IWW Membership and some queries

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Augusto_Sandino
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May 29 2004 21:42
IWW Membership and some queries

I am thinking of joining up with IWW, but im very knew to Trades Union membership full stop.

Firstly, im 17 and part time. Can i still join?

Secondly, I would be the only IWW member there, so if i have a conflict, what happens with reps etc. A friend told me one might come from outside?

Thirdly, do we have any existing members who can tell me if its a worth while move?

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JoeMaguire
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Jun 1 2004 12:14

Im not a member but the answer to your question is that a unions strength comes from numbers, so being an individual member is a problem but always its about collective strength.

I think the IWW have some good examples on their website about shopworkers but you should take into account the nature of your employer.

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JDMF
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Jun 1 2004 20:35

It would be cool to have a IWW section on this board under anti-auth groups...

Augusto, you can surely join. If you get in touch with the IWW folks they might be able to get you in touch with other local members. Unfortunately things being as they are IWW in UK is not a fully functioning union as it stands, short of couple of workplaces. BUt more people as members will keep the idea alive and perhaps one day it will kick off, who knows.

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Ed
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Jun 2 2004 21:49

It won't set you back, it won't throw you forward. Cost you a little but you do get a cool badge.

IWW are about as useful in workplace disputes as the AF or CW or SF really. That said, it can only get better with more members and you can try and recruit people to it (at least ideologically anyway).

If you know anyone else in the same industry as you i.e. shop worker, builder etc you should have a go at drawing them in with you as well and maybe start agitating around your industry i.e. giving out leaflets in your workplace, talking to people etc.

The IWW is only as useful as its members make it at the moment. You have to do a lot of agitating if you wanna get anywhere with it. Not to put you off, but this building a grassroots working class movement is bloody hard work! red n black star

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JDMF
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Jun 3 2004 18:54
Ed wrote:

IWW are about as useful in workplace disputes as the AF or CW or SF really. That said, it can only get better with more members and you can try and recruit people to it (at least ideologically anyway).

too right ed, though IWW is a different kind of animal compared to AF/CW/SF because it doesn't require members to subscribe to an ideology - even though in practise the union is built on similar ideals of direct action, workers control, solidarity, direct democracy and all the nice things you can think of.

Does anyone know how IWW is doing in UK at the moment?

Augusto_Sandino
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Jun 4 2004 11:58

On the website they have the usual small struggles here and there, where they are winning or not winning as the case may be. They seem stronger in the ROI and Northern Ireland. Do AF, CW and SF work as unions? I thought they were just federations in the "political" sense.

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JoeMaguire
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Jun 4 2004 12:16

Solfed are anarcho-syndicalist federation, theres a short bit on their web which should explain in short there aims,

http://www.solfed.force9.co.uk/sf.htm

or enrager as an intro to anarcho-syndicalism if you want to start from scratch,

http://enrager.net/thought/ideas/anarcho_syndicalism/index.php

otherwise reading rudolph rocker isnt a waste of time, but a little time consuming,

http://www.spunk.org/library/writers/rocker/sp001495/rocker_as1.html

(the enrager text is loading a bit slow!)

Augusto_Sandino
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Jun 4 2004 21:09

Yeah, i know a fair bit about anarcho-syndicalism, but id be happy with an effective union that wasnt pronouncedly anarchist. I really like alot of the IWW theory, and the approach to work etc.

OldGit
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Joined: 6-06-04
Jun 7 2004 14:55

If there is a union in existence at your workplace join that. You can still join the IWW which accepts members' need to be organised in the workplace. As a part-timer you are probably entitled to membership at the minimum rate, £1 a month; it's the same rate if you are already a member of another union.

As an IWW member you wouldn't get representation unless there was a branch in your area (there isn't), but you could nominate a fellow IWW to accompany you to disciplinary hearings if you knew one. Of course, if you managed to organise your workmates into an IWW workplace branch you could then elect a rep.

I take it you know the IWW-UK website. You could always join the discussion list which is open to all. It will give you a flavour of the union and its membership, and inform your decision. You can also download a membership application form there.

Augusto_Sandino
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Jun 7 2004 22:09

That was a good post! I do have a union at work, USDAW, but ive been quite disgusted by its conduct at times (one of my workmates was sacked for a minor infringement, becuase the union wouldnt help her, and she was a single mum who needed the job) so i havent joined that.

And i was actually confused as to wether i could be in two unions at once. At £1, how could i go wrong!