Industrial Workers of the World

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Industrial Workers of the World

The Industrial Workers of the World—also known as the IWW, or the Wobblies—is a radical Labor Union that had its beginnings in Chicago in 1905.

An outgrowth of the Western Federation of Mines, the IWW was created by william d. haywood, eugene v. debs, and Daniel DeLeon. Its membership was open to all work-ers, skilled or unskilled, with no restrictions as to race, occupation, ethnic background, or sex. The Wobblies opposed the principles of capitalism and advocated Socialism.They followed the tenets of syndicalism, a labor movement that evolved in Europe before World War I.The syndicalists sought to control industry through labor organizations. In their view the state represented oppression, which had to be replaced by the union as the essential element of society. To achieve their goals, the syndicalists advocated practices such as strikes and slowdowns.

The Wobblies adopted many of the ideologies of syndicalism and employed direct-action methods, such as propaganda, strikes, and boycotts. They rejected more peaceful means of achieving labor's goals, such as Arbitration and Collective Bargaining.

From 1906 to 1928, the IWW was responsible for 150 strikes, including a miners' strike in Goldfield, Nevada, from 1906 to 1907; a textile workers' strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1912; a 1913 silk workers' strike in Paterson, New Jersey; and a miners' strike in Colorado from 1927 to 1928.

During World War I, the IWW began to lose much of its strength. Its members were against the military, and many were convicted of draft evasion, seditious activities, and Espionage.In addition, many members left the organization to join the Communist party. By 1930, the IWW was no longer regarded as an influential labor force. Nevertheless, it still exists today.

Despite its radicalism, the IWW was responsible for several gains for organized labor. It brought together skilled and unskilled workers into one union; it achieved better working conditions and a shorter work week in many areas of labor, particularly in the lumber field; and it set a structural example that would be followed by future labor unions.

References in periodicals archive ?
Before looking at O'Neill's use of radicalism in Iceman as a model for failure in the sense that capitalism could not be used as a model or background for Hickey's failure as a husband and ultimately as a human being, we should look more closely at the Wobblies.
Above all the Wobblies left a vigorous emancipatory legacy with their militant spirit of solidarity, exemplified by the motto "An Injury to One is an Injury to All" and the splendid songs of Joe Hill, T-Bone Slim, and others.
strategy was intended as a ploy to allow Wobblies to regroup but, as
They embraced the labor radicalism of the Wobblies, even while they were parodied by vaudeville and motion picture comics.
Why would American poets, novelists, and radicals from John Dos Passos and Gary Snyder to Noam Chomsky (whose father was a Wobbly) continue to invoke the Wobblies when the memory of most unions is utterly gone from personal or family memory?
I would add that Paul Avrich and other scholars have had a lot to say about non-Marxist leftisms of various sorts as well--the anarchists, the Wobblies, and the syndicalists.
Anarchists, Wobblies, Socialists, Communists--all were the target of press opposition to their rights of expression.
Back in their 1920s heyday, the Wobblies preached "One Big Union.
Along the way, she lived miserably in Chicago, but hung around the local radicals, abandoned the Wobblies, and became a Communist sympathizer.
The well-upholstered cook Clarissa Dickson-Wright, who startlingly reveals she is ``no Playboy centre-fold'',has rushed to the aid of all worried wobblies.
In his poignant book Quand je dis Dieu and its even more searing sequel, Dieu fractures (God--in Fragments), (11) he pointed out that we use resurrection as a convenient excuse for degrading and devaluing the real lives we live here and now, promising "pie in the sky when you die," as the Wobblies sang.
The deportation captured national headlines, but it was only the most dramatic of a series of encounters during the summer of 1917 between Wobblies and their opponents.