The Industrial Workers of the World, established in 1905, is a labor union that covers all industries across North America. We operate with transparency and follow democratic principles in all our functions, upholding the right to strike as a key aspect of our representation.
The IWW is a union for everyone in the working class. Whether you’re a wage worker, student, intern, apprentice, retired, between jobs, incarcerated, migrant, temporary, gig worker, freelancer, or independent contractor, you’re welcome here. Our membership cuts across the lines of race, gender, religion, nationality, and sexual orientation.
Our core strategy is building ‘One Big Union,’ uniting all workers regardless of their profession. We believe that all workers should band together to supplant wage labor, fostering an environment of industrial democracy. However, this call excludes those whose roles inherently oppose the interests of the working class. As such, those working in law enforcement including prison guards) landlords, and bosses are not permitted to join the IWW.
Unlike big business unions, the IWW operates differently on several key fronts:
Direct Action: While big business unions often engage in lengthy negotiations with employers that result in minimal gains for members, workers in the IWW focus on direct action. This could include strikes, workplace demonstrations, or other actions driven by the workers themselves.
Inclusivity: Large, mainstream unions typically represent specific trades or professions. The IWW, on the other hand, includes all workers regardless of industry, role, or employment status. This broader representation helps us unite workers across different sectors and circumstances.
Bottom-Up Democracy: Big business unions often have hierarchies and leaders who make decisions on behalf of their members. In contrast, the IWW operates on a model of direct democracy, where every member has an equal say in decisions.
Non-Cooperation with Management: Whereas traditional unions may work cooperatively with management, the IWW prioritizes the interests of workers first and foremost. This often leads to more confrontational tactics but ensures that the needs of the workers are always front and center.
The Mid-Valley General Membership Branch of the IWW was founded on June 30th, 2019 after members voted to accept the by-laws and application.
Our branch meets monthly in-person (Corvallis) while also offering participation through zoom! Send an email to email@example.com to find out more.
Mid-Valley IWW Boundaries
Our General Membership Branch adheres to a decentralized committee model in order to reduce dependence on individual members to keep the work moving. When you join, you can choose one of these options to get involved with and join as a general committee member.
The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life.
Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth.
We find that the centering of the management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the ever growing power of the employing class. The trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers.
These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry, or in all industries if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one an injury to all.
Instead of the conservative motto, “A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, “Abolition of the wage system.”
It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organized, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.