Of Sweatshops & Starbucks

A series of four articles by marxvx, critical of the IWW and 'dual unionism' in general. We do not neccesarily agree with this series, but reproduce for discussion's sake.

Of Sweatshops & Starbucks: Is the IWW a Union?

This is the first in a four-part series analyzing the Industrial Workers of the World as the failure of dual unionism in the American revolutionary left. This installment focuses on the ultra-political orientation of the IWW.

Is the IWW a Union?

This is the first in a five-part series analyzing the Industrial Workers of the World as the failure of dual unionism in the American revolutionary left. This installment focuses on the ultra-political orientation of the IWW.

The size of the IWW has ballooned over the past decade, and has gained a renewed relevance within the revolutionary left (which itself has been resurfacing within organized politics). After several decades of functional non-existence, the membership surge of the 21st century has forced the IWW to reassess its identity, as well as its relationship with organized labor and the revolutionary left.

The identity of the IWW has been a tumultuous subject since its foundation, and today is no exception. There is an intense amount of heterogeneity between branches and individuals affiliated with the IWW: some branches organize workers, others are political/historical discussion groups, and others are activist hubs assembled by students and activists to raise their positions on political issues from Palestine to environmentalism under the name of the IWW.

“No Politics in This Union”

One of the foundational tenets of the IWW’s mythology is that it is an entirely “nonpolitical”1 organization. Official policy states only that the IWW will refrain from forming alliances with political parties or “anti-political sects.”2 This is interpreted with varying strictness between individuals, and is often interpreted as meaning the organization cannot name itself politically.

Ironically, for an organization which claims to abstain from politics in favor of organizing workers, it does much more of the former than it does the latter. If those who codified the IWW’s abstention from politics did so with the intention that keeping politics out of the IWW would keep the union focused on organizing unions, and would prevent workers expressing aversion to the union due to political points,3 surely this has since been lost. Today, with its base in many university campuses, many branches spend more time engaging in non-labor activities than they do actually organizing workers. Whether or not it explicitly claims itself as a manifestation of any political school of thought, the organization is, in practice, usually a political organization.

This is a result of many members holding a belief that the IWW is “so much more” than “just a union.” It must immerse itself in every social and political battle happening in society – the organization must participate not just in labor struggles between workers and their employers, but also in the ecology movement, the movement against mass incarceration, against Israel, and so forth. Labor unions are undoubtedly manifestations of a political program of some sort – whether “pure-and-simple” or revolutionary. My point is hardly that anarcho-syndicalist has no connection with the world outside the workplace. Rather, the question is twofold: a) whether a union should dedicate itself as vigorously to politics as the IWW has, and b) whether it should at this stage in its life.

There is a clear lapse in strategy here. When the AFL-CIO says something about politics, people listen. People listen because the AFL-CIO represents them at their job, has 12 million members, and has a hand in changing the political landscape of the country. In order for what the IWW says about politics to be relevant, it must first grow as a union. The fact of the matter is that, whatever the “official IWW stance” on a social issue is, it has very little impact on workers or politics. The lack of balance between political work and union organizing has led the IWW, in many branches, to be a political league which, for some odd reason, uses union rhetoric and masquerades as a labor union.

My argument here is not simply the “appeal to relevance” that is issued to all revolutionary leftist groups – that is, the lackadaisical dismissal of all groups left of the Democrats simply because they are small. Rather, my question is whether the IWW’s immense amount of political and cultural work helps or hinders its growth as a union. For the IWW, “growth” cannot be understood as numerical figures, or the amount of people who join. Surely, the IWW’s politics attract an inspiring number of convinced anarchists, who in turn launch more political/cultural activities under the IWW. While this may be “growth,” in the most literal way, it is not growth as a union. In order to grow as a union, however, it needs to build a presence in workplaces by gaining the power to represent workers, not simply attract lone members from various cultural enclaves like universities, social clubs, and NGOs.

The IWW is both a labor union that struggles to retain its revolutionary program in the face of accepting non-revolutionary workers, and an organization of revolutionaries that struggles to function as a union despite the fact that it draws its membership from the revolutionary left rather than the working class. This is articulated most concisely, and perhaps most comically, by the fact that its only real organizing “victories” in the past decade have been in activist jobs: non-profit community groups like ACORN, co-operatives, including radical cooperatives like anarchist bookstores and printing houses, and canvassers for charities and political campaigns. It’s hard to chalk these up as victories for the working class, seeing as these are jobs are so highly politicized that they are pretty well-insulated from the rest of the workforce, let alone the fact that they don’t improve working conditions in the rest of their industry, being that they’re non-profits.

A labor union is (1) an organization of workers (2) dedicated to improving their wages and working conditions4 (3) through the use of their collective power in the workplace. A mere “organization of workers” is not necessarily a labor union: clearly, workers can organize political parties, workers’ centers, benefit funds, or social clubs, none of which are unions. Likewise, an organization of workers dedicated to improving their working conditions is not necessarily a labor union, as workers can improve working conditions via political lobbying or political parties. It is in this sense that, whether or not the IWW is an “organization of workers,” it is rather disingenuous to say that modern IWW branches function as labor unions – regardless of what they call themselves.

1. “So that all the workers regardless of their religious or political preference may be united to get every possible benefit out of their job, the I.W.W. must be nonpolitical and nonreligious.” (emphasis mine) One Big Union, pg. 18

2. Article IV, “Political Alliances Prohibited.” Constitution and General By-Laws of the Industrial Workers of the World

3. “These are not union questions, and must be settled by each union member according to personal conscience.” One Big Union, pg. 18

4. “Improving wages and working conditions” is not just in quantitative gains like raises, vacations, benefits, or improved safety provisions. Ultimately it is the introduction of democracy and degrees of self-management into the workplace.

Of Sweatshops & Starbucks: Is the IWW an Industrial Union?

This is the second in a four-part series analyzing the Industrial Workers of the World as the failure of dual unionism in the American revolutionary left. This installment focuses on the internal structure of the group - whether industrially structured, or generally chartered.

Is the IWW an Industrial Union?

The modern IWW still proudly touts its devotion to industrial unionism. Industrial unionism is the idea that all workers on the shopfloor should belong to the same union – in a supermarket, the cashiers, butchers, pharmacists, and janitors are all represented by the same union. This is a response to craft unionism, in which workers of different occupations belong to different unions. In a craft union formation, the cashiers may belong to one union, while the pharmacists to another, and the butchers to yet another. These divisions weaken the bargaining power and unity of the workers.

This focus on industrial unionism is rather dated. The modern labor movement is no longer defined by the fierce rivalry between the craft unions of the AFL and the industrial unions of the CIO which occurred in the 1930s. Industrial unionism won this battle: laws on unions take industrial unionism as the norm, and most unions are organized on an industrial basis today.1

In another ironic twist where the IWW declares one thing and practices another, the IWW does not function as an industrial union. For one, the IWW has no practical opposition to craft unions, seeing as it does actually operate craft unions. There is indeed one IWW shop (Central Coop Grocery in Seattle, WA) in which the IWW represents only the janitors, while UFCW 21 represents the remainder of the workers.

The contradiction runs deeper than this. The IWW was historically structured by workers forming a local union for workers in their industry. For example, a construction workers’ local in New York City would absorb all the construction workers in the city, while chemical manufacturing workers in New York City would belong to their own, separate local. The construction workers’ NYC local is then federated into a council of other IWW construction workers’ locals across the country and globe. Each industry has its own industrial union, and workers in each industry have the autonomy to establish their union in the ways that best serve the conditions of their own industry. This is how the IWW was organized until its functional extinction in the 1950s. From that point on, it began organizing general unions (if these groups could be called unions at all – see the last post in this series) in place of industrial unions.

Today, the IWW has no actual industrial unions. Modern IWW branches are organized not by industry, but by city (into “General Membership Branches”). It should not be contentious to say, then, that the IWW of today is not an actual industrial union. Whether or not its members are assigned to industrial unions2 (which, since none of these industrial unions actually exist, these assignments function as little more than three-digit proletarian area codes), the union is organized by city, with one city branch absorbing any and all workplace activity that may fall under its jurisdiction. In a word, the primary cell of the union is the city branch rather than the industrial branch; workers are organized not by industry, but by geographical location. This structure adheres much more to the concept of “general unionism” than to any notion of industrial organization.

It is quite overwhelming for a single local to commit itself to all workers in an entire metropolitan area. A local may be responsible for supermarket workers here, truck drivers there, and plastics factory workers in yet another instance. Unless it commits itself to organizing just one of the industries in the city, the lack of strength it possess in an industry will severely hinder its ability to respond to events in that industry. Regardless of the local’s numerical size, if it sets foot in (or accepts workers from) an industry where it does not maintain any organizations, it will do so completely unprepared and at a major disadvantage.

In a word, the lack of strength it has in any single industry threatens its potentials in every single industry.

The general union similarly lacks a sense of direction. With no specific target, it is much easier for the general union to avoid devising a concrete plan to organize their jurisdiction, instead preferring to build its numerical size outside of the workplace (by recruiting individual students, activists, etc), to function as a rent-a-picket for other unions or activist protests, or to organize only when contacted by hot shops. General unions (when they are unions at all) are much more prone to becoming hubs for local activism. Indeed, General Membership Branches were created after the union’s functional extinction, when the organization needed to draw in new generations of radicals and anarchists to stay alive. This is reasonable: every union needs organizers. However, rather than being a mere means to building industrial organizations, the general membership branch has largely become an end in itself.

1. There are exceptions to this, for example in the construction and rail industries. My point, regardless, is that industrial unionism is no longer the pivotal issue dividing and determining the fate of the labor movement; and unlike in 1934, fiercely defending industrial unionism is not really a revolutionary position to take in the modern labor movement. In this sense, it seems as though the IWW’s rhetoric and propaganda has been cryogenically frozen and dug up like a time capsule.

2. When a worker joins the IWW, they are assigned membership in one of 39 industrial unions. These industrial unions are numbered in a Dewey Decimal system: Industrial Department #200 is all mine workers. Industrial Union #210 is Metal Mine Workers, #220 is Coal Mine Workers, and so forth. In theory, when there are at least 10 workers from the same industry in the same area, they charter themselves as an industrial union, and from there, an international council is established for all workers in the same industrial union. This is largely a thing of the past in the current IWW, and today this industrial structure serves mostly as a rhetorical and historical point. Emphasizing the geographic basis of the modern IWW, the modern General Executive Board is not comprised of representatives from different industrial unions, but from different regions.

Of Sweatshops & Starbucks: Is the IWW a Good Union?

This is the third in a four-part series analyzing the Industrial Workers of the World as the failure of dual unionism in the American revolutionary left. This installment focuses on the structural capabilities of the organization, and its geographical and industrial reach.

The IWW proudly declares that it employs no paid organizers or staffers. Instead, all the operations of the union are carried out by worker-activists on a volunteer basis – from directing workers on how to organize their workplace, to filing legal complaints against employers, to the graphic design, web design, and print media work necessary for the union. The IWW consistently praises itself on the absence of paid staffers within the union.

Many times, it is an advertisement directed at the frugal worker: “We keep our dues low by refraining from employing people.” Unfortunately, since the quality of a union’s leadership decides the difference between a worker getting fired and blacklisted, and the same worker getting a hefty raise, unions are not the sort of thing you should shop for by price. My question in this article is as follows: Can the IWW function without staffers – and if it can, why don’t other unions do the same?

In the first place, union organizing demands time. Especially in the food and retail industries which the modern IWW has sought to organize, union organizers need flexible schedules. Everyone who has worked a food service or retail job knows the unpredictable schedules they bring. It is nearly impossible for any four workers in the same workplace to find a time when they are all off of work. If a union organizer has their own work schedule to work around, this presents a fatal barrier to organizing. Therefore, the union organizer must be free from the obligation of an outside job, if only to be able to devote enough time to the campaign. The workers interested in unionizing deserve no less.

Paid positions command this dedication from staffers. For the staffer, the union is their career. They are able to devote 40 hours (and frequently more than that) per week to union activities. By offering a paid position, the union attracts those who have studied and perfected their knowledge. Workers need unions because workers need people who know the law, who know how to conduct an organizing campaign from A to Z, and so forth. This why workers contact unions in the first place: because they don’t know how to do it themselves.

This can be applied equally to other types of union staffers. Unions need dedicated business agents who are knowledgeable enough in labor law to face off against Human Resources lawyers in grievance hearings. If a grievance is escalated to the point where a union representative must sit down with a Human Resources lawyer (who quite literally has a degree in union-busting), the worker deserves a union representative knowledgeable enough in labor law to defend the worker.

Why do AFL-CIO unions expend millions of dollars to employ campaign researchers, translators, graphic designers, illustrators, public relations experts, writers, and web designers? It could be because they have so much money that they don’t know what to do with it, and that they want to go out of their way to hire as many people as possible. It could also be because they acknowledge that the work done by, say, a professional graphic designer is more reliable than Xeroxed newspaper cartoons from 1914.

Unfortunately, people with this level of knowledge and negotiation skill do not volunteer their time and energy – they look for careers.

The modern IWW is operated by a layer of worker-activists who have a varying level of devotion to the organization. For most of the “organizers” in the group, the IWW is a hobby like any other – and that’s all it can be for them. After all, they have work, school, and other interests. The degree of knowledge possessed by individuals and branches in the IWW, like everything else in the organization, varies tremendously between branches. There are branches with career SEIU staffers, and there are branches where the most knowledge anyone in the branch has on labor law is a copy of Staughton Lynd’s Labor Law for the Rank & Filer.

Though I hesitate to use the word, professional organizers and professional staffers are a requirement for any serious union. The idea that professionalism creates bureaucracy in unions is misleading – staffers do not hold executive authority over the direction of the union (in contrast to elected officers like presidents and executive boards). Staffers are analogous to legal counsel: you tell your lawyer what you want, and your lawyer has the technical knowledge of the courts necessary to get it. She can file the right papers, make the right motions, and reference the right cases, which are all things you don’t know how to do.

If anything, the threat that professional staffers pose to union democracy is roughly equal to the threat that hobby activists pose to running an organization responsible for defending workers’ jobs, livelihoods, and families. Workers join unions for the former: to defend their jobs. We become a revolutionary union not by sacrificing that function in favor of ideological platitudes and purity, but by combining that function with empowerment, education, and action. If we are unable to defend their jobs to the degree that an AFL-CIO union is able to do, our strength is not as a union, but as an ideology.

Surely, taunting the AFL-CIO for their lack of ideological dedication to the working class will bring the IWW few members, and even fewer organized shops. If we cannot (or do not wish to) compete with the power and ability of AFL-CIO unions, workers will continue to join UNITE-HERE and UFCW over the IWW, because they offer a security we cannot match. Excuses in favor of the IWW are predictable: it’s a small union, its ideology leaves it vulnerable to being disregarded and red-baited, it doesn’t have the money to hire organizers, and so forth. Precisely! These conditions are not historical accidents; these are problems inherent in the strategy of dual unionism.

The IWW is both shockingly (from the point of view of unions) and unsurprisingly (from the point of view of anarchism) decentralized. Any ten people can join the union and establish their own branch. The organization does not require that anyone in your group has any knowledge of labor law, the labor movement, how unions work, what a union is, or how to organize one. For workers interested in unionizing, contacting the IWW is a roll of the dice: the branch you contact could be a group of people relatively capable of organizing a union, or they could be a group of people who are more interested in the historical IWW and theoretical texts than in organizing workers.

The IWW is much like a franchise in the sense that it delegates its name, logo, and likeness to groups of people (who may or may not identify themselves as “workers”), and then essentially lets them go about their business. This is what creates the extreme heterogeneity of the group. The franchisee decides how they want to use the IWW, with basically zero obligations placed on them by the International. The franchisee is not required to actually organize any workplaces – in fact it’s not required to do anything!

In recent times, this has led to the International union being clueless as to what different branches are doing, and even as to whether or not some branches even still exist – there have been several “ghost ships” that lose contact with the rest of the organization and disappear. The Organizing Department Board, to use one example, has been struggling in recent months to even find out what other branches are doing. It is not uncommon for branches to go public with a union drive without notifying any higher body in the union beforehand. Oftentimes, the union does not hear about a campaign until it goes public, and then it gets blindsided by having to handle a strike on zero notice.

To use a contemporary example: Starbucks will never be unionized by the IWW. As Starbucks has locations scattered throughout the country (and world), to organize it would require a nationwide union. Other unions are structured in such a way where they are able to undertake a corporate campaign of this nature. These unions either retain organizers at the national level, or they send organizers from their locals to targeted locations. The IWW is simply structurally incapable of conducting a campaign of this nature. The Starbucks campaign, as with any other campaign against a regional or nationwide employer, is picked up by any IWW branch that wants to undertake it. There is no obligation for a branch to participate in efforts to organize an employer targeted by the union – if the organization ever did approach a branch asking them to participate in Starbucks organizing, the branch would be able to respond with a simple “No thank you.”

Even Jimmy John’s, which is microscopic compared to Starbucks1, has a scope of business too expansive for the IWW. The target employers chosen by the IWW are probably chosen by a sense of social and moral responsibility rather than a serious estimation that the IWW can organize them: “Well, if UNITE-HERE is not going to organize Starbucks, someone has to!” This altruism is certainly well-meaning, but given the present size and state of the modern IWW, in my opinion it would be fatally irresponsible to organize workers under the union. In my opinion, workers would be much more well-off in an established union which has the interest and material ability to defend them. Our role in the labor movement as revolutionaries should not be to divide the labor movement by forming dual unions with little hope of success, but to push an uncompromising agenda of internal democratization and class struggle within these established unions.

How will the IWW reach the Starbucks workers in locations where it doesn’t have branches, or where its branches don’t want to organize them? So long as the formation of IWW branches depends on the number of convinced radicals in a given area, it will not only never reach far outside of major cities and younger demographics, but its numbers will surge and recede with the popularity of radical politics. While the IWW will probably rack up occasional victories in predictably activist- and radical-dense cities like Portland, Minneapolis, and Boston, it is not foreseeable that the union will ever gain a truly nationwide presence.

1. While Starbucks has 10,784 locations in the United States alone – and another 13,000 locations in 64 other countries – Jimmy John’s has less than 2,000 locations in just 42 states. Upon reading these figures, we can see that either the IWW’s eyes are monumentally bigger than its stomach, or that it lacks even a basic understanding of the role of industry research in union campaigns. To drive the point about professional staffers home, a union with even one professional researcher/campaign strategist would never authorize campaigns which are as disproportionate to the size of the union as these two.

Of Sweatshops & Starbucks: Will Dual Unionism Win the Labor Movement?

This is the final installment in a four-part series analyzing the Industrial Workers of the World as the failure of dual unionism in the American revolutionary left. This installment focuses on the potentials of a new approach to unions based on reforming and democratizing established unions from within rather than founding competing unions.

Will Dual Unionism Win the Labor Movement?

With these critiques, my goal is not to push the IWW to reorganize itself in the ways that I think are best, nor is it to encourage revolutionaries to establish yet another dual union in opposition to the IWW. My actual conclusion is much to the opposite: no matter how the IWW organizes itself internally, it will always be at such a striking disadvantage to established unions that its ability to function as an actual union is effectively compromised, and stands virtually no chance in competitions with established unions.

It is true that creating a dual union is much easier than entering rival unions. By creating a dual union, we create a sandbox, a microcosm, of everything we think a union should be. The IWW is everything we wish AFL-CIO would be, without having to do any of the legwork of actually winning over rank-and-file workers to class-conscious militancy. Instead, we can take pride in the ideological correctness of our union: unlike the class-collaborators of AFL-CIO, our union is doing unionism right, even if we have no influence over working conditions in any employer’s operations, let alone an entire industry, let alone any influence in the larger labor movement. But forget any of that: after all, the IWW’s ideological commitments make it far more relevant to the working class than AFL-CIO will ever be.

Indeed, there is an extremely sectarian perspective of rival unions promoted by the IWW. My membership in the IWW was also my first experience with the labor movement in general. It taught me that all unions which are not the IWW are equally useless to the working class. There is virtually no difference between SEIU and NUHW, UNITE and HERE, or UE and the Teamsters because, after all, none of them are the IWW!1 The only good a revolutionary can do within these unions, I was told, is recruit their members to the IWW – and essentially, recruit their members as if they weren’t members of another union already. You do this by acting as if their union’s leadership and collective bargaining agreement don’t exist, creating a climate of opposition to the incumbent union, and using this to build allegiance to the IWW.

Going from the argument that all “business unions” are basically company-run unions, it is hard to explain how these unions often evoke enthusiastic support and loyalty from their members – unless of course you use the tired fatalistic argument that these workers have simply been deceived by a vampiristic union leadership, and that they are only loyal to these unions because they have not experienced a revolutionary union like the IWW yet. Or, as the authors of Black Flame articulated it:

The notion that the established unions could not evolve, and that the IWW alone was a real union and would inevitably replace the other ones [...] was a caricature of other unions and ignored the fact that established unions retained the loyalties of existing members, who were not prepared to throw in their lot with an entirely new union: such obstacles to replacing existing unions were simply ignored by the IWW. Workers generally preferred to join established and proven unions, and the fact that existing ones were compelled to open their ranks to new categories of workers [as we will see with fast food workers in the next section of this piece] and reform their policies showed both their ability to change as well as their lasting appeal.2

The IWW of old was unable to challenge the AFL on its own turf, and as such it was relegated to organizing those workers which the AFL had no interest in organizing: namely unskilled industrial workers and migrant laborers. As such, for many workers in the IWW’s jurisdiction, they did not join the IWW because it was the best union, but because it was the only one. They had no choice between unions, only a choice between the IWW and no union.

To an astounding degree, this is the same pattern we are seeing today. The modern IWW would be indisputably unable to challenge AFL-CIO in its own industries. We may say these industries are primarily transportation, healthcare, and education; although in basically all professional, skilled and semi-skilled jobs does AFL-CIO have the numerical and organizational advantage. Therefore, the IWW is relegated to organizing the one sliver of the workforce that AFL-CIO will not organize at this point: fast food service. For about ten years, the IWW has enjoyed no competition within this jurisdiction, and even so it has gained no ground. Unlike in 1905, it would be hard to say that “fast food workers are not joining the IWW because it’s the best union, but rather because it’s the only union,” because, well, fast food workers really aren’t joining the IWW at all.

AFL-CIO’s attitude towards these jobs is slowly shifting. It can no longer simply ignore these jobs, as they comprise an ever-greater share of the workforce. Though AFL-CIO has begun cautiously probing the industry with its recent Fight for 15 campaign to gauge militancy and study the workforce, it is not yet willing to represent fast food workers on the shopfloor. However, it would seem likely that within the next five or ten years, UNITE-HERE will begin to enter these shops.

Even if the IWW has gained a minor presence in the industry by the time UNITE-HERE enters the scene3, UNITE-HERE will most likely drive the IWW from the industry with ease.

* * *

From its foundation to its most recent conventions, the IWW has avoided the question of boring from within with the simple excuse that “established unions are too big to reform.” If these unions are too big for a militant minority to reform internally, how is it that they’re not too big for a militant minority to drive out of existence externally by creating a dual union?

Dual unions are burdened by having to perform the contradictory roles of a “pure-and-simple” labor union and a revolutionary propaganda organization. They must not only bring organization to unorganized workers, but do so in a way which brings the workers in alignment the dual union’s syndicalist ideals. This can either lead to the union not growing at all (or growing simply as a propaganda organization, like with the IWW), or to the union’s syndicalist program being diluted by the non-syndicalist workers. Malatesta remarked similarly:

It is while [dual unions] are weak and impotent that they are faithful to their program – while, that is, they remain propaganda groups set up and run by a few zealous and committed men, rather than organizations ready for effective action. Later, as they manage to attract the masses and acquire the strength to claim and impose improvements, the original program becomes an empty formula to which no one pays any more attention.4, 5

Militants who organize themselves as minorities within established unions simply do not face this dilemma. The militant minority, since its locus is within already-organized union, can focus exclusively on winning workers over to syndicalism. The militant minority, operating as a militant core within a larger union, is not challenged by workers who join their group only for “bread-and-butter” interests.

1. This is a historical trend with the IWW: “As an example, [...] the Western Federation of Miners had been unreservedly praised when affiliated to the IWW and then, following its withdrawal, was suddenly characterized as a fake union that should be ‘wiped out of existence’ – even though the union had not changed in any real way.” Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism & Syndicalism. Volume I: Counter-Power, pg. 225. Michael Schmidt and Lucien van der Walt, 2009.

2. Ibid.pgs. 225-6. Emphasis mine

3. Which, as I labored to demonstrate in the last piece in this series, is unrealistic. Assuming the IWW has gained a foothold in fast food by the time UNITE-HERE challenges it is closer to spread betting than honest historical analysis.

4. The Anarchist Revolution: Polemical Articles, 1924-1931, pg. 25. Errico Malatesta, 1995.

5. For a historical precedent to the latter claim, see the IWW’s Industrial Union #440 in Cleveland. Composed of about 1,500 workers in metal factories, the workers abandoned the IWW for the CIO in 1950 over the IWW’s refusal to sign the anti-Communist Taft-Hartley affidavit.