familiar reference to the otherwise overly
> formal (and redundant)  "International Workers of the World."

As a former wob myself, IU560 (industrial union for telecom
workers),  I can tell you it's actually the "Industrial Workers of the

Wobblies tend to think this 'post-industrial society' talk is boss
propaganda, and also think it important to organize by industry (as
opposed to craft or trade unionism.)

Originally, the idea behind this being that workers of the world would
then be organized and in a better position to fire their bosses completely
and take over completely the running of society.  "Building the new
society in the shell of the old" and so forth.   Back in their heyday,
with over a million members, you could get pretty far down the rail on
your red card.   In fact, the notion of the travelling organizers of
direct action led to another story of their nickname-- their legs were
always "wobbly" from just jumping off the train.

Truly, though, they were 'internationalists', who made a strong argument
that workers should not be shooting other workers in far off countries,
but focus on winning class war at home.

This also meant unfortunately the red scare around WWI with massive state
repressions.  Hundreds of organizers and members were rounded up and
deported, imprisoned, and scores were simply shot.

The sellout of labour militants in the US continued with the formation of
the AFL-CIO.

Next year will be the 100th anniversary of the founding conference of the

Sadly, the union is now only a shadow of it's former shitdisturbing power.
But, there are still some interesting organizing drives, like one going up
against Starbucks in NYC, or the 'dual-carders' like those with WashTech
who historically, organized Microsoft temps and Amazon.com workers. If you
are interested in finding out more about DIY industrial unionism, and a
union card you can carry with you from job to job, instead of one based on
individual workplaces, then check out http://iww.org


mv boss.class /dev/null

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