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Wobblies at Prominent New York Baking Company Heighten Struggle Against Private Equity Owners

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:00

By Lawrence Goun and Biko Koenig

Workers at Tom Cat Bakery sharpened their resistance against company attacks this summer with a solidarity BBQ in front of the Queens-based factory. Tom Cat's private equity owners, Ancor and Merit Capital, are seeking devastating health care cuts and other takeaways from workers in contract negotiations with the Bakery Union. Dual-card IWW members are leading a struggle to build long-term power and secure a good contract, after beating back a de-certification attempt from a mob-dominated union earlier this year.

“These out-of-town investors already have their mansions, while we barely can support our families. The cuts they're demanding are impossible and we're united against them,” said Marino Aquino, a night-shift packer at Tom Cat and a member of the IWW. “Our unity is our strength and we will keep the pressure on until justice prevails.”

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Categories: Unions

Industrial Worker - Issue #1767, July/August 2014

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 10:16

Headlines:

  • Work To Rule: Organizing The One Big Union At Starbucks
  • Boston Wobblies Defend Harvard Workers And Local Bus Drivers
  • Kentucky GMB Officially Chartered!

Features:

  • History Of The IWW In Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • The Disunited Food & Commercial Workers
  • France: The Long Strike At La Poste

Download a Free PDF of this issue.

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Categories: Unions

IWOC Statement Against The Felony Question On Job Applications

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:11

The IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee opposes all forms and methods of exploitation that the ruling class use to disempower and disenfranchise working people. IWOC stands in solidarity with those individuals that are released from prison only to find that they are effectively barred from obtaining employment due to the question “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”, which is found on most job applications.

The IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee recognizes that the felony question does not serve the interests of working people, nor does the question improve or fix the work, social, and economic conditions that plague our society. Therefore, our union opposes the employers’ practice of using the generalized felony question on job applications.

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Categories: Unions

IWW Canvassers Strike Over Unpaid Wages

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 08:36

By Shane Burley, Labor Notes

A crew of nine marijuana legalization canvassers walked off their jobs and into the Portland office of the Industrial Workers of the World June 5, looking to form a union.

The workers at the Oregon Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp had been refused paychecks they were owed. This was on top of several past bounced paychecks. After their checks did not arrive on the late schedule and management would not even discuss it, they walked out.

With IWW support, the canvassers have formed the United Campaign Workers. In a joint statement they pointed to a “culture of secrecy and information repression that make incidents like this an ongoing problem.”

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Categories: Unions

Support the Struggle of the BIOME Workers in Greece!

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 08:25

From the IWW International Solidarity Commission (ISC)

BIOME Thessaloniki workers are fighting a recent court action that is attempting to expel them and return their worker-run factory back to its former employer – bosses who had vanished two and a half years ago!

The former employers were given a total of 126 months of imprisonment for debts to workers. Now, however, in collaboration with the appointed trustee, they are asking that BIOME be given a “bankruptcy” status to avoid paying what they owe to the employees, to Social Security, and to the public. They are also requesting that the plant be evacuated of all workers.

This is an outrage to the workers of Greece!

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Categories: Unions

IWW Statement on Operation Centurion

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 16:18

By the IWW European Regional Administration (ERA)

The IWW condemns the intensification of immigration raids across the UK under Operation Centurion. We believe that all workers, regardless of their place of origin or legal status, need to support one another in order to fight the common enemy; the present system that upholds the interests of business and other elites at the expense of ordinary working and unemployed people.

The undercutting of the pay and conditions of British workers by migrant labour is not caused by the immigrants themselves but by business owners, managers and government who seek to maximise their profit by forcing working and unemployed people to compete for an ever-diminishing number of jobs. This 'race to the bottom' forces us to work harder for less money, and all workers suffer from this - while bosses happily rake in their profits.

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Categories: Unions

Solidarity With Building Cleaners In Greece!

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 12:21

From the IWW International Solidarity Commission

The Industrial Workers of the World stand in solidarity with the workers in Athens, Greece who clean the buildings of the Ministry of Economics and who face imminent firing, doubtless as a result of the ongoing implementation of austerity measures. These firings affect about six hundred working people.

We support the Libertarian Syndicalist Association ESE (Ελευθεριακή Συνδικαλιστική Ένωση, EΣE), in its efforts to back the workers in their struggle.

Categories: Unions

Industrial Worker - Issue #1766, June 2014

Sun, 06/01/2014 - 10:54

Headlines:

  • Reaching Out To Prisoner-Workers: The New IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
  • Wages Of Class War: Reflections On Portland’s May Day
  • IWW Environmental Unionist Caucus Protests Koch Brothers

Features:

  • Wobblies Participate In May Day Actions Worldwide
  • The Chicago Teachers Union Strike: Beyond Mythology
  • Review: “Lines Of Work” Shares Workers’ Experiences, Invites Us To Share Ours

Download a Free PDF of this issue.

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Categories: Unions

Kentucky GMB Officially Chartered

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 08:24

By Mick Parsons (X373896), Secretary-Treasurer KY GMB

Louisville, KY – The statewide General Membership Branch for Kentucky received it’s charter from GHQ. The GMB, which grew out of a Facebook discussion group with the diligent work of delegate JP Wright (bottom, left). Elected Officers include Secretary-Treasurer Mick Parsons (upper, 2nd from left), and Press Relations Officer Regan Sova (bottom, center).

The Kentucky GMB has already been in front of the public, setting up an informational table/store at the Mighty Kindness Festival, held Saturday, April 26 at Waterfront Park's Brown-Forman Amphitheater. Members have also participated in the Informational Action against Insomnia Cookies, a Jobs for Justice Rally in the West End, and the May 24th March Against Monstanto.

Anyone interested in being a part of the Kentucky GMB should contact Secretary-Treasurer Mick Parsons at papamick.iww@gmail.com

Categories: Unions

IWW Picket Violently Attacked -- Call For Full Boycott Of Sisters' Camelot

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 16:19

By the Twin Cities IWW

On May 4th 2014, members of the Twin Cities IWW and supporters withstood a violent and deliberate attack on a picket of Sisters’ Camelot, whose canvass workers went on strike in March of 2013 and have endured vicious union-busting efforts from the organization ever since. After some twenty minutes of peaceful picketing, Sisters’ Camelot supporters organized an escalating series of attacks and attempts to break the picket line, eventually tackling an IWW member to the ground and beating him until other Wobblies pulled them away.

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Categories: Unions

Solidarity with the Workers’ Occupation of the Greif-Sanjut factory in Istanbul!

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 16:12

The International Solidarity Commission (ISC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) sends our solidarity to all workers occupying the Greif-Sanjut factory, a division of the US enterprise, Greif, since February 10. We condemn the police and gendarmerie raid in the early daylight hours of April 10. Due to this attack many workers have been taken into custody and abused, including, Mehmet Ali Karabulut, who was reporting for the left publication Kizil Bayrak.

The Greif factory, a manufacturer of packaging products, has been occupied by 500 workers who are members of the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions in Turkey (DİSK). Workers at the Greif factory are struggling for several issues. The most urgent problems are: low wages, which are currently below the poverty line; 44 subcontractor companies working for the Greif bosses, and excessive workplace accidents. Workers, including the core workforce and subcontracted workers, decided to occupy the factory after the managers refused to negotiate concerning their problems.

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Categories: Unions

Wobblies Participate in May Day Actions Worldwide

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 17:07

Photos from IWW actions across the globe. Want to see your group's photo below? Send it to iw@iww.org


Portland IWW banner (Read "Wages of Class War: Reflections on Portland’s May Day")

Click here for all the photos!

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Categories: Unions

May Day 2014: Reviving The General Strike

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 20:46

By Staughton Lynd
This article originally appeared in the May 2014 Industrial Worker

On May 1, 1886, the first general strike in U.S. history brought workers into the streets on behalf of one simple demand: an eight-hour working day. Their anthem was:
“We want to feel the sunshine;
We want to smell the flowers;
We’re sure (that) God has willed it
And we mean to have eight hours.

We’re summoning our forces from
Shipyard, shop and mill;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest,
Eight hours for what we will.”

As is the case in the movement of low-wage workers today, the movement for eight hours was characterized by skilled and less-skilled workers, and workers in different trades, making common cause.

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Categories: Unions

Solidarity with the Incarcerated Workers of the Free Alabama Movement!

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 12:55

We in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) have been approached by a group of hundreds of people currently incarcerated in Alabama who are launching a nonviolent prison strike beginning this Sunday April 20th to demand an end to slave labor, the massive overcrowding and horrifying health and human rights violations found in Alabama Prisons, and the passage of legislation they have drafted.

This is the second peaceful and nonviolent protest initiated by the brave men and women of the Free Alabama Movement (F.A.M.) this year building on the recent Hunger Strikes in Pelican Bay and the Georgia Prison Strike in 2010. They aim to build a mass movement inside and outside of prisons to earn their freedom, and end the racist, capitalist system of mass incarceration called The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and others. The Free Alabama Movement is waging a non-violent and peaceful protest for their civil, economic, and human rights.

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Categories: Unions

URGENT PHONE/E-MAIL BLAST! Help the Citizens Co-op Workers Union!

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 08:02

At this time the Citizens Co-op Workers Union is asking all supportive Co-op Members and Concerned Community Members to call and email management to express your feelings, comments and questions about the unfair labor practices and termination of 5 union workers. We want your voices heard and for you to hear the explanations for their actions!

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Categories: Unions

Revealing the Lessons of Ludlow: An Evening Remembering the Ludlow Massacre of 1914

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 14:53

From the Bread and Roses Workers Cultural Center

Featuring: Way Down in the Hole and The Ludlow Massacre, video documentaries, and comments by union members and Scott Martelle, author of Blood Passion, The Ludlow Massacre and Class War in the West.
When: Friday, April 18, 7-10 p.m.
Where: The Mercury Café, 2199 California St., Denver
Free Admission
FMI: http://workersbreadandroses.org/ludlow.html

The Ludlow Massacre from the coal miners’ point of view is the theme of an evening program in central Denver on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre.

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Categories: Unions

Penny Pixler: Loving Sister, Daughter, Aunt, Friend And Fellow Worker

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 15:42

By the Denver IWW

Penny Lynne-Diane Pixler was born July 9, 1947 to Ivan and Doris (Gardner) Pixler in Spencer, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Psychology in 1969. She also attended George Washington University’s graduate school. Whether she brought her political activism to Washington, D.C. with her or honed it there in the capitol, she actively participated in the anti-Vietnam War movement. After living in Berkeley, Calif. for a time, she moved to Chicago where she continued her activist activities. As a member of the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union (CWLU), she traveled with one of the first American tourist groups allowed in to China after former President Richard Nixon’s opening of relations in 1972.

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Categories: Unions

Industrial Worker - Issue #1764, April 2014

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 18:46

Headlines:

  • Striking Workers At Boston Insomnia Cookies Win Settlement
  • Portland IWW Fights Wage Theft
  • Indiana IWW Celebrates One Year As A Branch

Features:

  • Miami IWW: Fighting Back In High-End Hotels
  • Exposed: The Adjunctification Of Higher Educationn
  • Solidarity Unionism In Iceland

Download a Free PDF of this issue.

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Categories: Unions