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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
They were sifted and made the basis for a presentation to a federal grand jury and the indictment of 166 Wobblies on various charges, including violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.
The developments have clearly become a distraction." A team insider alleged Sutton called disabled cyclists "wobblies".
McKillen complements recent studies on draft resistance, the IWW, the wartime state, and the AFL (Jeanette Keith, Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Fight, [Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004]; Peter Cole, Wobblies on the Waterfront, [Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007]; Christopher Capozzola, Uncle Sam Wants You, [New York: Oxford University Press, 2008]; Jennifer Luff, Commonsense Anticommunism, [Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012]).
Graphic artists celebrate the centenary of the revolutionary labor union with an illustrated history in a wide variety of artistic styles, interspersed with some contemporary art used by the Wobblies. They feature the heroes, victories, glorious defeats, creative tactics, music, and other aspects through 2001.
At the same time, she was organizing Georgia Pacific mill workers into an IWW labour union -- the Wobblies, the Industrial Workers of the World, the labour union of Joe Hill and Mother Jones and Eugene Debs and Lucy Parsons and Elizabeth Gurley Flinn and Big Bill Haywood, all the noted radicals of their days back in the 20s that the FBI was found to wipe out!
But Fishback fails to mention that many employers even worked with the UMWA to avoid the more radical demands of the anticapitalist Industrial Workers of the World, known as the Wobblies.
Barbara Nestor was a strong-minded woman who greatly admired the Wobblies and their aversion to self-important leaders.
The myth is that Hill became a prolific songwriter of songs meant to "fan the flames of discontent," inspired by the work of the Wobblies. One of Hill's most famous songs, "The Preacher and the Slave," written to the tune of a religious hymn with its barbed lyrics aimed at religious "holy rollers" and the Salvation Army, is assumed to have been written solely on the basis of the street corner competition between the radical union and the revivalists for the hearts and minds of the working class.
You have enough to deal with without spoiled children throwing wobblies. Tell them either to make up and meet at home as a family or stay away altogether.
(Paperback books were sufficient to get high.) Nor, later on, would it be what Morris Dickstein called his "spiritual push-ups." ("Om Om Om Sa Ra Wa Du Da Da Ki Ni Yea" and so on unto sedation.) Rather, it was his Other America--an alternative nation of Tom Mooney, Sacco and Vanzetti, the Scottsboro boys, the Wobblies and his Communist Jewish mother: "Get married Allen don't take drugs."
And for Wobblies, of course, solidarity had no limits.
Did socialists, anarchists, and Wobblies agree with certain aspects of these two types of citizenship and if so, which ones?