Why we support the IWW

Why am I a wob? Start with the culture. I love the songs, the history and the like-minded (yet at the same time, unlike-minded) people who are drawn to the IWW. Over the years we've all come together with one thing in common-work. For better, or worse, we're workers. The history of the wobs has shown us that workers are not cogs or automatons. We're individuals. As IWW members we choose to work together toward a collective goal-to claim what is ours. We don't want pie in the sky; we don't need bosses to tell us what to do. We want what all free beings want-a chance to live a life full of meaningful work and play. The current system doesn't allow this. I'm a wob because I believe collective effort is the only way to stop the cycle of oppression in this world. If enough of us stand firm together and say “this must stop,” it will. That's why I'm a wob.

KD Oct. 2006

I'm a fifty-year-old, unhyphenated anarchist. I've been in the IWW for nearly ten years

I felt especially drawn to the union's libertarian streak. Opposing bosses means opposing their essence-bossiness. The fact the IWW's first major actions were Free Speech Fights is fitting, though probably accidental.

The IWW is almost always outmatched in terms of money and brute force. The wobblies have compensated by tapping the imagination. Not content to merely think outside the box; chop it up for firewood!

Related to the above, the IWW accepts a relatively diverse range of ideas. Although I get some odd looks, the wobs manage to put up with my heresies.

At times I get frustrated by the IWW. The union is still laden with leftist baggage which I think interferes with the IWW mission. Occasionally I am ready to quit.

I've always stayed, though, because the IWW hasn't given up on me.

MW Aug 2006

Why I support IWW.
 
When the unions were at the height of their power, workers were receiving better health care benefits, overtime pay, and improved working conditions.   As unions became less powerful, business owners took advantage of the situation and workers found their benefits were slowly disappearing to provide greater profits for owners and stockholders of businesses. 
Today I see that workers are engaged in a constant struggle for benefits that should be provided by humane directors of major industries.    When a company like Wal-Mart can make huge profits on the backs of its laborers by cheating them out of overtime and providing little or no health care packages, I feel I have to do something to support the unions that can make a difference.  Wal-Mart has also been a major influence in inducing their suppliers to move their operations overseas for cheaper labor and cheaper products.  Daily in this country a new group of workers are searching for jobs because their companies products are being outsourced.
Even though I’ve passed the age where I work full time, I feel that by joining the IWW and supporting their cause I may be able to help the current workers obtain the benefits they deserve and to assure they will have safe and secure working conditions.
 
DN Aug. 2006

I support and belong to the IWW because it is an all inclusive union concerned with the welfare of all workers. For over thirty years I have traveled to factories and warehouses all over the U.S., Canada, and Scandinavia. Too often I have observed workers exploited by low pay, disrespect, and dangerous conditions. I had heard of the IWW but not until I had internet access was I able to learn more about the IWW and join, which I did the day I found http://www.IWW.org. I hope to help other workers and keep competition between companies fair.

In a more philisophical way, I would say.
Organized labor is the only counter balance to the "Industrial Feudalism*" under which we live today.
 
Before the industrial revolution most workers were agriculturally employed, today most workers are industrially employed but as in pre industrial times the resources and means of production are controlled by a few families. I see the social economic system today as feudalism based on industry, industrial feudalism. Workers must unite to end this modern form of feudal subservience. I believe the IWW offers the best solution. If workers do not act in their own defense they will face short squalid lives, as did the peasants of old, while owner families live long lives in opulence. My ethics lead me to choose industrial collectivism over industrial feudalism.

*Feudal System - social and economic system based on the holdings of estate in land by a feudal lord.

EG Aug. 2006

While it is a small union, the IWW has made a huge impact on American labor history, and it continues to survive and support the organization of democratic, member run unions. It is also a singing union! I have learned more from IWW songs and oral history than from any book on the labor movement. I've also met quite a cast of characters in the IWW. A union should connect people, and the IWW certainly does bring people together. Many of my friends are Wobs, and they are wonderful, interesting, frustrating folks whom I propably wouldn't have met anywhere else. I also feel like the IWW crosses the so-called generation gap and connects younger people with those who are more experienced. I have met many of my mentors through the IWW. I hope that the IWW will continue to fight the good fight for years to come.


NM Sept. 2006