WSA, IWW and IWA affiliation

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akai
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May 15 2016 06:47

Yes, l agree that the statutes were only changed in 1996 and according to that, all was in order. However, the topic came up and was agreed differently at least a few times in lWA history, starting in the 30s and this was because CNT insisted that the Secretaries of the time not pursue the possibility of a second organization in Spain, which would have been a faction that did not agree with the policies of the CNT. As l said, this was not formalized in the statutes.

syndicalist
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May 15 2016 13:25

Spirit and intentions are everything when it comes down to it.

julio27
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May 16 2016 19:54

Hear, hear!

100% agree.

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syndicalistcat
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May 16 2016 20:07

At the time of the IWW proposal for affiliation to IWA in '90s, I believe WSA wrote a letter to IWW saying that we were prepared to negotiate an arrangement for both IWW and WSA as IWA affiliates. This was in keeping with the older affiliation clause in the IWA statutes which did allow multiple affiliates from a country if this was agreeable to those affiliates. But I believe IWW never wrote us back a reply.

I believe the older IWA affiliation clause was designed to deal with situations where there was both an anarchosyndicalist union & also a syndicalist rank and file opposition group in the reformist unions (as in France).

julio27
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May 16 2016 21:45

No they never wrote back because it was a bureau initiative and the bureau was changed, if I remember well. I guess the matter wasn't really widely discussed inside IWW, but you sure have more information on that.

As for the design of the old statutes, the reason of the older affiliation clause is mainly the context of 1922 with Rocker and the a/s theories on the one hand and bolshevism on the other, and CNT Spain geting pulled in the red international. It's leeding to far away from this thread, I suppose.

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Juan Conatz
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May 16 2016 23:13
klas batalo wrote:
yeah as syndicalist said the IWW in 93 basically unvoted the 1990 IWW GA decision:

On 90s IWW and IWA affiliation:

The 1990 GA voted to affiliate to the IWA. This got passed on to the International Committee. But that committee was eventually subsumed into the GEB. The GEB members and GHQ officer workers at the time were generally against affiliation and spoke out against it in the GOB. Eventually in 1992 the GA put to referendum the creation of a four year International Commission to take the load off the GEB to explore affiliation and other international matters, since the reasoning for the International Committee being subsumed into the GEB, was it was a one man show basically, and the GEB was strapped for capacity. This referendum failed. In 1993 members of the GEB and two dual IWW/WSA members and a few others circled a petition for referendum at the GA that the IWW cease to explore affiliation with the IWA, but continue relations with the IWA and WSA. This passed. 1994-96 there are mumblings and arguing about such issues in member correspondence in the GOB but it eventually dies out (short of Ottowa GMB wanting to explore IWA affiliation again at one point, and a bunch of people repeating the same arguments about IWA being too anarchist, even though its just a revolutionary unionist international.)

Actually it was 1989, not 1990. It was originally given to the GEB and GST, then to the International Committee, then back to the GEB in a span of 3 years.

In any case, overall, I don't think the IWA or WSA took the IWW seriously here, and I don't think the GEB took the membership's desire seriously. Without being around, its hard to know how important this issue was to membership.

syndicalist
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May 17 2016 00:07

Strictly written as an individual---What do you mean about Wsa not taking the IWW seriously?
The IWW has exhausted tremendous amount of Wsa time and attention over the years
Mostly, in my opinion, unproductively when it's come to international stuff

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Juan Conatz
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May 17 2016 00:17

I meant that I don't think that the IWA and WSA took the IWW's desire to affiliate seriously. I also don't think that international officers of the IWW took the vote seriously either, which is most alarming to me.

syndicalist
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May 17 2016 00:42

Let me say that I fundamentally and strongly disagree with your assertion, as it relates to the Wsa and IWA effort each time this came up. Having been intimately and fully engaged (including working on most Wsa replies , etc),Wsa took things seriously, replied timely, replied diplomatically and so forth Not being in the IWW I can't say what was going on in the IWW relative to this. Was this factional, was it real, was it the lets go round the mulberry bush with this again, hard to say.
But to say something which is appears to reflect a certain bias just doesn't cut it.
To suggest the time and effort we put into this really does not speak with a sense of what Wsa put into it and the realities of the time and effort on Wsa's part

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syndicalistcat
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May 17 2016 01:26
Quote:
In any case, overall, I don't think the... WSA took the IWW seriously here

Based on what evidence? Actually as I recall we spent some time on what to say to IWW. so obviously WSA did take IWW seriously.

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Juan Conatz
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May 17 2016 01:51

Actually, you guys are right. I'm mixing this up in my head with something else. I think the WSA took the possibility of the IWW's affiliation seriously in 1989-1992 and approached the question as such. The IWA Secretariat seemed surprised and not sure what to think. I don't think the international officers of the IWW did their job with this question and their reluctance and inaction would be unacceptable in 2016.

syndicalist
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May 17 2016 02:51

I think there's good reason why the IWA was surprise
given the one again and off again almost fickleness regarding the affiliation
Also, I think many were suspect about what factional stuff might or might not have been driving the
affiliation

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OliverTwister
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May 17 2016 15:07
Juan Conatz wrote:
Actually, you guys are right. I'm mixing this up in my head with something else. I think the WSA took the possibility of the IWW's affiliation seriously in 1989-1992 and approached the question as such. The IWA Secretariat seemed surprised and not sure what to think. I don't think the international officers of the IWW did their job with this question and their reluctance and inaction would be unacceptable in 2016.

I agree with that.

julio27
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May 17 2016 19:44

"I think the WSA took the possibility of the IWW's affiliation seriously in 1989-1992 and approached the question as such."

I'd confirm that from the IWA perspective of that time.

" The IWA Secretariat seemed surprised and not sure what to think."

Absolutely true

" I don't think the international officers of the IWW did their job with this question"

Also my evaluation.

"and their reluctance and inaction would be unacceptable in 2016."

no clue, but glad to hear it!

syndicalist
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May 17 2016 22:33

Fwiw, one day I'll write about this and other things
And my overall opinion of how the IWW relates to
those independent revolutionary workers outside its ranks

julio27
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May 18 2016 11:38

Syndicalist, if you’re ever going to write a book about this, I’m the first one to buy it. If there is a subscription list open before publication, please tell me! smile

Now the main idea of IWA’s response to the IWW’s affiliation demand, and prove me wrong if I’m telling the untruth, the main idea of our discussions was, based on the former statutes :

You have to decide if you want to be the second US-section, in that case you have to work it through and together with the WSA; or if you’re considering yourself an international, in that case only two congresses can decide about a fusion of both the internationals.

We never got an answer to that.

And we were all informed about it amongst the sections in the IWA. AIT-Secretariat didn’t do anything behind the back of whomever.

syndicalist
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May 18 2016 11:27

If memory serves me correctly, I believe you have it generally right, the two questions.
But nothing ever advanced end of story, really. Truthfully, it's not something I really want to spend much time on at this point in my life, going over a 20 something year old matter. I will if it's to set historical records straight.

akai
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May 18 2016 12:33

Yes, l think it was as Julio and syndicalist said. But also l guess there was some not so n ice th ings from the part of those push ing it in the lWW. l remember read ing something to the effect that they didn't think WSA should represent anarchosynd ical ism in the US. But frankly, despite some criticisms of different things with the WSA over the years, it is the representative of that tendency.

syndicalist
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May 18 2016 16:11
julio27 wrote:
You have to decide if you want to be the second US-section, in that case you have to work it through and together with the WSA; or if you’re considering yourself an international

reading some of the things posted in a few of the relevant threads, these two questions are, in large measure, still relevant. As well as declaring the "political" views of the IWW. Said lovingly, but with much decades of pent up frustration, it's sorta this Dr. Jeykel and Mr. Hyde thing, really. I get why some folks want to have it "both ways", but often it doesn;'t work that way and it usually comes at knocking others. Anyway ....

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Lugius
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May 19 2016 02:26

The WSA has applied to affiliate to the IWA as friends section (it's on the agenda at the upcoming ASF Congress). In my view, it should be a full section in accordance with a previous decision of IWA Congress. The decision to change the status to 'friends' was fundamentally flawed as the sections were not fully informed.

The IWW and the CNT are captive to their own histories. They look backwards fondly. The principle of One Big Union is a sound one - but which one?

syndicalist
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May 19 2016 04:33

Lugis ---- It is my understanding that Friends status fits
were Wsa is at regarding IWA participation at this time
While I would say Wsa never left the IWA, it's not something
want to revisit at this time.

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klas batalo
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May 23 2016 02:39

yeah it is more about our capacity. we have started the anarcho-syndicalist initiative though to try and start to change the situation in the usa.

akai
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May 23 2016 11:04

There is currently a split going on so the questions get complicated as the parrallel lWA gets set to form and by the looks of it are going in a different direction. ln any case, l am glad that people are trying to get more impetus in the US.

syndicalist
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May 23 2016 14:26
klas batalo wrote:
yeah it is more about our capacity. we have started the anarcho-syndicalist initiative though to try and start to change the situation in the usa.

This is what KB is referring to: http://ideasandaction.info/2016/04/anarcho-syndicalist-initiative-member...

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Lugius
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May 24 2016 02:42
Quote:
Lugis ---- It is my understanding that Friends status fits
were Wsa is at regarding IWA participation at this time
While I would say Wsa never left the IWA, it's not something
want to revisit at this time.

syndicalist, I hear you and I understand. I was making the broader point about IWA Congress decisions. If a section is admitted to the IWA, it is a decision of the Congress. The cack-handed attempt by previous IWA secretary to change the status of WSA goes against this principle. Ratification of Congress decisions is a recognition that the correct procedure was adhered to. In all cases, all the relevant information was made available to inform the decision. But in the case of both the WSA and the ASF, information was deliberately withheld. Therefore the decision to change the status of the ASF and the WSA should not have been ratified. This is a failure of process, not attributable to the fault of any one individual. Sections are to be held responsible for the behaviour of individuals.

It's a testament to the strength of resolve of the WSA that they have been able to continue with their declared aims and I commend them.

I hope the WSA turns its attention through 180 degrees away from the Atlantic towards the Pacific in the future.

syndicalist
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May 24 2016 05:49

Although I am currently on organizational hiatus, I can not speak in any membership capacity, but simply would to say thank you for:

Quote:
It's a testament to the strength of resolve of the WSA that they have been able to continue with their declared aims and I commend them.

I'm sure comrades will always be willing to show solidarity as needed.

Quote:
I hope the WSA turns its attention through 180 degrees away from the Atlantic towards the Pacific in the future.

Always count me in.