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 ?
further proof that the kind of social transformation the Wobblies sought
But the Wobblies were not wrong to call for solidarity as labor's strength, and they espoused a revolutionary, emancipatory doctrine still unrealized today.
The wobblies is the term used by high-performance aerobatic pilots to describe the unstable gait they experience during an episode of G-induced vestibular dysfunction (GIVD).
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.
As with the Wobblies -- whose antipolitical actions exposed unfair working conditions of western US migrant workers, and influenced modern industrial unions -- and similar earlier anarchists, today's activists invent new cultural spaces in the shell of the old, and invert the machinery of law and meaning such that an automobile traffic sign becomes instead a sign of resistance to automobile traffic itself.
That would have been a humiliation for imperial power of historic proportions, like the famous scene the Wobblies organized to greet Woodrow Wilson after the Seattle general strike had been broken in 1919-workers and their families lining the streets block after block, standing in furious silence as his motorcade passed by.
He details the multiple and often-tortured relationships between groups such as the Wobblies, the Communist Party, and EPIC (End Poverty in California) and artists such as Jack London, John Steinbeck, and Upton Sinclair.
Kerouac was tremendously impressed with Snyder, not only by his verses, but by his varied interests, which included Native American cultures and oral literature, Tang Dynasty Chinese poets, the Wobblies, folksinging, mountaineering, skiing, and Zen meditation.
I got the wobblies the morning I arrived for rehearsal but I soon got into the swing of things again.
Unable to stomach the Socialist Party because of its longtime hostility to the Wobblies, not constitutionally drawn to independent activism, she joined the Party and spent the rest of her life within its highest echelons, if more a symbolic warhorse figurehead than a powerful maker of policy.
The Wobblies, who began the Twentieth Century at the cutting edge of agitation with the folk songs of Joe Hill, are evidently as feisty as ever at the fin de siecle.
On one of the days when Jimmy wasn't working or job-hunting, we did the laundry together and then went to the Rand Labor School, where, for a New School term paper on the Wobblies, I went through all the IWW newspapers since January.