Industrial Workers of the World
Overview
 
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is an international union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

. At its peak in 1923, the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. Its membership declined dramatically after a 1924 split
Industrial Workers of the World organizational evolution
The Industrial Workers of the World is a union of wage workers which was formed in Chicago in 1905. The IWW experienced a number of divisions and splits during its early history....

 brought on by internal conflict. IWW membership does not require that one work in a represented workplace, nor does it exclude membership in another labor union.

The IWW contends that all workers should be united as a class and that the wage
Wage labour
Wage labour is the socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer, where the worker sells their labour under a formal or informal employment contract. These transactions usually occur in a labour market where wages are market determined...

 system should be abolished.
Encyclopedia
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is an international union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

. At its peak in 1923, the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. Its membership declined dramatically after a 1924 split
Industrial Workers of the World organizational evolution
The Industrial Workers of the World is a union of wage workers which was formed in Chicago in 1905. The IWW experienced a number of divisions and splits during its early history....

 brought on by internal conflict. IWW membership does not require that one work in a represented workplace, nor does it exclude membership in another labor union.

The IWW contends that all workers should be united as a class and that the wage
Wage labour
Wage labour is the socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer, where the worker sells their labour under a formal or informal employment contract. These transactions usually occur in a labour market where wages are market determined...

 system should be abolished. They are known for the Wobbly Shop model of workplace democracy
Workplace democracy
Workplace democracy is the application of democracy in all its forms to the workplace....

, in which workers elect their managers and other norms of grassroots democracy
Grassroots democracy
Grassroots democracy is a tendency towards designing political processes where as much decision-making authority as practical is shifted to the organization's lowest geographic level of organization: principle of subsidiarity....

 (self-management
Workers' self-management
Worker self-management is a form of workplace decision-making in which the workers themselves agree on choices instead of an owner or traditional supervisor telling workers what to do, how to do it and where to do it...

) are implemented.

On January 3, 2010, the IWW moved its GHQ offices to 2117 West Irving Park Road, Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

.

The origin of the nickname "Wobblies" is uncertain.

Founding

The IWW was founded in Chicago in June 1905 at a convention of two hundred socialists
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

, anarchists
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

, and radical trade unionists from all over the United States (mainly the Western Federation of Miners
Western Federation of Miners
The Western Federation of Miners was a radical labor union that gained a reputation for militancy in the mines of the western United States and British Columbia. Its efforts to organize both hard rock miners and smelter workers brought it into sharp conflicts – and often pitched battles...

) who were opposed to the policies of the American Federation of Labor
American Federation of Labor
The American Federation of Labor was one of the first federations of labor unions in the United States. It was founded in 1886 by an alliance of craft unions disaffected from the Knights of Labor, a national labor association. Samuel Gompers was elected president of the Federation at its...

 (AFL).
The convention, which took place on June 27, 1905, was then referred to as the "Industrial Congress" or the "Industrial Union Convention"—it would later be known as the First Annual Convention of the IWW. It is considered one of the most important events in the history of industrial unionism
Industrial unionism
Industrial unionism is a labor union organizing method through which all workers in the same industry are organized into the same union—regardless of skill or trade—thus giving workers in one industry, or in all industries, more leverage in bargaining and in strike situations...

.

The IWW's first organizers included William D. ("Big Bill") Haywood
Bill Haywood
William Dudley Haywood , better known as "Big Bill" Haywood, was a founding member and leader of the Industrial Workers of the World , and a member of the Executive Committee of the Socialist Party of America...

, Daniel De Leon
Daniel De Leon
Daniel DeLeon was an American socialist newspaper editor, politician, Marxist theoretician, and trade union organizer. He is regarded as the forefather of the idea of revolutionary industrial unionism and was the leading figure in the Socialist Labor Party of America from 1890 until the time of...

, Eugene V. Debs
Eugene V. Debs
Eugene Victor Debs was an American union leader, one of the founding members of the International Labor Union and the Industrial Workers of the World , and several times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States...

, Thomas J Hagerty, Lucy Parsons
Lucy Parsons
Lucy Eldine Gonzalez Parsons was an American labor organizer and radical socialist. She is remembered as a powerful orator.-Life:...

, "Mother" Mary Harris Jones, Frank Bohn
Frank Bohn (socialist)
Frank Bohn was an advocate of industrial unionism who was a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World. From 1906 to 1908 he was the National Secretary of the Socialist Labor Party of America, before leaving to join forces with the rival Socialist Party of America...

, William Trautmann
William Trautmann
William Ernst Trautmann was founding General-Secretary of the U.S. Industrial Workers of the World and one of six people who initially laid plans for the organization in 1904.He was born to German parents in New Zealand in 1869 and raised in Europe...

, Vincent Saint John
Vincent Saint John
Vincent Saint John was an American labor leader and a prominent Wobbly.-Biography:He was born in Newport, Kentucky and was the only son of New York native Silas St. John and Irish immigrant Marian "Mary" Cecilia Magee...

, Ralph Chaplin
Ralph Chaplin
Ralph Hosea Chaplin was an American writer, artist and labor activist. At the age of seven, he saw a worker shot dead during the Pullman strike in Chicago, Illinois. He had moved with his family from Ames, Kansas to Chicago in 1893...

, and many others.

The IWW's goal was to promote worker solidarity in the revolutionary struggle to overthrow the employing class; its motto
Labor slogans
This is a list of slogans used by organized labor, or by workers who are attempting to organize.-Glossary of labor slogans:* The slogan "An injury to one..." has a long history in the union movement. Initially attributed to the Knights of Labor, the expression took the form "an injury to one is the...

 was "an injury to one is an injury to all
An injury to one is an injury to all
An injury to one is an injury to all is a motto popularly used by the Industrial Workers of the World who are also known as the "Wobblies." In his autobiography, Bill Haywood credited David C. Coates with suggesting a labor slogan for the IWW: an injury to one is an injury to all. The slogan has...

", which improved upon the 19th century Knights of Labor
Knights of Labor
The Knights of Labor was the largest and one of the most important American labor organizations of the 1880s. Its most important leader was Terence Powderly...

's creed, "an injury to one is the concern of all." In particular, the IWW was organized because of the belief among many unionists, socialists, anarchists and radicals that the AFL not only had failed to effectively organize the U.S. working class, as only about 5% of all workers belonged to unions in 1905, but also was organizing according to narrow craft principles which divided groups of workers. The Wobblies believed that all workers should organize as a class, a philosophy which is still reflected in the Preamble to the current IWW Constitution:
The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life.

Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth.

We find that the centering of the management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the ever growing power of the employing class. The trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers.

These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry, or in all industries if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one an injury to all.

Instead of the conservative motto, "A fair day's wage for a fair day's work," we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, "Abolition of the wage system."

It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organized, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.

The Wobblies differed from other union movements of the time by its promotion of industrial unionism
Industrial unionism
Industrial unionism is a labor union organizing method through which all workers in the same industry are organized into the same union—regardless of skill or trade—thus giving workers in one industry, or in all industries, more leverage in bargaining and in strike situations...

, as opposed to the craft unionism
Craft unionism
Craft unionism refers to organizing a union in a manner that seeks to unify workers in a particular industry along the lines of the particular craft or trade that they work in by class or skill level...

 of the American Federation of Labor
American Federation of Labor
The American Federation of Labor was one of the first federations of labor unions in the United States. It was founded in 1886 by an alliance of craft unions disaffected from the Knights of Labor, a national labor association. Samuel Gompers was elected president of the Federation at its...

. The IWW emphasized rank-and-file organization, as opposed to empowering leaders who would bargain with employers on behalf of workers. This manifested itself in the early IWW's consistent refusal to sign contracts, which they felt would restrict workers' abilities to aid each other when called upon. Though never developed in any detail, Wobblies envisioned the general strike
General strike
A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of the labour force in a city, region, or country. While a general strike can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants...

 as the means by which the wage system would be overthrown and a new economic system ushered in, one which emphasized people over profit, cooperation over competition.

One of the IWW's most important contributions to the labor movement and broader push towards social justice was that, when founded, it was the only American union (Besides the Knights of Labor) to welcome all workers including women, immigrants, African Americans and Asians into the same organization. Indeed, many of its early members were immigrants, and some, like Carlo Tresca
Carlo Tresca
Carlo Tresca was an Italian-born American newspaper editor, orator, and labor organizer who was a leader of the Industrial Workers of the World during the decade of the 1910s. Tresca is remembered as a leading public opponent of fascism, stalinism, and Mafia infiltration of the trade union movement...

, Joe Hill and Mary Jones, rose to prominence in the leadership. Finns formed a sizeable portion of the immigrant IWW membership. "Conceivably, the number of Finns belonging to the I.W.W. was somewhere between five and ten thousand." The Finnish-language
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

 newspaper of the IWW, Industrialisti
Industrialisti
Industrialisti was a Finnish-language newspaper published from Duluth, Minnesota, United States. Founded in 1914 under the same Sosialisti, the newspaper was politically linked to the Industrial Workers of the World. It was published daily, but was converted into a fortnigthly in its later...

, published out of Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

, Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, was the union's only daily paper. At its peak, it ran 10,000 copies per issue. Another Finnish-language Wobbly publication was the monthly Tie Vapauteen
Tie Vapauteen
Tie Vapauteen, , was a Finnish-American monthly magazine published by Finnish members of the Industrial Workers of the World from 1919 to 1937. Tie Vapauteen advanced an explicitly anarcho-syndicalist position marked a Marxian economic and class analysis...

("Road to Freedom"). Also of note was the Finnish IWW educational institute, the Work People's College
Work People's College
A Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America folk school founded, September 1903, in Minneapolis, Minnesota served as a predecessor for Work People's College...

 in Duluth, and the Finnish Labour Temple
Finnish Labour Temple
The Finnish Labour Temple is a Finnish-Canadian cultural and community centre and a local landmark located at 314 Bay Street in the Finnish quarter in Thunder Bay, Ontario....

 in Port Arthur, Ontario
Port Arthur, Ontario
Port Arthur was a city in Northern Ontario which amalgamated with Fort William and the townships of Neebing and McIntyre to form the city of Thunder Bay in January 1970. Port Arthur was the district seat of Thunder Bay District.- History :...

 which served as the IWW Canadian administration for several years. One example of the union's commitment to equality was Local 8, a longshoremen's branch in Philadelphia, one of the largest ports in the nation in the WWI era. Led by the African American Ben Fletcher
Ben Fletcher
Benjamin Harrison Fletcher was an early 20th century African American labor leader and public speaker. He was a prominent member of the Industrial Workers of the World , the most influential radical union of his time...

, Local 8 had over 5,000 members, the majority of whom were African American, along with more than a thousand immigrants (primarily Lithuanians and Poles), Irish Americans, and numerous others.

The IWW was condemned by politicians and the press, who saw them as a threat to the market systems as well as an effort to monopolize labor at a time when efforts to monopolize industries were being fought as anti-market. Factory owners would employ means both non-violent (sending in Salvation Army
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries....

 bands to drown out speakers) and violent means to disrupt their meetings. Members were often arrested and sometimes killed for making public speeches, but this persecution only inspired further militancy.

Political action or direct action?

Like many leftist organizations of the era, the IWW soon split over policy. In 1908 a group led by Daniel DeLeon argued that political action through DeLeon's Socialist Labor Party (SLP) was the best way to attain the IWW's goals. The other faction, led by Vincent Saint John, William Trautmann, and Big Bill Haywood, believed that direct action in the form of strikes
Strike action
Strike action, also called labour strike, on strike, greve , or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became important during the industrial revolution, when mass labour became...

, propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

, and boycott
Boycott
A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons...

s was more likely to accomplish sustainable gains for working people; they were opposed to arbitration and to political affiliation. Haywood's faction prevailed, and De Leon and his supporters left the organization, forming their own version of the IWW. The SLP's "Yellow IWW" eventually took the name Workers' International Industrial Union
Workers' International Industrial Union
The Workers' International Industrial Union was a Revolutionary Industrial Union active in the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia...

, which was disbanded in 1924.

Organizing


The IWW first attracted attention in Goldfield
Goldfield, Nevada
Goldfield is an unincorporated community and the county seat of Esmeralda County, Nevada, United States, with a resident population of 440 at the 2000 census. It is located about southeast of Carson City, along U.S...

, Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 in 1906 and during the Pressed Steel Car Strike of 1909
Pressed Steel Car Strike of 1909
The Pressed Steel Car Strike of 1909, also known as the "1909 McKees Rocks Strike," was an American labor strike which lasted from July 13 through September 8. The walkout drew national attention when it climaxed on Sunday August 22 in a bloody battle between strikers, private security agents, and...

 at McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
McKees Rocks, also known as "The Rocks", is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, along the south bank of the Ohio River. The borough population was 6,104 at the 2010 census.In the past, it was known for its extensive iron and steel interests...

. Further fame was gained later that year, when they took their stand on free speech. The town of Spokane, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Spokane is a city located in the Northwestern United States in the state of Washington. It is the largest city of Spokane County of which it is also the county seat, and the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest region...

 had outlawed street meetings, and arrested Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was a labor leader, activist, and feminist who played a leading role in the Industrial Workers of the World . Flynn was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union and a visible proponent of women's rights, birth control, and women's suffrage...

, a Wobbly organizer, for breaking this ordinance. The response was simple but effective: when a fellow member was arrested for speaking, large numbers of people descended on the location and invited the authorities to arrest all of them, until it became too expensive for the town. In Spokane, over 500 people went to jail and four people died. The tactic of fighting for free speech
Free speech fights
Free speech fights are conflicts over the right to speak freely, particularly involving the Industrial Workers of the World efforts in the early twentieth century to organize workers and publicly speak about labor issues...

 to popularize the cause and preserve the right to organize openly was used effectively in Fresno
Fresno, California
Fresno is a city in central California, United States, the county seat of Fresno County. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 510,365, making it the fifth largest city in California, the largest inland city in California, and the 34th largest in the nation...

, Aberdeen
Aberdeen, Washington
Aberdeen is a city in Grays Harbor County, Washington, United States, founded by Samuel Benn in 1884. Aberdeen was incorporated on May 12, 1890. The city is the economic center of Grays Harbor County, bordering the cities of Hoquiam and Cosmopolis...

, and other locations. In San Diego
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

, although there was no particular organizing campaign at stake, vigilantes supported by local officials and powerful businessmen mounted a particularly brutal
San Diego Free Speech Fight
The San Diego Free Speech Fight in San Diego, California in 1912–1913 was one of the most famous of the "free speech fights", class conflicts over the free speech rights of labor unions.-Introduction:...

 counter-offensive.

By 1912 the organization had around 25,000 members, concentrated in the Northwest, among dock workers, agricultural workers in the central states, and in textile and mining areas. The IWW was involved in over 150 strikes, including those in the Lawrence textile strike
Lawrence textile strike
The Lawrence Textile Strike was a strike of immigrant workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912 led by the Industrial Workers of the World. Prompted by one mill owner's decision to lower wages when a new law shortening the workweek went into effect in January, the strike spread rapidly through the...

 (1912), the Paterson silk strike
Paterson Silk Strike of 1913
The 1913 Paterson silk strike was a work stoppage involving silk mill workers in Paterson, New Jersey. The strike, which involved demands for establishment of an eight-hour day and improved working conditions. The strike began on February 1, 1913, and ended six months later, on July 28.-History:The...

 (1913) and the Mesabi range (1916). They were also involved in what came to be known as the Wheatland Hop Riot
Wheatland Hop Riot
The Wheatland Hop Riot, an important and highly-publicized event in California labor history, was the second major labor dispute in the United States supposedly initiated by the Industrial Workers of the World...

 on August 3, 1913.

Between 1915 and 1917, the IWW's Agricultural Workers Organization
Agricultural Workers Organization
The Agricultural Workers Organization , an organization of farm workers throughout the United States and Canada, was formed on April 15, 1915 in Kansas City. It was supported by, and a subsidiary organization of, the Industrial Workers of the World...

 (AWO) organized more than a hundred thousand migratory farm workers throughout the midwest and western United States, often signing up and organizing members in the field, in railyards and in hobo jungles. During this time, the IWW member became synonymous with the hobo riding the rails; migratory farmworkers could scarcely afford any other means of transportation to get to the next jobsite. Railroad boxcars, called "side door coaches" by the hobos, were frequently plastered with silent agitators
Silent agitators
Many organizations have used stickers to publicize their philosophy or cause. The Industrial Workers of the World , which during its colorful history has pioneered a variety of creative tactics, calls their stickers silent agitators, or silent organizers...

 from the IWW. Workers often won better working conditions by using direct action at the point of production, and striking "on the job" (consciously and collectively slowing their work). As a result of Wobbly organizing, conditions for migratory farm workers improved significantly.

Building on the success of the AWO, the IWW's Lumber Workers Industrial Union
Lumber Workers Industrial Union
Between 1915 and 1917, the Agricultural Workers Organization of the Industrial Workers of the World organized hundreds of thousands of migratory farm workers throughout the midwest and western United States...

 (LWIU) used similar tactics to organize lumberjack
Lumberjack
A lumberjack is a worker in the logging industry who performs the initial harvesting and transport of trees for ultimate processing into forest products. The term usually refers to a bygone era when hand tools were used in harvesting trees principally from virgin forest...

s and other timber workers, both in the Deep South and the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada, between 1917 and 1924. The IWW lumber strike of 1917 led to the eight-hour day and vastly improved working conditions in the Pacific Northwest. Even though mid-century historians would give credit to the US Government and "forward thinking lumber magnates" for agreeing to such reforms, an IWW strike forced these concessions.

From 1913 through the mid-1930s, the IWW's Marine Transport Workers Industrial Union (MTWIU), proved a force to be reckoned with and competed with AFL unions for ascendance in the industry. Given the union's commitment to international solidarity, its efforts and success in the field come as no surprise. Local 8 of the Marine Transport Workers was led by Ben Fletcher, who organized predominantly African-American longshoremen on the Philadelphia and Baltimore waterfronts, but other leaders included the Swiss immigrant Waler Nef, Jack Walsh, E.F. Doree, and the Spanish sailor Manuel Rey. The IWW also had a presence among waterfront workers in Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

, Houston
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

, San Diego
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

, Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

, Eureka
Eureka, California
Eureka is the principal city and the county seat of Humboldt County, California, United States. Its population was 27,191 at the 2010 census, up from 26,128 at the 2000 census....

, Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, Tacoma
Tacoma, Washington
Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city and the county seat of Pierce County, Washington, United States. The city is on Washington's Puget Sound, southwest of Seattle, northeast of the state capital, Olympia, and northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. The population was 198,397, according to...

, Seattle
Seattle, Washington
Seattle is the county seat of King County, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States. The Seattle metropolitan area of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country...

, Vancouver as well as in ports in the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and other nations. IWW members played a role in the 1934 San Francisco general strike
1934 West Coast Longshore Strike
The 1934 West Coast Waterfront Strike lasted eighty-three days, triggered by sailors and a four-day general strike in San Francisco, and led to the unionization of all of the West Coast ports of the United States...

 and the other organizing efforts by rank-and-filers within the International Longshoremen's Association
International Longshoremen's Association
The International Longshoremen's Association is a labor union representing longshore workers along the East Coast of the United States and Canada, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, Puerto Rico, and inland waterways...

 up and down the West Coast.

Wobblies also played a role in the sit-down strikes and other organizing efforts by the United Auto Workers
United Auto Workers
The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, better known as the United Auto Workers , is a labor union which represents workers in the United States and Puerto Rico, and formerly in Canada. Founded as part of the Congress of Industrial...

 in the 1930s, particularly in Detroit, though they never established a strong union presence there.

Where the IWW did win strikes, such as at Lawrence, they often found it hard to hold onto their gains. The IWW of 1912 disdained collective bargaining agreements and preached instead the need for constant struggle against the boss on the shop floor. It proved difficult, however, to maintain that sort of revolutionary elán against employers. In Lawrence, the IWW lost nearly all of its membership in the years after the strike, as the employers wore down their employees' resistance and eliminated many of the strongest union supporters. In 1938, the IWW voted to allow contracts with employers, so long as they would not undermine any strike.

Government suppression

The IWW's efforts were met with violent reactions from all levels of government, from company management and their agents
Labor spies
Labor spies are persons recruited or employed for the purpose of gathering intelligence, committing sabotage, sowing dissent, or engaging in other similar activities, typically within the context of an employer/labor organization relationship....

, and groups of citizens functioning as vigilantes. In 1914, Joe Hill
Joe Hill
Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle , and also known as Joseph Hillström was a Swedish-American labor activist, songwriter, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World...

 (Joel Hägglund) was accused of murder and, despite only circumstantial evidence, was executed by the state of Utah in 1915. On November 5, 1916 at Everett, Washington
Everett, Washington
Everett is the county seat of and the largest city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. Named for Everett Colby, son of founder Charles L. Colby, it lies north of Seattle. The city had a total population of 103,019 at the 2010 census, making it the 6th largest in the state and...

 a group of deputized businessmen led by Sheriff Donald McRae attacked Wobblies
Everett massacre
The Everett Massacre was an armed confrontation between local authorities and members of the Industrial Workers of the World union, commonly called "Wobblies". It took place in Everett, Washington on Sunday, November 5, 1916...

 on the steamer Verona, killing at least five union members (six more were never accounted for and probably were lost in Puget Sound). Two members of the police force — one a regular officer and another a deputized citizen from the National Guard Reserve — were killed, probably by "friendly fire".

Many IWW members opposed United States participation in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. The organization passed a resolution against the war at its convention in November 1916. This echoed the view, expressed at the IWW's founding convention, that war represents struggles among capitalists in which the rich become richer, and the working poor all too often die at the hands of other workers.

An IWW newspaper, the Industrial Worker
Industrial Worker
The Industrial Worker, "the voice of revolutionary industrial unionism," is the newspaper of the Industrial Workers of the World . It is currently released ten times a year, printed and edited by union labor, and is frequently distributed at radical bookstores, demonstrations, strikes and labor...

, wrote just before the U.S. declaration of war: "Capitalists of America, we will fight against you, not for you! There is not a power in the world that can make the working class fight if they refuse." Yet when a declaration of war was passed by the U.S. Congress in April 1917, the IWW's general secretary-treasurer Bill Haywood became determined that the organization should adopt a low profile in order to avoid perceived threats to its existence. The printing of anti-war stickers was discontinued, stockpiles of existing anti-war documents were put into storage, and anti-war propagandizing ceased as official union policy. After much debate on the General Executive Board, with Haywood advocating a low profile and GEB member Frank Little
Frank Little (U.S. Trade Unionist)
Frank Little was an American labor leader who was lynched in Butte, Montana in 1917 for his union and anti-war activities. He joined the Industrial Workers of the World in 1906, organizing miners, lumberjacks, and oil field workers. He was a member of the union's Executive Board at the time of...

 championing continued agitation, Ralph Chaplin brokered a compromise agreement. A statement was issued that denounced the war, but IWW members were advised to channel their opposition through the legal mechanisms of conscription. They were advised to register for the draft, marking their claims for exemption "IWW, opposed to war."

In spite of the IWW moderating its vocal opposition, the mainstream press and the U.S. Government were able to turn public opinion against the IWW. Frank Little, the IWW's most outspoken war opponent, was lynched in Butte, Montana
Butte, Montana
Butte is a city in Montana and the county seat of Silver Bow County, United States. In 1977, the city and county governments consolidated to form the sole entity of Butte-Silver Bow. As of the 2010 census, Butte's population was 34,200...

 in August 1917, just four months after war had been declared.

The government used World War I as an opportunity to crush the IWW. In September 1917, U.S. Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 agents made simultaneous raids on forty-eight IWW meeting halls across the country. In 1917, one hundred and sixty-five IWW leaders were arrested for conspiring to hinder the draft, encourage desertion, and intimidate others in connection with labor disputes, under the new Espionage Act; one hundred and one went on trial before Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis
Kenesaw Mountain Landis
Kenesaw Mountain Landis was an American jurist who served as a federal judge from 1905 to 1922 and as the first Commissioner of Baseball from 1920 until his death...

 in 1918.

In 1917, during an incident known as the Tulsa Outrage
Tulsa Outrage
The Tulsa Outrage was an act of vigilante violence perpetrated by the Knights of Liberty against members of the IWW on November 7, 1917 in Tulsa, Oklahoma....

, a group of black-robed Knights of Liberty, a short-lived faction of the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

, tarred and feathered seventeen members of the IWW in Oklahoma. The IWW members had been turned over to the Knights of Liberty by local authorities after they were convicted of the crime of not owning war bonds. Five other men who testified in defense of the wobblies were also fined by the court and subjected to the same torture and humiliations at the hands of the Knights of Liberty.
They were all convicted — even those who had not been members of the union for years — and given prison terms of up to twenty years. Sentenced to prison by Judge Landis and released on bail, Haywood fled to the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

 where he remained until his death.

A wave of such incitement led to vigilante mobs attacking the IWW in many places, and after the war the repression continued. In Centralia, Washington
Centralia, Washington
Centralia is a city in Lewis County, Washington, United States. The population was 16,336 at the 2010 census.-History:In pioneer days, Centralia was the halfway stopover point for stagecoaches operating between the Columbia River and Seattle. In 1850, J. G. Cochran came from Missouri with his...

 on November 11, 1919, IWW member and army veteran Wesley Everest
Wesley Everest
Wesley Everest was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World and a World War I veteran...

 was turned over to the lynch mob by jail guards and lynched. Although a myth was created six months after the events that Everest was castrated, the historical record does not support it.

Members of the IWW were prosecuted under various State and federal laws and the 1920 Palmer Raids
Palmer Raids
The Palmer Raids were attempts by the United States Department of Justice to arrest and deport radical leftists, especially anarchists, from the United States. The raids and arrests occurred in November 1919 and January 1920 under the leadership of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer...

 singled out the foreign-born members of the organization. By the mid-1920s membership was already declining due to government repression and it decreased again substantially during a contentious organizational schism in 1924 when the organization split between the "Westerners" and the "Easterners" over a number of issues, including the role of the General Administration (often oversimplified as a struggle between "centralists" and "decentralists") and attempts by the Communist Party to dominate the organization. By 1930 membership was down to around 10,000.

One result of the Palmer Raids was the confiscation of Joe Hill's ashes, among other items taken from IWW offices. These ashes were recovered under the Freedom of Information Act in the late 1980s.

1949-2000

The Wobblies continued to organize workers and were a major presence in the metal
Metal
A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

 shops of Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

 until the 1950s. After the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act
Taft-Hartley Act
The Labor–Management Relations Act is a United States federal law that monitors the activities and power of labor unions. The act, still effective, was sponsored by Senator Robert Taft and Representative Fred A. Hartley, Jr. and became law by overriding U.S. President Harry S...

 in 1950 by the US Government, which called for the removal of communist union leadership, the IWW experienced a loss of membership as differences of opinion occurred over how to respond to the challenge. In 1949, Tom C. Clark
Tom C. Clark
Thomas Campbell Clark was United States Attorney General from 1945 to 1949 and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States .- Early life and career :...

 placed the IWW on the Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations
Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations
The United States Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations was a list drawn up on April 3, 1947 at the request of the United States Attorney General. The list was intended to be a compilation of organizations seen as "subversive" by the United States government...

 in the category of "organizations seeking to change the government by unconstitutional means" under Executive Order 9835
Executive Order 9835
President Harry S. Truman signed United States Executive Order 9835, sometimes known as the "Loyalty Order", on March 21, 1947. The order established the first general loyalty program in the United States, designed to root out communist influence in the U.S. federal government...

, which offers no means of appeal, and which excludes all IWW members from Federal employment and even federally subsidized housing. The Cleveland IWW metal and machine workers wound up leaving the union, resulting in a major decline in membership once again.

The IWW membership fell to its lowest level in the 1950s, but the 1960s Civil Rights Movement
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

, anti-war protests, and various university student movements brought new life to the IWW, albeit with many fewer new members than the great organizing drives of the early part of the 20th Century.

From the 1960s to the 1980s, the IWW had various small organizing drives. Membership included a number of cooperatively owned and collectively run enterprises especially in the printing industry: Red & Black (Detroit), Lakeside (Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

), and Harbinger (Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia is the state capital and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 129,272 according to the 2010 census. Columbia is the county seat of Richland County, but a portion of the city extends into neighboring Lexington County. The city is the center of a metropolitan...

). The University Cellar, a non-profit campus bookstore formed by University of Michigan students, was for several years the largest organized IWW shop with about 100 workers. Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census places the population at 113,934, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan. The Ann Arbor Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 344,791 as of 2010...

 was also home to the Peoples Wherehouse which was believed to be the largest shop at the time (1980s).

In the 1960s, Rebel Worker was published in Chicago by the surrealists
Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

 Franklin
Franklin Rosemont
Franklin Rosemont was a poet, artist, historian, street speaker, and co-founder of the Chicago Surrealist Group...

 and Penelope Rosemont
Penelope Rosemont
Penelope Rosemont , attended Lake Forest College. She has been a painter, photographer, collagist and writer, and "graphic designer for [Arsenal/Surrealist Subversions] and other...

. One edition was published in London with Charles Radcliffe
Charles Radcliffe
Charles Radcliffe, is an English cultural critic, political activist and theorist known for his association with the Situationist movement.A member of the direct-action wing of the peace movement of the early 1960s, he became a regular contributor to the anarchist press in Britain and in 1966...

 who went on to become involved with the Situationist International. By the 1980s, the "Rebel Worker" was being published as an official organ again, from the IWW's headquarters in Chicago, and the New York area was publishing a newsletter as well; a record album of Wobbly music, "Rebel Voices", was also released.

In the 1990s, the IWW was involved in many labor struggles and free speech fights
Free speech fights
Free speech fights are conflicts over the right to speak freely, particularly involving the Industrial Workers of the World efforts in the early twentieth century to organize workers and publicly speak about labor issues...

, including Redwood Summer
Redwood Summer
Organized in 1990, Redwood Summer was a movement of environmental activism aimed at protecting old-growth Redwood trees from logging by northern California timber companies...

, and the picketing of the Neptune Jade in the port of Oakland in late 1997.

IWW organizing drives in recent years have included a major campaign to organize Borders Books in 1996, a strike at the Lincoln Park Mini Mall in Seattle that same year, organizing drives at Wherehouse Music, Keystone Job Corps, the community organization ACORN
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now was a collection of community-based organizations in the United States that advocated for low- and moderate-income families by working on neighborhood safety, voter registration, health care, affordable housing, and other social issues...

, various homeless and youth centers in Portland, Oregon, sex industry workers, and recycling shops in Berkeley, California
Berkeley, California
Berkeley is a city on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California, United States. Its neighbors to the south are the cities of Oakland and Emeryville. To the north is the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington...

. IWW members have been active in the building trades, marine transport, ship yards, high tech industries, hotels and restaurants, public interest organizations, schools and universities, recycling centers, railroads, bike messengers, and lumber yards.

The IWW has stepped in several times to help the rank and file in mainstream unions, including saw mill workers in Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg, California
Fort Bragg is a city located in coastal Mendocino County, California along State Route 1, the major north-south highway along the Pacific Coast. Fort Bragg is located west of Willits, at an elevation of 85 feet...

 in California in 1989, concession stand workers in the San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

 in the late 1990s, and most recently at shipyards along the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

.

2000-present

In the early 2000s the IWW organized Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics, a fabric shop in Berkeley. The shop has remained under contract with the IWW to this day.

In 2004, an IWW union was organized in a New York City Starbucks
Starbucks
Starbucks Corporation is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 17,009 stores in 55 countries, including over 11,000 in the United States, over 1,000 in Canada, over 700 in the United Kingdom, and...

. In 2006, the IWW continued efforts at Starbucks by organizing several Chicago area shops.

In September 2004, IWW-organized short haul truck drivers in Stockton
Stockton, California
Stockton, California, the seat of San Joaquin County, is the fourth-largest city in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California. With a population of 291,707 at the 2010 census, Stockton ranks as this state's 13th largest city...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 walked off their jobs and went on a strike. Nearly all demands were met. Despite early victories in Stockton, the truck driver union ceased to exist in mid-2005.
In Chicago the IWW began an effort to organize bicycle messenger
Bicycle messenger
Bicycle messengers are people who work for courier companies carrying and delivering items by bicycle. Bicycle messengers are most often found in the central business districts of metropolitan areas...

s with some success.

Between 2003 and 2006, the IWW organized unions at food co-operatives in Seattle, Washington and Pittsburgh, PA. The IWW represents administrative and maintenance workers under contract in Seattle, while the union in Pittsburgh lost 22-21 in an NLRB election, only to have the results invalidated in late 2006, based on management's behavior before the election.

The city of Berkeley's recycling is picked up, sorted, processed and sent out all through two different IWW organized enterprises.

In New York City, the IWW has been organizing immigrant foodstuffs workers since 2005. That summer, workers from Handyfat Trading joined the IWW, and were soon followed by workers from four more warehouses. Workers at these warehouses made gains such as receiving the minimum wage and being paid overtime.

In May 2007, the NYC warehouse workers came together with the Starbucks Workers Union
Starbucks Workers Union
The Starbucks Workers Union is a union formed by the Industrial Workers of the World to organize retail employees of Starbucks Coffee Company...

 to form The Food and Allied Workers Union IU 460/640. In the summer of 2007, the IWW organized workers at two new warehouses: Flaum Appetizing, a Kosher food distributor, and Wild Edibles, a seafood company. Over the course of 2007-08, workers at both shops were illegally terminated for their union activity. In 2008, the workers at Wild Edibles actively fought to get their jobs back and to secure overtime pay owed to them by the boss.

Besides IWW's traditional practice of organizing industrially, the Union has been open to new methods such as organizing geographically: for instance, seeking to organize retail workers in a certain business district, as in Philadelphia.

The union has also participated in such worker-related issues as protesting involvement in the war in Iraq, opposing sweatshops and supporting a boycott of Coca Cola
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is an American multinational beverage corporation and manufacturer, retailer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. The company is best known for its flagship product Coca-Cola, invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia...

 for that company's support of the suppression of workers rights in Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

.

In 2006 the IWW moved its headquarters to Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio. Cincinnati is the county seat of Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located to north of the Ohio River at the Ohio-Kentucky border, near Indiana. The population within city limits is 296,943 according to the 2010 census, making it Ohio's...

, and in 2010, headquarters was moved back to Chicago, Illinois.

Also in 2006, the IWW Bay Area Branch organized the Landmark Shattuck Cinemas. The Union has been negotiating for a contract and hopes to gain one through workplace democracy and organizing directly and taking action when necessary.

On July 5, 2008, the Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. The city is located on the Grand River about 40 miles east of Lake Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 188,040. In 2010, the Grand Rapids metropolitan area had a population of 774,160 and a combined statistical area, Grand...

, Starbucks Workers Union
Starbucks Workers Union
The Starbucks Workers Union is a union formed by the Industrial Workers of the World to organize retail employees of Starbucks Coffee Company...

 and CNT-FAI
Confederación Nacional del Trabajo
The Confederación Nacional del Trabajo is a Spanish confederation of anarcho-syndicalist labor unions affiliated with the International Workers Association . When working with the latter group it is also known as CNT-AIT...

 in Seville, Spain, organized a global day of action against alleged Starbucks unionbusting, in particular the firing of two union members in Grand Rapids and Seville. According to the Grand Rapids Starbucks Workers Union website, pickets were held in several dozen cities in more than a dozen countries.

As of 2005, the 100th anniversary of its founding, the IWW had around 5,000 members, compared to 13 million members in the AFL/CIO. Other IWW branches are located in Australia, Canada, Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 and the United Kingdom.

In Australia

Australia encountered the IWW tradition early. In part this was due to the local De Leonist SLP following the industrial turn of the US SLP. The SLP formed an IWW Club in Sydney in October 1907. Members of other socialist groups also joined it, and the special relationship with the SLP soon proved to be a problem. The 1908 split between the Chicago and Detroit factions in the United States was echoed by internal unrest in the Australian IWW from late 1908, resulting in the formation of a pro-Chicago local in Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

 in May 1911 and another in Sydney six months later. By mid 1913 the "Chicago" IWW was flourishing and the SLP-associated pro-Detroit IWW Club in decline. In 1916 the "Detroit" IWW in Australia followed the lead of the US body and renamed itself the Workers' International Industrial Union.

The early Australian IWW used a number of tactics from the US, including free speech fights. However, there early appeared significant differences of practice between the Australian IWW and its US parent; the Australian IWW tended to co-operate where possible with existing unions rather than forming its own, and in contrast with the US body took an extremely open and forthright stand against involvement in World War One. The IWW cooperated with many other unions, encouraging industrial unionism and militancy. In particular, the IWW's strategies had a large effect on the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union. The AMIEU established closed shops and workers councils and effectively regulated management behaviour towards the end of the 1910s.

The IWW was well known for opposing the First World War from 1914 onwards, and in many ways was at the front of the anti-conscription fight. A narrow majority of Australians voted against conscription in a very bitter hard-fought referendum in October 1916, and then again in December 1917, Australia being the only belligerent in World War One without conscription. In very significant part this was due to the agitation of the IWW, a group which probably never had as many as 500 members in Australia at its peak. The IWW founded the Anti-Conscription League (ACL) in which IWW members worked with the broader labour and peace movement, and also carried on an aggressive propaganda campaign in its own name; leading to the imprisonment of Tom Barker (1887–1970) the editor of the IWW paper Direct Action, sentenced to twelve months in March 1916. A series of arson attacks on commercial properties in Sydney was widely attributed to the IWW campaign to have Tom Barker released. He was indeed released in August 1916, but twelve mostly prominent IWW activists, the so-called Sydney Twelve
Sydney Twelve
The Sydney Twelve were members of the Industrial Workers of the World arrested on 23 September 1916 in Sydney, Australia, and charged with treason under the Treason Felony Act , arson, sedition and forgery....

 were arrested in NSW in September 1916 for arson and other offences. (Their trial and eventual imprisonment would become a cause celebre of the Australian labour movement on the basis that there was no convincing evidence that any of them had been involved in the arson attacks.) A number of other scandals were associated with the IWW, a five pound note forgery scandal, the so-called Tottenham tragedy
Sydney Twelve
The Sydney Twelve were members of the Industrial Workers of the World arrested on 23 September 1916 in Sydney, Australia, and charged with treason under the Treason Felony Act , arson, sedition and forgery....

 in which the murder of a police officer was blamed on the IWW, and above all the IWW was blamed for the defeat of the October 1916 conscription referendum. In December 1916 the Commonwealth government led by Labour Party renegade Billy Hughes
Billy Hughes
William Morris "Billy" Hughes, CH, KC, MHR , Australian politician, was the seventh Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923....

 declared the IWW an illegal organization under the Unlawful Associations Act
Crimes Act 1914
The Crimes Act 1914 is a piece of Federal legislation in Australia. Pursuant to the Australian Constitution it prevails in any conflict with State laws dealing with the subject of crime....

. Eighty six IWW members immediately defied the law and were sentenced to six months imprisonment, this was certainly a high percentage of the Australian IWW's active membership but it is not known how high. Direct Action was suppressed, its circulation was at its peak of something over 12,000. During the war over 100 IWW members Australia-wide were sentenced to imprisonment on political charges, including the veteran activist and icon of the labour, socialist and anarchist movements Monty Miller.

The IWW continued illegally operating with the aim of freeing its class war prisoners and briefly fused with two other radical tendencies–from the old Socialist parties and Trades Halls– to form a larval communist party at the suggestion of the militant revolutionist and Council Communist Adela Pankhurst
Adela Pankhurst
Adela Constantia Mary Pankhurst Walsh was a British-Australian suffragette, political organizer, and co-founder of both the Communist Party of Australia and the Australia First Movement....

. The IWW however left the CPA
Communist Party of Australia
The Communist Party of Australia was founded in 1920 and dissolved in 1991; it was succeeded by the Socialist Party of Australia, which then renamed itself, becoming the current Communist Party of Australia. The CPA achieved its greatest political strength in the 1940s and faced an attempted...

 shortly after its formation.

By the 1930s the IWW in Australia had declined significantly, and took part in unemployed workers movements which were led largely by the CPA. The poet Harry Hooton
Harry Hooton
Henry Arthur Hooton of Sydney was an Australian poet and social commentator whose writing spanned the years 1930s-1961. He was described by a biographer as ahead of his time, or rather "of his time while the majority of progressive artists and thinkers in Australia lagged far behind"...

 became involved with it around this time. In 1939 the Australian IWW had four members, according to surveillance by government authorities, and these members were consistently opposed to the second world war. (See files in National Archives of Australia) After the Second World War the IWW would become one of the influences on the Sydney Libertarians
Sydney Push
The Sydney Push was a predominantly left-wing intellectual sub-culture in Sydney from the late 1940s to the early '70s. Well known associates of the Push include Jim Baker, John Flaus, Harry Hooton, Margaret Fink, Sasha Soldatow, Lex Banning, Eva Cox, Richard Appleton, Paddy McGuinness, David...

 who were in turn a significant cultural and political influence

Today the IWW still exists in Australia, in larger numbers than the 1940s, but due to the nature of the Australian industrial relations system, it is unlikely to win union representation in any workplaces in the immediate future. More significant is its continuing place in the mythology of the militant end of the Australian labour movement. As an extreme example of the integration of ex-IWW militants into the mainstream labour movement one might instance the career of Donald Grant
Donald Grant
Donald Grant was a leader of the Industrial Workers of the World in Sydney, Australia, a member of the Sydney Twelve charged with conspiracy in 1916, and later a member of the Australian Labor Party who was elected to Sydney City Council, appointed to the New South Wales Legislative Council, and...

, one of the Sydney Twelve
Sydney Twelve
The Sydney Twelve were members of the Industrial Workers of the World arrested on 23 September 1916 in Sydney, Australia, and charged with treason under the Treason Felony Act , arson, sedition and forgery....

 sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit arson and other crimes. Released unbowed from prison in August 1920 he would soon break with the IWW over its anti-political stand, standing for the NSW Parliament for the Industrial Socialist Labour Party unsuccessfully in 1922 and then in 1925 for the mainstream Australian Labor Party
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 (ALP) also unsuccessfully. But this reconciliation with the ALP and the electoral system did not prevent him being imprisoned again in 1927 for street demonstrations supporting Sacco and Vanzetti
Sacco and Vanzetti
Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were anarchists who were convicted of murdering two men during a 1920 armed robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts, United States...

. He would eventually represent the ALP in the NSW Legislative Council in 1931-1940 and the Australian Senate 1943-1956 No other member of the Australian IWW actually entered Parliament but Grants career is emblematic in the sense that the ex-IWW militants by and large remained in the broader labour movement, bringing some greater or lesser part of their heritage with them.

"Bump Me Into Parliament" is the most notable Australian IWW song, and is still current. It was written by ship's fireman William "Bill" Casey, later Secretary of the Seaman's Union in Queensland.

In the UK

Although much smaller than their North American counterparts, the BIROC (British Isles Regional Organising Committee) reported in 2006 that there were nearly 200 members in the UK and Ireland out of a total membership of around 5,000.

The British Advocates of Industrial Unionism, founded in 1906, supported the IWW. This group split in 1908, with the majority supporting DeLeon and a minority around E. J. B. Allen founding the Industrialist Union and developing links with the Chicago-based IWW. Allen's group soon disappeared, but the first IWW group in Britain was founded by members of the Industrial Syndicalist Education League
Industrial Syndicalist Education League
The Industrial Syndicalist Education League was a British syndicalist organisation which existed from 1910 to 1913.In May 1910 Guy Bowman and Tom Mann, two dissident members of the Social Democratic Federation travelled to France visiting members of the syndicalist General Confederation of...

 around Guy Bowman in 1913.

The IWW was present to varying extents in many of the struggles in the early decades of the twentieth century, including the UK General Strike of 1926
UK General Strike of 1926
The 1926 general strike in the United Kingdom was a general strike that lasted nine days, from 4 May 1926 to 13 May 1926. It was called by the general council of the Trades Union Congress in an unsuccessful attempt to force the British government to act to prevent wage reduction and worsening...

 and the dockers' strike of 1947. During the decade after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 the IWW had two active branches, in London and Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

. These soon died off, before a modest resurgence in North-West England during the 1970s. More recently, IWW members were involved in the Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 dockers' strike that took place between 1995 and 1998, and numerous other events and struggles throughout the 1990s and 2000s, including the successful unionising of several workplaces, such as support workers for the Scottish Socialist Party
Scottish Socialist Party
The Scottish Socialist Party is a left-wing Scottish political party. Positioning itself significantly to the left of Scotland's centre-left parties, the SSP campaigns on a socialist economic platform and for Scottish independence....

. Between 2001 and 2003, there was a marked increase in UK membership, with the creation of the Hull GMB. During this time the Hull branch had 27 members of good standing, being at that time the largest branch outside of the US. In 2005, the IWW's centenary year, a stone was laid in a forest in Wales commemorating the centenary, and the death of US IWW and Earth First!
Earth First!
Earth First! is a radical environmental advocacy group that emerged in the Southwestern United States in 1979. It was co-founded on April 4th, 1980 by Dave Foreman, Mike Roselle, Howie Wolke, and less directly, Bart Koehler and Ron Kezar....

 activist Judi Bari
Judi Bari
Judi Bari was an American environmentalist and labor leader, a feminist, and the principal organizer of Earth First! campaigns against logging in the ancient redwood forests of Northern California in the 1980s and '90...

. 2006 saw the IWW formally registered by the UK government as a recognised trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

.

The IWW has launched a website and has branches in a number of major cities and several organizing groups around the UK alongside two growing industrial networks for health and education workers. The largest branches are found in Glasgow, Leicester
Leicester
Leicester is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest...

, London and the West Midlands conurbation
West Midlands conurbation
The West Midlands conurbation is the name given to the large conurbation that includes the cities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton and the large towns of Dudley, Walsall, West Bromwich, Solihull, Stourbridge, Halesowen in the English West Midlands....

 (largely Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

). The IWW publishes a magazine aimed at the British and Irish members, Bread and Roses
Bread and Roses
The slogan "Bread and Roses" originated in a poem of that name by James Oppenheim, published in The American Magazine in December 1911, which attributed it to "the women in the West." It is commonly associated with a textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts during January-March 1912, now often...

, a national industrial newsletter for health workers and a specific bulletin for workers in the National Blood Service
National Blood Service
The National Blood Service is the organisation for England and North Wales which collects blood and other tissues, tests, processes, and supplies all the hospitals in England and North Wales...

. In 2007 it launched a campaign alongside the anti-capitalist group No Sweat which attempts to replicate some of the successes of the US IWW's organising drives amongst Starbucks
Starbucks
Starbucks Corporation is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 17,009 stores in 55 countries, including over 11,000 in the United States, over 1,000 in Canada, over 700 in the United Kingdom, and...

 workers. In the same year its healthworkers' network launched a national campaign against cuts in the National Blood Service, which is ongoing.

In 2007, IWW branches in Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 and Dumfries
Dumfries
Dumfries is a market town and former royal burgh within the Dumfries and Galloway council area of Scotland. It is near the mouth of the River Nith into the Solway Firth. Dumfries was the county town of the former county of Dumfriesshire. Dumfries is nicknamed Queen of the South...

 were a key driving force in a successful campaign to prevent the closure of one of Glasgow University's campuses, (The Crichton) in Dumfries, Dumfriesshire. The campaign united IWW members, other unions, students and the local community to build a powerful coalition. Its success, coupled with the ongoing Blood Service campaign, has raised the IWW's profile significantly since early 2007.

In 2011, the IWW representing cleaners at the Guildhall won backpay and the right to collective negotiation with their employers, Ocean. Also in 2011, branches of the IWW were set up in Lincoln, Manchester & Sheffield (notably workers employed by Pizza Hut) .

In Canada

The IWW was active in Canada from a very early point in the organization's history, especially in Western Canada, primarily in British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

. The union was active in organizing large swaths of the lumber and mining industry along the coast, in the Interior of BC, and Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island is a large island in British Columbia, Canada. It is one of several North American locations named after George Vancouver, the British Royal Navy officer who explored the Pacific Northwest coast of North America between 1791 and 1794...

. Joe Hill wrote the song "Where the Fraser River Flows" during this period when the IWW was organizing in British Columbia. Some members of the IWW had relatively close links with the Socialist Party of Canada.

Arthur "Slim" Evans, organizer in the Relief Camp Workers' Union
Relief Camp Workers' Union
The Relief Camp Workers' Union was the union into which the inmates of the Canadian government relief camps were organized in the early 1930s. It was affiliated with the Workers' Unity League, the trade union umbrella of the Communist Party of Canada...

 and the On-to-Ottawa Trek
On-to-Ottawa Trek
The On-to-Ottawa Trek was a long journey where thousands of people had unemployed men protesting the dismal conditions in federal relief camps scattered in remote areas across Western Canada. The men lived and worked in these camps at a rate of twenty cents per day before walking out on strike in...

 was once wobbly, although during the On-to-Ottawa Trek
On-to-Ottawa Trek
The On-to-Ottawa Trek was a long journey where thousands of people had unemployed men protesting the dismal conditions in federal relief camps scattered in remote areas across Western Canada. The men lived and worked in these camps at a rate of twenty cents per day before walking out on strike in...

 he was with the One Big Union
One Big Union (Canada)
The One Big Union was a Canadian syndicalist trade union active primarily in the Western part of the country. It was formally founded in Calgary on June 4, 1919 but lost most members by 1922. It finally merged into the Canadian Labour Congress in 1956.-Background:Towards the end of World War I, a...

, which had direct ties with the Communist Party of Canada
Communist Party of Canada
The Communist Party of Canada is a communist political party in Canada. Although is it currently a minor or small political party without representation in the Federal Parliament or in provincial legislatures, historically the Party has elected representatives in Federal Parliament, Ontario...

. He was also a friend of another well known Canadian Wobbly, Ginger Goodwin, who was shot in Cumberland, British Columbia
Cumberland, British Columbia
Cumberland is a town in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.-History:The village was originally named Union, British Columbia after the Union Coal Company, which was in turn named in honour of the 1871 union of British Columbia with Canada. The town was renamed after...

 by a Dominion Police
Dominion Police
In 1868 the Dominion Police began as a police force protecting the Parliament Buildings on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and by 1911 it served as Canada's eastern police force .In May 1918, the 969...

 constable when he was resisting the First World War. The impact of Ginger Goodwin goes past the IWW and influences various left and progressive groups in Canada, including a progressive group of MPs in the House of Commons
Canadian House of Commons
The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign and the Senate. The House of Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 308 members known as Members of Parliament...

 called the Ginger Group
Ginger group
A ginger group is a formal or informal group within, for example, a political party seeking to inspire the rest with its own enthusiasm and activity....

.

Today the IWW remains active in the country with numerous branches active in Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto and Montréal. The largest branch is currently in Edmonton.

Among current and more notable IWW shops in Canada is the Ottawa Panhandlers' Union
Ottawa Panhandlers' Union
The Ottawa Panhandlers' Union is a union for panhandlers formed in Ottawa, Canada in early 2003. It is a shop of the Industrial Workers of the World , Ottawa-Outaouis General Members Branch...

, which continues a tradition in the IWW of organizing disenfranchised workers on relief or in work camps started during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

. In the spirit of organizing industrially, any who make their living in the street, such as buskers, street vendors, or panhandlers are welcome to join the Ottawa Panhandlers' Union.

In Germany, Switzerland, Austria

A Regional Organizing Committee has recently been formed for the German speaking countries of Europe. They maintain a website with many translated IWW documents and 16 city contacts in Germany, Switzerland and Austria as of May '09.

Folk music and protest songs

One Wobbly characteristic since their inception has been a penchant for song. To counteract management sending in the Salvation Army
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries....

 band to cover up the Wobbly speakers, Joe Hill
Joe Hill
Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle , and also known as Joseph Hillström was a Swedish-American labor activist, songwriter, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World...

 wrote parodies of Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s so that union members could sing along with the Salvation Army band, but with their own purposes (for example, "In the Sweet By and By
In the Sweet By and By
"The Sweet By-and-By" is a Christian hymn with lyrics by S. Fillmore Bennett and music by Joseph P. Webster. It is recognizable by its chorus:Mr. Webster, like many musicians, was of an exceedingly nervous and sensitive nature, and subject to periods of depression, in which he looked upon the dark...

" became "There'll Be Pie in the Sky When You Die (That's a Lie)"). From that start in exigency, Wobbly song writing became common because they "articulated the frustrations, hostilities, and humor of the homeless and the dispossessed.". The IWW collected its official songs in the Little Red Songbook
Little Red Songbook
thumb|180px|right|The Little Red SongbookSince the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World, also known as the IWW, songs have played a big part in spreading the message of the One Big Union...

 and continues to update this book to the present time. In the 1960s, the American folk music revival
American folk music revival
The American folk music revival was a phenomenon in the United States that began during the 1940s and peaked in popularity in the mid-1960s. Its roots went earlier, and performers like Josh White, Burl Ives, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Richard Dyer-Bennett, Oscar Brand, Jean Ritchie, John Jacob...

 in the United States brought a renewed interest in the songs of Joe Hill and other Wobblies, and seminal folk revival figures such as Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger
Peter "Pete" Seeger is an American folk singer and was an iconic figure in the mid-twentieth century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead...

 and Woody Guthrie
Woody Guthrie
Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie is best known as an American singer-songwriter and folk musician, whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his...

 had a pro-Wobbly tone, while some were members of the IWW. Among the protest song
Protest song
A protest song is a song which is associated with a movement for social change and hence part of the broader category of topical songs . It may be folk, classical, or commercial in genre...

s in the book are "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum
Hallelujah, I'm a Bum
"Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" is an American folk song that responds with humorous sarcasm to unhelpful moralizing about the circumstance of being a hobo....

" (This song was never popular among members, and removed after appearing in only the first edition), "Union Maid
Union Maid
"Union Maid" is a union song written by Woody Guthrie in response to a request for a union song from a female point of view. Along with "Talking Union", this song was one of the many pro-union songs written by Guthrie during his time as a member of the Almanac Singers...

", and "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill
Joe Hill
Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle , and also known as Joseph Hillström was a Swedish-American labor activist, songwriter, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World...

 Last Night". Perhaps the best known IWW song is "Solidarity Forever
Solidarity Forever
"Solidarity Forever", written by Ralph Chaplin in 1915, is perhaps the most famous union anthem. It is sung to the tune of "John Brown's Body" and is inspired by "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Although it was written as a song for the Industrial Workers of the World , other union movements,...

". The songs have been performed by dozens of artists, and Utah Phillips
Utah Phillips
Bruce Duncan "Utah" Phillips was a labor organizer, folk singer, storyteller, poet and the "Golden Voice of the Great Southwest". He described the struggles of labor unions and the power of direct action, self-identifying as an anarchist...

 performed the songs in concert and on recordings for decades. Other prominent I.W.W. song writers include Ralph Chaplin
Ralph Chaplin
Ralph Hosea Chaplin was an American writer, artist and labor activist. At the age of seven, he saw a worker shot dead during the Pullman strike in Chicago, Illinois. He had moved with his family from Ames, Kansas to Chicago in 1893...

 who authored "Solidarity Forever", and Leslie Fish
Leslie Fish
Leslie Fish is a filk musician, author, and anarchist political activist.-Music:Along with The DeHorn Crew, in 1976 she created the first commercial filk recording, Folk Songs for Folk Who Ain't Even Been Yet...

.

The Finnish I.W.W. community produced several folk singers, poets and song writers, the most famous being Matti Valentine Huhta (better known as T-Bone Slim
T-Bone Slim
Matti Valentinpoika Huhta , better known by his pen name T-Bone Slim, was a humourist, poet, songwriter, hobo and labor activist in the Industrial Workers of the World....

), who penned "The Popular Wobbly" and "The Mysteries of a Hobo's Life". Slim's poem, "The Lumberjack's Prayer" was recorded by Studs Terkel on labor singer Bucky Halker's CD, "Don't Want Your Millions" (Revolting Records, 2000). Hiski Salomaa
Hiski Salomaa
Hiski Salomaa, born Hiskias Möttö was a Finnish American folk singer and song writer. Born in Kangasniemi, Finland, Salomaa moved to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan, in 1908 after the death of his mother. There, he made his living as a tailor...

, whose songs were composed entirely in Finnish (and Finglish
Finglish
The term Finglish was introduced by professor Martti Nisonen in 1920s in Hancock, Michigan to describe a linguistic phenomenon he encountered in America. As the term describes, Finglish is a mixture of English and Finnish. In Finglish the English lexical items are nativized and inserted into the...

), remains a widely recognized early folk musician in his native Finland as well as in sections of the Midwest United States, Northern Ontario, and other areas of North America with high concentrations of Finns. Salomaa, who was a tailor by trade, has been referred to as the Finnish Woody Guthrie
Woody Guthrie
Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie is best known as an American singer-songwriter and folk musician, whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his...

. Arthur Kylander
Arthur Kylander
Arthur Arkadius Kylander was a Finnish American folk musician, singer, song-writer, mandolinist and member of the Industrial Workers of the World.-Background:...

, who worked as a lumberjack, is a lesser known, but important Finnish I.W.W. folk musician. Kylander's lyrics range from the difficulties of the immigrant labourer's experience to more humorous themes. Arguably, the wanderer, a recurring theme in Finnish folklore dating back to pre-Christian oral tradition (as with Lemminkäinen
Lemminkäinen
Lemminkäinen or Lemminki is a prominent figure in Finnish mythology. He is one of the Heroes of the Kalevala, where his character is a composition of several separate heroes of oral poetry. He is usually depicted as young and good looking, with wavy blonde hair.The original, mythological...

 in the Kalevala
Kalevala
The Kalevala is a 19th century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology.It is regarded as the national epic of Finland and is one of the most significant works of Finnish literature...

), translated quite easily to the music of Huhta, Salomaa, and Kylander; all of whom have songs about the trials and tribulations of the hobo.

Lingo

The origin of the name "Wobbly" is uncertain. Many believe it refers to a tool known as a "wobble saw" . One often repeated anecdote suggests that a Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

 restaurant
Restaurant
A restaurant is an establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services...

 owner in Vancouver would extend credit to IWW members and, unable to pronounce the "W", would ask if they were a member of the "I Wobble Wobble," although other possible explanations for the name have been suggested.

Notable members

Notable members of the Industrial Workers of the World have included Lucy Parsons
Lucy Parsons
Lucy Eldine Gonzalez Parsons was an American labor organizer and radical socialist. She is remembered as a powerful orator.-Life:...

; Helen Keller
Helen Keller
Helen Adams Keller was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree....

; Joe Hill
Joe Hill
Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle , and also known as Joseph Hillström was a Swedish-American labor activist, songwriter, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World...

; Ralph Chaplin
Ralph Chaplin
Ralph Hosea Chaplin was an American writer, artist and labor activist. At the age of seven, he saw a worker shot dead during the Pullman strike in Chicago, Illinois. He had moved with his family from Ames, Kansas to Chicago in 1893...

; Tom Morello
Tom Morello
Thomas Baptiste "Tom" Morello is a Grammy Award-winning American guitarist best known for his tenure with the bands Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, his acoustic solo act The Nightwatchman, and his newest group, Street Sweeper Social Club...

; Ricardo Flores Magon
Ricardo Flores Magón
Cipriano Ricardo Flores Magón was a noted Mexican anarchist and social reform activist. His brothers Enrique and Jesús were also active in politics. Followers of the Magón brothers were known as Magonistas....

; James P. Cannon
James P. Cannon
James Patrick "Jim" Cannon was an American Trotskyist and a leader of the Socialist Workers Party.Born on February 11, 1890 in Rosedale, Kansas, he joined the Socialist Party of America in 1908 and the Industrial Workers of the World in 1911...

; James Connolly
James Connolly
James Connolly was an Irish republican and socialist leader. He was born in the Cowgate area of Edinburgh, Scotland, to Irish immigrant parents and spoke with a Scottish accent throughout his life. He left school for working life at the age of 11, but became one of the leading Marxist theorists of...

; Jim Larkin; Paul Mattick
Paul Mattick
Paul Mattick Sr. was a Marxist political writer and social revolutionary, whose thought can be placed within the council communist and left communist traditions...

; Big Bill Haywood; Eugene Debs; David Dellinger
David Dellinger
David T. Dellinger , was an influential American radical, a pacifist and activist for nonviolent social change.-Chicago Seven:...

; Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was a labor leader, activist, and feminist who played a leading role in the Industrial Workers of the World . Flynn was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union and a visible proponent of women's rights, birth control, and women's suffrage...

; Sam Dolgoff
Sam Dolgoff
Sam Dolgoff was an American anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist.Dolgoff was born in the shtetl of Ostrovno in Vitebsk, Russia, moving as a child to New York City in 1905 or 1906, where he lived in the Bronx and in Manhattan's Lower East Side where he died...

, Monty Miller; Indian Nationalist
Indian nationalism
Indian nationalism refers to the many underlying forces that molded the Indian independence movement, and strongly continue to influence the politics of India, as well as being the heart of many contrasting ideologies that have caused ethnic and religious conflict in Indian society...

 Lala Hardayal; Frank Little; ACLU founder Roger Nash Baldwin
Roger Nash Baldwin
Roger Nash Baldwin was one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union . He served as executive director of the ACLU until 1950....

; Harry Bridges
Harry Bridges
Harry Bridges was an Australian-American union leader, in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union , a longshore and warehouse workers' union on the West Coast, Hawaii and Alaska which he helped form and led for over 40 years...

; Buddhist beat poet Gary Snyder
Gary Snyder
Gary Snyder is an American poet , as well as an essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist . Snyder is a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry...

; Australian poets Harry Hooton
Harry Hooton
Henry Arthur Hooton of Sydney was an Australian poet and social commentator whose writing spanned the years 1930s-1961. He was described by a biographer as ahead of his time, or rather "of his time while the majority of progressive artists and thinkers in Australia lagged far behind"...

 and Lesbia Harford
Lesbia Harford
Lesbia Harford was an Australian poet.Lesbia Venner Harford, daughter of E. J. and Helen Keogh, was born at Brighton, Victoria, on 9 April 1891. She was educated at the Sacré Coeur school at Malvern, Victoria, Mary's Mount school at Ballarat, Victoria, and at the University of Melbourne, where she...

; anthropologist David Graeber
David Graeber
David Rolfe Graeber is an American anthropologist and anarchist who currently holds the position of Reader in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London. He was an associate professor of anthropology at Yale University, although Yale controversially declined to rehire him, and his...

; graphic artist Carlos Cortez
Carlos Cortez
Carlos Cortez was a poet, graphic artist, photographer, muralist and political activist, active for six decades in the Industrial Workers of the World....

; counterculture icon Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth was an American poet, translator and critical essayist. He is regarded as a central figure in the San Francisco Renaissance, and paved the groundwork for the movement...

; Surrealist Franklin Rosemont
Franklin Rosemont
Franklin Rosemont was a poet, artist, historian, street speaker, and co-founder of the Chicago Surrealist Group...

; Rosie Kane
Rosie Kane
Rosemary "Rosie" Kane is a Scottish Socialist Party politician, and former Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Glasgow Region....

 and Carolyn Leckie
Carolyn Leckie
Carolyn Leckie is a Scottish Socialist Party politician, a former co-chair of the party, and former member of the Scottish Parliament....

, former Members of the Scottish Parliament; Judi Bari
Judi Bari
Judi Bari was an American environmentalist and labor leader, a feminist, and the principal organizer of Earth First! campaigns against logging in the ancient redwood forests of Northern California in the 1980s and '90...

; folk musicians Utah Phillips
Utah Phillips
Bruce Duncan "Utah" Phillips was a labor organizer, folk singer, storyteller, poet and the "Golden Voice of the Great Southwest". He described the struggles of labor unions and the power of direct action, self-identifying as an anarchist...

, Harry McClintock
Harry McClintock
Harry Kirby McClintock , also known as "Haywire Mac," was an American singer and poet. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, "the son of a railroad cabinetmaker and nephew of four boomer trainmen. His drifting began when he ran away from home as a boy to join a circus...

, Anne Feeney
Anne Feeney
Anne Feeney is a political activist, folk musician and singer-songwriter.- Life and career :Anne Feeney was born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania to Annabelle Runner and Edward J. Feeney. She has a sister, Kathleen, born May 3, 1953. The family moved to the nearby Brookline neighborhood of the city of...

, and David Rovics
David Rovics
David Rovics is an American indie singer/songwriter. His music concerns topical subjects such as the 2003 Iraq war, anti-globalization and social justice issues. Rovics has been an outspoken critic of former President George W...

; crime writer Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson (writer)
James Myers Thompson was an American author and screenwriter, known for his pulp crime fiction....

, mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts
Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, judo and other styles. The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be...

 fighter Jeff Monson
Jeff Monson
Jeffrey William Monson is an American mixed martial artist from Olympia, Washington. He is a 2 time winner of the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, and a No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion. He currently holds the Heavyweight titles in the International Sport Karate Association...

; Finnish folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 legend Hiski Salomaa
Hiski Salomaa
Hiski Salomaa, born Hiskias Möttö was a Finnish American folk singer and song writer. Born in Kangasniemi, Finland, Salomaa moved to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan, in 1908 after the death of his mother. There, he made his living as a tailor...

; Catholic Worker
Catholic Worker Movement
The Catholic Worker Movement is a collection of autonomous communities of Catholics and their associates founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in 1933. Its aim is to "live in accordance with the justice and charity of Jesus Christ." One of its guiding principles is hospitality towards those on...

s Dorothy Day
Dorothy Day
Dorothy Day was an American journalist, social activist and devout Catholic convert; she advocated the Catholic economic theory of Distributism. She was also considered to be an anarchist, and did not hesitate to use the term...

 and Ammon Hennacy
Ammon Hennacy
Ammon Ashford Hennacy was an Irish American pacifist, Christian anarchist, social activist, member of the Catholic Worker Movement and a Wobbly...

. The former lieutenant governor of Colorado, David C. Coates
David C. Coates
David Courtney Coates was a Pueblo, Colorado businessman, a radical, the 11th Lieutenant Governor of Colorado, secretary of Colorado's State Federation of Labor, and a friend to Big Bill Haywood.Coates was born in Brandon, England....

 was a labor militant, and was present at the founding convention, although it is unknown if he became a member. It has long been rumored, but not yet proven, that baseball legend Honus Wagner
Honus Wagner
-Louisville Colonels:Recognizing his talent, Barrow recommended Wagner to the Louisville Colonels. After some hesitation about his awkward figure, Wagner was signed by the Colonels, where he hit .338 in 61 games....

 was also a Wobbly. Senator Joe McCarthy accused Edward R. Murrow
Edward R. Murrow
Edward Roscoe Murrow, KBE was an American broadcast journalist. He first came to prominence with a series of radio news broadcasts during World War II, which were followed by millions of listeners in the United States and Canada.Fellow journalists Eric Sevareid, Ed Bliss, and Alexander Kendrick...

 of having been an IWW member. Two of the organization's most famous current members are Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

 and Tom Morello
Tom Morello
Thomas Baptiste "Tom" Morello is a Grammy Award-winning American guitarist best known for his tenure with the bands Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, his acoustic solo act The Nightwatchman, and his newest group, Street Sweeper Social Club...

.

See also

  • Industrial democracy
    Industrial democracy
    Industrial democracy is an arrangement which involves workers making decisions, sharing responsibility and authority in the workplace. While in participative management organizational designs workers are listened to and take part in the decision-making process, in organizations employing industrial...

  • Industrial Workers of the World organizational evolution
    Industrial Workers of the World organizational evolution
    The Industrial Workers of the World is a union of wage workers which was formed in Chicago in 1905. The IWW experienced a number of divisions and splits during its early history....

  • Industrial Workers of the World philosophy and tactics
  • Labor federation competition in the U.S.
    Labor federation competition in the U.S.
    A labor federation is a group of unions or labor organizations that are in some sense coordinated. The terminology used to identify such organizations grows out of usage, and has sometimes been imprecise. For example, nationals are sometimes named internationals, federations are named unions,...

  • List of IWW union shops
  • One Big Union (concept)
  • Solidarity unionism
    Solidarity unionism
    Solidarity unionism is a model of labour organizing in which the workers themselves formulate strategy and take action against the company directly without mediation from government or paid union representatives. It is a key pillar of anarcho-syndicalism...

  • Syndicalism
    Syndicalism
    Syndicalism is a type of economic system proposed as a replacement for capitalism and an alternative to state socialism, which uses federations of collectivised trade unions or industrial unions...

  • Wobbly lingo
    Wobbly lingo
    Wobbly lingo is a collection of technical language, jargon, and historic slang used by the Industrial Workers of the World, known as the Wobblies, for more than a century.-Origin and usage:...


Archives




Documentary films

  • The Wobblies. Directed by Stewart Bird, Deborah Shaffer, 1979. DVD 2006 NTSC English 90 minutes. (Includes interviews with 19 elderly Wobblies)
  • An Injury to One. A Film by Travis Wilkerson, 2003 First Run Icarus Films. English 53 minutes. Chronicles the 1917 unsolved murder of Wobbly organizer Frank Little in Butte, Montana, during a strike by 16,000 miners against the Anaconda Copper Company. The film connects "corporate domination to government repression, local repression to national repression, labor history to environmental history, popular culture to the history of class struggle," according to one review.


Notes

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK