No strike clauses and the IWW

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EdmontonWobbly's picture
EdmontonWobbly
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Dec 18 2007 02:52
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NB i've never been a member of any other unions, although i'm starting a union job soon.

My mistake OT, thought you were in ILWU for a bit for some reason.

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Dec 18 2007 03:26
EdmontonWobbly wrote:
Quote:
NB i've never been a member of any other unions, although i'm starting a union job soon.

My mistake OT, thought you were in ILWU for a bit for some reason.

Its only because every wob in the Bay Area is required to join the ILWU at some point smile

What union are you joining OT...if you don't mind me asking.

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Dec 18 2007 03:32

TBH I dont know smile There's several unions in the workplace and i havent been told which one will be representing me.

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Dec 18 2007 03:41
OliverTwister wrote:
NB i've never been a member of any other unions, although i'm starting a union job soon.

Doing what for who with what union? God I hope its AFSCME.

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Dec 18 2007 03:44
OliverTwister wrote:
TBH I dont know smile There's several unions in the workplace and i havent been told which one will be representing me.

So what will you be doing...you can PM if you want...i'm just curious.

pgh2a
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Dec 18 2007 03:56
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-and not only not give your general executive board more power to ratify or inspect contracts and such, but, in fact:

-abolish the general executive alltogether and devolve power to a regional basis.

Oh yes, that will certainly solve the problem of branches doing their own thing. Brilliant. (not)

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Dec 18 2007 03:57

thug why do you hope its an afscme shop?

Do you hope i'm doing clerical/white collar work cause it would be ironic? anyways i'm not.

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Dec 18 2007 04:01
OliverTwister wrote:
thug why do you hope its an afscme shop?

Do you hope i'm doing clerical/white collar work cause it would be ironic? anyways i'm not.

AFSCME is mostly a blue collar union. Well, it depends on the region of the country honestly. I just would think its funny cuz they will prove everything you think is wrong with unions. Totally fucked up and incompetent but, and here's the hilarious part, they can't figure out how to fix it because they have too much invested in decentralized governing systems.

Merely a joke. I think I'd really be interested in seeing what your view of the union is over time whatever union it is.

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Dec 18 2007 05:24
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if i were a wobbly here, i would:

-realize that your critics in and outside of the union here are not your enemies but in fact your best friends (even if the tone is shitty sumtimes);

-go about the business of developing stronger and more explicitly anti-capitalist propaganda, making it the responsiblity of your regional organs;

-make a constitutional prohibition against no strike clauses;

-and not only not give your general executive board more power to ratify or inspect contracts and such, but, in fact:

-abolish the general executive alltogether and devolve power to a regional basis.

Well, I'll address your suggestions and hope to do it objectively as possible. First, as I believe Catch pointed out, we need to have a discussion of whether the IWW should endorse contracts all together. From an ideological point, I'm against them. From a practical POV, to oppose them altogether makes our organizing that much harder and I'd like to think that organizing tactics should be vary from situation to situation, and a good (relative term I know), contract might be advantageous in certain circumstances. I also certainly don't think we should allow contracts to become out primary goal. [Note: my thoughts on this are not set in stone, I'm attempting to be pragmatic while staying true to my principles. If someone could offer me a concrete example of modern successful organizing outside of contracts and how we could emulate it, I'd be quite interested.] All that being said, if a contract is signed in the future--or even concerning our current contracts--how do we enforce a ban on no-strike clauses? If we have a constitutional amendment prohibiting them, what is the procedure for not ratifying or eliminating a contract with a no-strike clause? I assume it is the responsibility of the GEB to ensure each contract meets constitutional guidelines, but if we eliminate the GEB (not an idea I particularly endorse) do we put it to a regional or national referendum? This seems impractical. Also, regionalizing power does not seem like it would eliminate the problems, in fact, it seem it would make addressing issues like this harder to address as a union. Finally, we're not exactly a big union, regionalizing power (esp here in the states), while something I think will naturally occur as we grow*, doesn't seem like it will make life any more simpler, nor do I think we have the numbers to warrant it.

Oh, as to making out propaganda more anti-capitalist, I think it is better to concentrate on making our propaganda more accessible, while avoiding certain buzzwords that will turn people off. For example, when first bringing up the union I tend to emphasize our direct democratic nature (democracy being a notion most people can relate to, direct democracy and easy step from their) and when the issue of our opposition to capitalism arises, I explain simply the the IWW believes the entire economy should be run according the same principles as our union. In this way I avoid such buzzwords as communism, anarchism, socialism, even libertarianism (a horribly misunderstood term here in the states).

*The bi-annual GA would be a step in this direction as it allows us to concentrate on regional gatherings in off years.

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Dec 18 2007 05:49
booeyschewy wrote:
FN Brill- I respect you,

Booey - Thank you. So far, brilliant analysis. I respect you too.

booeyschewy wrote:
and so it strikes me as strange that you make the criticisms you do. Bad contracts have been resigned every few years in portland since that first instance and you haven't done anything to resist them since then.

Now your logic drops off. Obviously you cannot rewrite a bad/poorly constructed agreement. There's no do overs (that I know of). The best folks can do is mitigate or renegotiate certain clauses. I have no beef with the folks who worked, in fact they have my respect and solidarity in attempting to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. It's been done in a principled, democratic manner.

booeyschewy wrote:
It's fine to oppose things in theory, and to focus more heavily on the mistakes of your opponents, but you should own up to inactivity and passivity to mistakes in your own backyard. Not that i have excuses either, but i think its dubious to see your critiques of the supposed cabal or whatever, but then when it happens in portland you ignore it.

This is pretty fucked logic booey. Why am I inactive and passive? Because I'm lazy or because I've got a grinding work schedule and two kids to feed and put through private schools. Not to mention spend time with. Not all of us can be minimal working bongo playing world travelling ivy leagers. wink

I don't have free time, so all I can offer is my knowledge and experience. Err, i mean criticism. I put in 30+ years of activist hard work gaining that knowledge - I mean criticism - before going "armchair". Sorry I'm such a dillitant. wall

As for your critique of some of the issues around the PDX contracts, I am in agreement. A very concise analysis of some of the major issues of the IWW in the US.

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Dec 18 2007 11:49
martinh wrote:
And to be honest, if any IWA section was doing this sort of thing, they'd be kicked out IMO.

Sectarian!

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Dec 19 2007 06:34

i believe the person responsible was kicked(obviously a bigger problem than that)...in less im wrong or there was more than one person responsible.

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Dec 19 2007 06:58
x357997 wrote:
i believe the person responsible was kicked(obviously a bigger problem than that)...in less im wrong or there was more than one person responsible.

Kicked for what?

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Dec 20 2007 02:51
booeyschewy wrote:
Someone came into the organization who was basically a reformist. He was all about the NLRB, contracts, etc., and played the role of an outside organizer throwing up wack organizing all over. He is expelled and repudiated for being extremely sketchy and unaccountable (won't go into it, but he would have been tossed from any union or organization for endangering members). A few contracts persist.
.
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Dec 20 2007 22:38
x357997 wrote:
booeyschewy wrote:
Someone came into the organization who was basically a reformist. He was all about the NLRB, contracts, etc., and played the role of an outside organizer throwing up wack organizing all over. He is expelled and repudiated for being extremely sketchy and unaccountable (won't go into it, but he would have been tossed from any union or organization for endangering members). A few contracts persist.
.

Interesting. I don't see how one person can have that much influence and be that dangerous but I'll take y'alls word for it. I have a remaining related question though. Doesn't the IWW utilize contracts and NLRB processes as at least a portion of the tactical set you use? And if so, why was this one person's penchant for that crap something that could get them kicked out?

Note, as Nate will invariable accuse me of hypocrasy here, if this is internal information I'd be more than happy to be told its none of my business.

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Dec 21 2007 02:45
thugarchist wrote:
Interesting. I don't see how one person can have that much influence and be that dangerous but I'll take y'alls word for it. I have a remaining related question though. Doesn't the IWW utilize contracts and NLRB processes as at least a portion of the tactical set you use? And if so, why was this one person's penchant for that crap something that could get them kicked out?

Two simple words - Local Autonomy. The has/had been structured so that local groups or even individuals, if they have a chartered branch, can do almost whatever they want. The individual was quite charismatic and pulled in folks together in different industries, and gave them poor organizing advice. There was nothing we could do about it because they made their own decisions. CH of HERE could tell you more.

When Phily GMB signed the IWW's first no strike contract it was justified in this manner by JB.

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Dec 21 2007 04:18
fnbrill wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
Interesting. I don't see how one person can have that much influence and be that dangerous but I'll take y'alls word for it. I have a remaining related question though. Doesn't the IWW utilize contracts and NLRB processes as at least a portion of the tactical set you use? And if so, why was this one person's penchant for that crap something that could get them kicked out?

Two simple words - Local Autonomy. The has/had been structured so that local groups or even individuals, if they have a chartered branch, can do almost whatever they want. The individual was quite charismatic and pulled in folks together in different industries, and gave them poor organizing advice. There was nothing we could do about it because they made their own decisions. CH of HERE could tell you more.

When Phily GMB signed the IWW's first no strike contract it was justified in this manner by JB.

Wait a minute. Bekken signed the first no strike deal in Philly? Everyone's been saying that there was only no strike language in Portland. Now there's no strike language in Philly? And it was the first? And the gawdfather himself defended it?

This. Is. Awesome.

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Dec 21 2007 04:21
thugarchist wrote:
Wait a minute. Bekken signed the first no strike deal in Philly? Everyone's been saying that there was only no strike language in Portland. Now there's no strike language in Philly? And it was the first? And the gawdfather himself defended it?

He and AB negotiated it. Friends Center.

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Dec 21 2007 04:29
fnbrill wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
Wait a minute. Bekken signed the first no strike deal in Philly? Everyone's been saying that there was only no strike language in Portland. Now there's no strike language in Philly? And it was the first? And the gawdfather himself defended it?

He and AB negotiated it. Friends Center.

Hold on. I'm trying not to spontaneously bust into flames of giddiness. Bekken and Alexis negotiated the first no strike clauses in the wobs and its in Philly? I'm assuming it was ok to agree not to strike the friends cuz they got some god or something?

Bekken? Who once devoted three paragraphs of an article attacking me but refused to use my name and would only call me "that so-called anarchist" or something like that? The world only gets sweeter.

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Dec 21 2007 04:31
thugarchist wrote:
QI:Bekken and Alexis negotiated the first no strike clauses in the wobs and its in Philly? <!--break-->Q2:I'm assuming it was ok to agree not to strike the friends cuz they got some god or something?

A1: Yep
A2: Yep

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Dec 21 2007 04:36
fnbrill wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
QI:Bekken and Alexis negotiated the first no strike clauses in the wobs and its in Philly? <!--break-->Q2:I'm assuming it was ok to agree not to strike the friends cuz they got some god or something?

A1: Yep
A2: Yep

I always kind if liked the wobs for the sole reason that they provided a type of moral compass in a dirty world. At least the tiny shouts of righteous indignation argued for something meaningful. Meh.

severin
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Dec 21 2007 04:41

.....doesnt bekken edit the anarcho-syndicalist review or somethin....

pathetic shit

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Dec 21 2007 04:43
revol68 wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
fnbrill wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
QI:Bekken and Alexis negotiated the first no strike clauses in the wobs and its in Philly? <!--break-->Q2:I'm assuming it was ok to agree not to strike the friends cuz they got some god or something?

A1: Yep
A2: Yep

I always kind if liked the wobs for the sole reason that they provided a type of moral compass in a dirty world. At least the tiny shouts of righteous indignation argued for something meaningful. Meh.

I think the new mantra is something along the lines of 'Better the silent compliance of a thousand than the indignation of a dozen'.

I think the new mantra is "We take back everything we ever said for the last 100 years."

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Dec 21 2007 04:44
revol68 wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
fnbrill wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
QI:Bekken and Alexis negotiated the first no strike clauses in the wobs and its in Philly? <!--break-->Q2:I'm assuming it was ok to agree not to strike the friends cuz they got some god or something?

A1: Yep
A2: Yep

I always kind if liked the wobs for the sole reason that they provided a type of moral compass in a dirty world. At least the tiny shouts of righteous indignation argued for something meaningful. Meh.

I think the new mantra is something along the lines of 'Better the silent compliance of a thousand than the indignation of a dozen'.

Even though pretty much all of the wobs on here have spoken against no-strike clauses?

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Dec 21 2007 04:47
OliverTwister wrote:
revol68 wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
fnbrill wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
QI:Bekken and Alexis negotiated the first no strike clauses in the wobs and its in Philly? <!--break-->Q2:I'm assuming it was ok to agree not to strike the friends cuz they got some god or something?

A1: Yep
A2: Yep

I always kind if liked the wobs for the sole reason that they provided a type of moral compass in a dirty world. At least the tiny shouts of righteous indignation argued for something meaningful. Meh.

I think the new mantra is something along the lines of 'Better the silent compliance of a thousand than the indignation of a dozen'.

Even though pretty much all of the wobs on here have spoken against no-strike clauses?

Huh. So if a bunch of Teamster members spoke out against no strike clauses then the Teamsters would all of a sudden be awesome? Regardless of reality? Have some level of dignity dude.

severin
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Dec 21 2007 04:56

as i said in another, awesome post that none of you douchebags read:

Quote:
For some who have the guts to face the failings and contradictions of the organizations whose endeavor they consider to be indispensable to the 'greater revolutionary project', it will be necessary, first and foremost, to consider exactly how to re-inject that endeavor with the proper integrity, empathy, transparency, and passion... long before they set themselves to the ultimately secondary tasks of reshuffling acronyms and constitutions.

Realizing that those who have gone before suffered, toiled, were persecuted, tortured, lynched, exiled, and ran the gamut of every sacrifice imaginable....not so we could wave flags, quibble about the allocation of dues, or mire ourselves in the most heinous of compromises in the name of the crassest and shallowest 'realism'. Their legacy has to be redeemed, vindicated, and with utmost sincerity and pride. Do not shame them with pettiness or cowardice. Of any kind.

right?

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Dec 21 2007 04:57
Joe Hill wrote:
“I will die like a true-blue rebel. Don't waste any time in mourning -- organize and become like a little teeny UFCW.”
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Dec 21 2007 04:57
revol68 wrote:
of course far be it anarcho syndicalists to suggest this shit is what happens when 'revolutionary unions' jettison any sort of politics or principles in favour of oppurtunistic 'recruitment'.

I think this is rather unfair. The IWW didn't agree to these no strike agreements they were negotiated in secret by individuals and agreed upon by new members who didn't understand the ramifications. Yes, the IWW needs to be responsible for this failure, but it is a failure of hyper-democracy and the ideology of "autonomy" which allows opportunists to take advantage of the IWW's structure.

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Dec 21 2007 05:01
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Portland Women's Crisis Lines Workers Win New Contract!

After a year long campaign, the workers at Portland Women's Crisis Line signed their first contract on the 6th of July. Staff decided in June 2003 to begin talking about becoming a union shop to address what they saw as problems within the agency. After a few months of intense organizing, the women at PWCL held a third party oversight election back in November to gain official recognition of their intent to unionize under the IWW. The vote resulted in a nearly unanimous yes vote, with only one person voting no and one abstention. With the union becoming recognized, staff elected a four person bargaining committee and work on the contract began.

Among the most important issues to be addressed were the lack of a clear discipline and grievance procedure, increasing staff voice to stand in accordance with the agencies grassroots democratic foundations, and a reduction in the amount of hours each person must work to be considered full time. Through the contract, workers at PWCL were able to gain these things, and much more, by working very collectively with the board of directors and executive director.

Within the eighteen month contract PWCL has secured minimum training requirements for all direct service employees and volunteers, with a clause for members of the board of directors that urges attendance at specific sessions of the basic advocacy training. The contract also has established full time classification at 36 hours per week and up, with all full time workers receiving full benefits. Part time employees receive 50% of benefits at 18 hours per week, and the bargaining team was able to secure a grandfather clause for all existing staff working at least 16 hours a week. The newly established benefits package includes four weeks of paid vacation, eleven paid holidays off, eight hours of health leave accrued per month, funeral leave for the death of any member of self-identified family, health and dental insurance, and twelve weeks of unpaid extended illness/parenting leave.

All staff members have also received raises and on call compensation, and have the ability to reopen the wage portion of the contract should agency funding increase significantly. Seniority rights have also been established, with senior staff having preference over matters such as scheduling, shift preference, vacation scheduling, layoffs and hiring. In the hiring process, staff now is guaranteed a voice in the hiring of all members of management, and staff within the sexual assault program now hold onto the right to assist in the hiring of all new staff within that program. The newly established discipline/grievance procedure has cemented use of just cause termination and Weingarten rights, as well as the implementation of a review panel consisting of the program supervisor, executive director and two employees chosen by the grievant whenever a discipline process is escalated above a written warning.

The workers at Portland Women's Crisis Line are elated with the ratification of this contract and hope that it is the beginning of a truly egalitarian agency where all staff is able to feel like their voice and work are appreciated.

Please note the grandfather clause which means they agreed to two-tiered benefits. I'm fairly certain there was a bunch of fucking articles in the IW trashing the Teamster UPS contract for the same thing. What a fucking bunch of crap.

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Dec 21 2007 05:06
fnbrill wrote:
revol68 wrote:
of course far be it anarcho syndicalists to suggest this shit is what happens when 'revolutionary unions' jettison any sort of politics or principles in favour of oppurtunistic 'recruitment'.

I think this is rather unfair. The IWW didn't agree to these no strike agreements they were negotiated in secret by individuals and agreed upon by new members who didn't understand the ramifications. Yes, the IWW needs to be responsible for this failure, but it is a failure of hyper-democracy and the ideology of "autonomy" which allows opportunists to take advantage of the IWW's structure.

fnbrill, Its totally fair. If some local in my union fucks up something somewhere the wobs and the trots over a solidarity go after my whole union. Good for the goose and whatnot.