The IWW is a revolutionary global union, fighting for better conditions today and economic democracy tomorrow. By training our members in powerful organising methods, direct-action and direct-democracy, we put power in the hands of workers.
We believe that ordinary people are best placed to lead and create change, both at work and in society. We put our members in charge, training each and every one to build and lead their workplace unions, organise their own campaigns and take the action that wins.
We’re an active and fighting union. We know solidarity is strength, and we prove it by looking after each other. We provide advice and representation when you have problems at work, but we’re much more than that.
We’re not here to provide a service; we’re here to build a movement, winning bigger and better victories for working people as our movement grows in strength and confidence.
Originally formed in 1905, the IWW has a rich and proud history, organising workers into revolutionary ‘industrial unions’ along the supply chain of their industry. This form of union organisation provides workers with the maximum clout in any dispute with employers.
When workers in one section of an industry have an issue, their fellow workers along the supply chain can take action to support them, having maximum impact on the running of that industry and hitting the employer where it hurts. This is the basis of our slogan, “an injury to one is an injury to all”.
This is how we can defend and improve our pay, terms and conditions of employment. This is how we can build a better future. Political democracy is (at least) severely limited without democracy within the economy, within industry. The production and distribution of goods and services is the real power that shapes our society.
In the hands of the few – our employers – this power benefits the few. In the hands of all working people it could benefit everyone. Who else but us, working people, produce and distribute all the world’s goods and services?
We make the world turn yet see little of the wealth and make few of the decisions.
Organised into industrial unions, linked together into one big movement, we could take possession of our industries and run them democratically for the good of all.
Your union is your future. Get involved. Join the IWW today!
The Preamble to the IWW Constitution - This is the IWW's mission statement and call to action.
Official IWW Literature - Official IWW literature is any literature, written by or about the IWW, that has been approved by the IWW's General Executive Board (who are elected to one-year terms by a democratic vote of the dues paying membership), or by a direct vote of the IWW's general membership.
Industrial Unionism - The IWW organizes industrially rather than by trade. These Industrial Unionsare to be grouped together into six Departments. Our goal is to organize all industries into One Big Union. here we explain this concept.
Solidarity Unionism - is the term we use for the guiding strategic principles of the IWW as opposed to 'Business Unionism.' We strive to build unions based on the direct strength of workers on the job, without regard to government or employer 'recognition.' It also refers to a strategy that eschews traditional contracts as our end goal. Instead we seek to win gains and build power through direct action tactics, rejecting concessionary bargaining and the prevalent 'no-strike' and 'management rights' clauses most traditional trade unions are all too willing to accept. Here you can find out more about our the IWW's unique and innovative organizing strategy, Solidarity Unionism.
How the IWW Differs from Business Unions - The business 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. The IWW offers a different vision
The IWW Stance on Political Parties and Anarchism - To the end of promoting industrial unity and of securing necessary discipline within the organisation, the IWW refuses all alliances, direct or indirect, with any political parties or anti-political sects, and disclaims responsibility for any individual opinion or act which may be at variance with the purposes herein expressed.
The IWW's Stance on Ecology - 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.
Strike not for a few cents more an hour, because the price of living will be raised faster still, but strike for all you earn, be content with nothing less.
Lucy Parsons, IWW
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.