Despite the corporate talk of "team" and "love," here's what working there was really like -- and why I had to quit
After years of organizing in secret, building bonds over beer and supporting co-workers when issues have arisen with management, team members at a Whole Foods Market in San Francisco disrupted the normal workday and demanded a $5 an hour pay increase last month. More than 20 employees beckoned store management to the floor and presented a petition signed by more than 50 of the store’s workers calling for more paid time off, better health and retirement benefits as well as steady, consistent schedules.
Details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/732791720128693/
If you would like to send holiday greeting cards to IWW members in prison, please send a note to the IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) Facebook page and they will provide you with addresses. If you let us know what state you live in, we can try to provide addresses of people in your state.
Please use a PO Box for the return address so that strangers and prison staff do not have your home address.
Please keep in mind that many of the people in prison are Muslim so non-religious greeting cards are probably best.
Almost 300 Syrian refugees sit in Syntagma square, outside the Greek parliament, asking for asylum from the Greek state and solidarity from the Greek society. Women, men and children have occupied the central square of Athens since Wednesday afternoon, protesting in peace against the apathy of the Greek government. It’s been longer than a month that these people have been wandering in the city’s streets with no shelter, spending their nights in one of the few Athenian parks (Pedion tou Areos). They have already submitted a resolution with their demands to the Parliament but the only answer they have received is a warning by the police that they won’t be allowed to spend the night in Syntagma square.
- Whole Foods Workers Demand Higher Wages And A Union
- Toronto Harm Reduction Workers Organize With The IWW
- IWW Resurgence In Bellingham, Washington
- Farewell, Fellow Worker Fred Lee
- Oregon Canvassers Continue Push For Unionization
- Understanding Co-ops And The IWW
Download a Free PDF of this issue.
Red November, Black November
Red November, black November,
Bleak November, black and red.
Hallowed month of labor’s martyrs,
Labor’s heroes, labor’s dead.
Labor’s wrath and hope and sorrow,
Red the promise, black the threat,
Who are we not to remember?
Who are we to dare forget?
Black and red the colors blended,
Black and red the pledge we made,
Red until the fight is ended,
Black until the debt is paid.
— Ralph Chaplin (1932)
This is a somber month for labor.
The Haymarket Martyrs were executed in November. Joe Hill was put before a firing squad in Utah during November. Bueventura Durruti was killed in November. The Centralia, Everett and the First Columbine massacres all occurred in November.
Students at Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma walkedout of their classes at 9:20 A.M. on Monday, November 24th, 2014 greeted by hundreds of activists and supporters boldly standing with them in solidarity. Why?
Throughout the semester, an 18-year-old senior at the school raped three female students, publicized the rapes and humiliated the survivors. These girls were met with bullying and harassment, one being forced to leave the school because of constant hazing; another was not even able to enter the school before being violently confronted by the rapist's friends. Another retaliated when being harassed and was asked to leave the school for the remainder of the year until things "blow over." The administration punished the survivor for self-defense and has done nothing to address rape, sexual assault and harassment in their school community.
We call the entire working class for a
GENERAL STRIKE on 11/27/2014
Against austerity and predatory neoliberal policies
Against the terrorism of poverty and degradation
Against State’s authoritarianism and the policing of public spaces
Against the relentless onslaught of capitalist elites and their state-servant
The working class does not claim fraternal benefits and privileges
It fights for the liberation of all humanity from the tyranny of the capital
Our resistance will be unyielding until they are finally overthrown.
ΓΕΝΙΚΗ ΑΠΕΡΓΙΑ ΔΙΑΡΚΕΙΑΣ
Update: Join Whole Foods Workers for a 24 Hour Picket at Whole Foods' Northern California Distribution Center This Weekend! Details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/517441525025495/
Whole Foods Union Wins Raise for San Francisco Stores’ Lowest-Paid Employees
By Tim Maher - Whole Foods Workers Union, November 14, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - A fledgling union of workers at the South of Market Whole Foods in San Francisco used workplace actions to compel Whole Foods management to implement a $1.25 per hour wage increase for those employees at the lowest wage tier.
On this day, Nov. 19, 1915, Joe Hill was murdered by the State of Utah.
A songwriter, itinerant laborer, and union organizer, Joe Hill became famous around the world after a Utah court convicted him of murder. Even before the international campaign to have his conviction reversed, however, Joe Hill was well known on picket lines and at workers’ rallies as the author of popular labor songs and as an Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) agitator. Thanks in large part to his songs and to his stirring, well—publicized call to his fellow workers on the eve of his execution—”Don’t waste time mourning, organize!”—Hill became, and he has remained, the best—known IWW martyr and labor folk hero.
On Nov. 10, 2014, anarchist prisoner Nikos Romanos began a hunger strike laying claim to educational passes from prison, in order to be able to take classes in the university that he has succeeded to enroll.
His application to the Prison Council - that is formed by attorney general Nikolaos Poimenidis, headmistress Charalambia Koutsomichali as well as the social worker - still remain unanswered, while the appealing interrogator Eftichis Nikolopoulos, who has been claiming up to today not to be tasked with this matter, has sent a document to the Council, reporting that the application for administration of educational passes from prison has been denied.
Iraklis Kwstaris that has begun a hunger strike on the 29th of October for being given his educational passes from prison to take classes at his university TEI of Piraeus, is receiving the same denying documents from the Council.
TORONTO, ON - Harm reduction workers from across the city announced today that they have formed the Toronto Harm Reduction Workers Union (THRWU), an affiliate of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Workers from South Riverdale Community Health Centre and Central Toronto Community Health Centres are the first to announce their affiliations with the union, and have demanded that their managements recognize the union and commit to negotiating with them. Already claiming over 50 members, the Toronto Harm Reduction Workers Union is the first of it’s kind in the world.
Delegation Delivers Petitions to Whole Foods Management as Supporters Rally Outside San Fran Whole Foods
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - This afternoon a delegation of 20 cashiers, stockers, and cooks at Whole Foods Market initiated a temporary work stoppage to deliver a petition to Whole Foods management demanding a $5 an hour wage increase for all employees and no retaliation against workers for organizing a union. After the delegation presented the petition to management, workers and supporters held a rally outside the store, located at 4th and Harrison Streets in San Francisco’s South-of-Market district.
A worker must earn $29.83 an hour to afford a market-rate one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, according to a 2014 report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Workers at the store currently earn from $11.25 to $19.25 per hour. The new minimum wage ordinance just approved by San Francisco voters will raise the City’s minimum to $12.25 an hour next year, less than half of what is needed to rent an apartment.
Former IWW General Executive Board chair Frederic Lee died Oct. 23. A member of the IWW for 29 years, FW Lee was also a leading economist, founder of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter, and at the time of his death president-elect of the Association for Evolutionary Economics. His rigorous scholarship, international reputation, and commitment to organizing networks of solidarity helped open a space for alternative approaches in a field long dominated by worshippers of markets and wealth.
The IWW is calling on all artists and graphic designers to come up with new designs for our Union Shop Cards that are issued to workers who decide to organize and affiliate with the IWW (IWW shops, Sole-Proprietors, and Co-ops).
When the IWW recognizes shops they may use the union label on their products and they are issued an IWW Union Shop Card to publicly display. Since the union is beginning to run low on previous, older Shop Cards, the General Executive Board and the General Secretary Treasurer decided it would be in good form to update the Shop Cards and get fresh designs.
Check out this newly-revised guide on how to effectively write for the Industrial Worker, official newspaper of the Industrial Workers of the World.
- Portland IWW Battles With Non-Profits Over Union Busting
- Fellow Worker Arrested In People’s Climate March
- In November We Remember Penny Pixler
- Making Our Voices Heard Against Sexism In The IWW
- In November We Remember U.S. Labor Struggles
- Understanding The Role Of Prisoner Intellectuals
Download a Free PDF of this issue.
By the Baltimore IWW
Baltimore Jimmy John’s worker and veteran James Hegler was fired on Sept. 5 in retaliation for organizing a union at his workplace and participating in concerted activity against low wages and appalling working conditions. On Sunday, Oct. 19, workers and supporters picketed outside the Pratt Street Jimmy John’s to demand both the reinstatement of James Hegler and an end to illegal retaliation against workers.
By firing James, Jimmy John’s management made it clear that they are willing to violate federal labor law in order to punish workers for organizing a union. By ignoring attempts to meet and discuss terms for his reinstatement, Jimmy John’s management hopes to break the organizing drive through intimidation and contempt for the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Workers responded with a picket to show Jimmy John’s that this behavior will not be tolerated.
Join the IWW Jimmy John's Workers Union for a picket on:
Sunday, October 19 at 11:00 am
Jimmy John's, 401 W Pratt St, Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Click here to RSVP
The Jimmy John's bosses are at it again. Despite previous warnings they continue to retaliate against our members for wanting dignity, respect, and more of the good things of life on the job.
Danny Dolch and Mike Gillett are attacking our members through retaliatory scheduling and through the firing of one of our members, fellow worker James Hegler.
On September 29th Insomnia Cookies fired union organizer Colin James for his union activity under the guise of company theft. Colin has been a model employee without a single write-up and has been organizing at Insomnia Cookies for over 6 months.
This is the same union busting tactic this company used late last year, firing union organizer Tommy Mendez in Nov. of 2013. (http://openmediaboston.org/content/another-worker-fired-insomnia-cookies-unionization-effort-boston-location-picketed-2784).
Chicago does not provide a public recycling scheme, but we can recycle for about $400 per year, working with a non-profit environmental education organization. Help General Headquarters "recycle as feasible," as our constitution suggests for all IWW shops. Click here to donate!