The IWW (Industrial Workers Of The World)
the member-controlled international radical union organisation is to hold a historic meeting in Nottingham on 21st May with the aim of setting up a new Nottinghamshire General Membership Branch or Group of the Union.
The IWW continues to grow rapidly in Britain
and now has over 400 members in this part of the world. These are organisers in workplaces and communities, some holding dual card membership of existing TUC affiliated unions and long histories of activism. The basic idea of the IWW
is to organise industrially rather than by craft or trade and to be uncompromising in rejection of business unionism, bureaucracy and sell-outs. As an organisation based on our common class interest as employees rather than the finer points of political programmes the IWW unites workers with a variety of political viewpoints and all workers are welcome provided they agree to the aims and principles and do not seek to use the IWW for the benefit of their own current or party. This is a refreshing atmosphere for those of us used to the sectarian wrangling of much of the British Left. Unity is strength!
Currently the IWW in Britain is heavily involved
in the campaign to defend workers and services in the National Blood Service and the campaign to defend Adult Education in Leicester.
Members, rather than officers or full-timers are the backbone of the union. In the current climate, there is a pressing need to organise amongst low paid, exploited and migrant workers as well as to link together the most militant workers in better organised sectors afflicted by unions with a business union or timid Labourist outlook.
The IWW comes with a great history
of doing just these things in legendary episodes of North American Labour History, but is now perhaps finally beginning to spread, to fulfill it's early promise to be a truly international "One Big Union" and to rebuild in a globalised and connected world that could make the original vision much more realisable.
Later in the year another historic meeting will take place where the IWW holds a General Assembly outside North America, hosted by the London General Membership Branch. This will hopefully be attended by representatives of various syndicalist
, industrial unionist
and union base organisations from across Europe and the world. Rampant global neo-liberalism deserves a response on an international level - we need to work towards the building of a counter power to the banks and corporations and their puppet politicians.
The Nottingham meeting is at the Navigation Inn, Wilford St, 7.30pm, Wednesday 21st May. All supporters, members and those interested in building a real alternative and practical suportive network for ourselves are welcome to attend.
Labels: British Left, International, IWW, Unions and Work