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 ?
David Goldberg closely examines the activities of textile workers in three cities around the time of the 1919 strikes in order to assess local variables affecting organizing efforts, to evaluate the legacy of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and to examine the role of pacifist intellectuals in the labor movement.
It was written by Ralph Chaplin (1888-1961), a poet, writer, artist, and organizer for the industrial Workers of the World ("Wobblies") The Wobblies believed in change through violent class struggle; they were active from 1905 until about 1920, and were known equally for their revolutionary activism and for their songs.
Certainly, Debs and his compatriots who later formed the Socialist Party and the Industrial Workers of the World drew very different conclusions than Jane Addams and other Progressive reformers.
A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World and The New Left Revisited (Critical Perspectives on the Past).
Rebel Voices has been consistently praised as the best single-volume history of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.
A new organization, the Industrial Workers of the World, popularly known as the Wobblies, appeared on the restless scene.
He has organized his narrative into sections that examine the formation of the first socialist party in the region through to the impact of the First World War and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia; the period in between the Bolshevik Revolution and the Great Depression, which saw a more revolutionary type of socialism emerge amidst the involvement of the syndicalist unions Industrial Workers of the World and the One Big Union, and the eventual predominance of the Communist Party Canada; and the first five years of the Great Depression, during which time the Communist movement became fractured along ethnic lines and tensions between organizations, particularly between the IWW and the CPC, hampered socialist labor organizing.
Gregory felt so intensely concerning matters of loyalty that he refused to condemn the lynching of Frank Little, an organizer of the Industrial Workers of the World.
Gunderson, who now works as a volunteer for the Lane branch of Industrial Workers of the World, said he was left empty-handed by the company's closure in Springfield.
He is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World and the Surrealist Movement.
Hobo culture also influenced the shape and direction of two mutual aid institutions: the Industrial Workers of the World and the International Brotherhood Welfare Association.

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