You are on page 1of 16


O f f i c i a l n e w s p a p e r oF T h e I n d u s t r i a l Wo r k e r s o f t h e Wo r l d Special:
M ay 2 0 11 #1735 Vol . 10 8 N o. 4 $2 / £ 2 / € 2
May Day issue!

ILWU Local 10 Shuts The Evolution of The Art of the IWW Key Figures from
Down Oakland Port May Day Worldwide Protest Song the IWW in South
5 6-7 10-11 Africa 15

Six Jimmy John’s Workers Fired For Whistleblowing

By the IWW Jimmy Johns Under current
Workers Union policy, Jimmy John’s
Thousands of community supporters workers are disciplined
have jammed Jimmy John’s phone lines for calling in sick if
and flooded the chain's Facebook page they cannot find a
with messages of outrage and support for replacement. In ad-
six whistleblowers who were fired for ex- dition, many workers
posing widespread coercion to work at the are unable to afford to
chain while sick. On March 25, the work- take a day off if they
ers announced that they plan to escalate are ill because wages
actions against Jimmy John’s until their at the sandwich chain
demands for the right to call in sick, paid hover around the fed-
sick days, and reinstatement of the fired eral minimum of $7.25
workers are met. an hour. The result
“We will not be silenced. Speaking of these pressures is
out against the policy of forcing workers that sandwich-makers
to work while sick is not only our right, it often have to work
is our duty,” said Erik Forman, one of the while sick, creating
fired sandwich workers. “The unfettered an enormous public
greed of franchise owner Mike Mulligan health risk.
and Jimmy John himself jeopardizes the After franchise
health of thousands of customers and management rebuffed
workers almost every day. We will speak numerous employee
out until they realize that no one wants requests to reform the
to eat a sandwich filled with cold and flu sick day policy,
germs.” Continued on 8 The JJWU calls attention to six Wobblies who were fired. Graphic: IWW Jimmy Johns Workers Union

Fired Union Barista Achieves Victory In Brooklyn By NYC Wobblies aware that Bauer was organizing with the
After an aggressive nine-month cam- One Big Union, their response was harsh
paign consisting of both legal action and and relentless. Bauer was subjected to
increasingly more militant direct action, mistreatment, harassment and verbal
the New York City IWW was victorious abuse on a daily basis.
in seeking justice for Fellow Worker Jeff In June 2010, Bauer suffered a se-
Bauer, who was fired from the 7th Avenue vere cut in hours when he stood up for a
location of Ozzie’s Coffee & Tea in Brook- coworker who was physically assaulted
lyn, N.Y., on June 29, 2010. and threatened by store manager Raphael
Bauer worked at the independent Bernadine’s boyfriend, a former cop, on
Park Slope coffee shop, a neighborhood the shop floor. In response to this retalia-
institution, for more than one year and tory attack on Bauer’s right to defend his
proved himself to be a hard worker with a coworker from a violent confrontation,
strong work ethic. The quality of his labor as well as his legally-protected right to
was never questioned before his union discuss workplace conditions, Bauer led
affiliation with the IWW was leaked to a union delegation of six Wobblies and
management when Bauer helped orga- supporters into Ozzie’s Coffee & Tea. The
nize a May Day benefit event for the NYC purpose of this “March on the Boss” was
IWW in 2010. In fact, Bauer was offered to deliver a demand letter directly to the
the store manager position, but turned it boss and officially notify him of Bauer’s
down on principle as it went against his affiliation with the IWW. Bauer’s list of
political beliefs as both an anarchist and demands included his hours be restored to
Wobblies protest Ozzie’s on Jan. 29, 2011. a Wobbly. When management was made Continued on 9

Industrial Worker
PO Box 180195
Chicago, IL 60618, USA
Periodicals Postage
Chicago, IL
Solidarity Greetings From The IW
ISSN 0019-8870
and additional
mailing offices To all the
against the
bosses on the
shop floor and
on the streets,
this is your day.
Happy May Day!
Page 2 • Industrial Worker • May 2011

Organizing In Wisconsin: Looking Back & Moving Forward

By Oliver Lanti militant workers who wanted to move but from our experience
I was lucky enough to recently spend forward. I’ve been hoping for years that the in Wisconsin it is clear
a month in Wisconsin organizing for the IWW would develop organically to be able that we are building one
IWW. I plan to write collectively about the to influence future working-class struggles collectively, just as it is
experience with some of the other Fellow that will take place beyond the walls of a clear that we never would
Workers who were present, but for now I’ll single factory (or coffee shop). To be clear, have been ready to have
Letters Welcome! write something less formal from my own the focus on actual workplaces and actual the impact that we did
Send your letters to:
personal thoughts. workers, as opposed to the completely if we hadn’t already wet
with “Letter” in the subject.
I’ve never been more proud of my red spectacular activism that I saw everywhere our feet, as an organiza-
Mailing address: card than when I first read that the IWW else, was what brought me into the IWW tion, in the day-to-day class
IW, P.O. Box 7430, JAF Station, New was agitating for a general strike, and that back in 2005. struggles at Starbucks, Jimmy John’s, and
York, NY 10116, United States this was resonating in the broader working In 2011, it was the IWW’s agitation a myriad of other businesses.
class. I think the IWW is the best game in for working-class collective action on a I look forward to the debate in the
Get the Word Out! town for those who want to “fan the flames broad social level that brought me back IWW about what we can learn from this
IWW members, branches, job shops and of discontent,” and I have thought that after about 18 months of inactivity. Among struggle and how we can better prepare
other affiliated bodies can get the word ever since I joined, just after the centenary. other things, to use FW J. Pierce’s idea for the next one. I’ll close this letter with
out about their project, event, campaign Although our strength and our successes of “Goals, Strategy, Tactics,” I’d been a quote from an excellent pamphlet I read
or protest each month in the Industrial have been limited, it seems that we are the discouraged by a feeling that the IWW just after leaving Wisconsin, Justus Eb-
Worker. Send announcements to iw@ only organization in the United States or had a goal (that the workers of the world ert’s “The I.W.W. in Theory and Practice” Much appreciated donations for Canada that has any program for building should “take possession of the means of (1919):
the following sizes should be sent to: up new working-class militants, through production, abolish the wage system, and “This brings us to another question,
our model of “solidarity unionism.” live in harmony with the earth”) and a namely: Does the I.W.W. believe in and
IWW GHQ, Post Office Box 180195, However, during the May Day protests of tactic (build working-class militants and advocate politics? Absolutely! The I.W.W.
Chicago, IL 60618, United States. 2005 and 2006, the IWW was relatively win concessions from employers through is neither anti-political nor non-political.
uninvolved: most branches marched in solidarity unionism), but, like a group of The I.W.W. is ultra-political. That is, the
$12 for 1” tall, 1 column wide solidarity with immigrant workers, but as gnomes from South Park, we lacked a step I.W.W. believes that getting votes and
$40 for 4” by 2 columns an organization we had basically nothing two, a strategy that could link the goal and winning office is not politics of a funda-
$90 for a quarter page to offer to any militant, self-organized the tactic. We still don’t have one, really, mental kind.”

Industrial Worker
The Voice of Revolutionary
IWW directory
Industrial Unionism Australia Ottawa Panhandlers Union: Andrew Nellis, Georgia New York City GMB: P.O. Box 7430, JAF Station,
Regional Organising Committee: P.O. Box 1866, spokesperson, 613-748-0460. ottawapanhandler- Atlanta: M. Bell, del.,404-693-4728, iwwbell@ 10116,
Albany, WA Starbucks Campaign: 44-61 11th St. Fl. 3, Long
Organization Albany: 0423473807, Peterborough: c/o PCAP, 393 Water St. #17, K9H Hawaii Island City 11101
Education Melbourne: P.O. Box 145, Moreland, VIC 3058. 3L7, 705-749-9694 Honolulu: Tony Donnes, del.,
0448 712 420 Toronto GMB: c/o Libra Knowledge & Information
Emancipation Svcs Co-op, P.O. Box 353 Stn. A, M5W 1C2. 416- Idaho Hudson Valley GMB: P.O. Box 48, Huguenot 12746,
Perth: Mike Ballard, 919-7392. Boise: Ritchie Eppink, del., P.O. Box 453, 83701. 845-342-3405,, http://hviww.
British Isles Québec 208-371-9752,
Official newspaper of the Montreal GMB: cp 60124, Montréal, QC, H2J 4E1. Illinois Syracuse IWW:
British Isles Regional Organising Committee (BI-
Industrial Workers ROC): PO Box 7593 Glasgow, G42 2EX. Secretariat: 514-268-3394. Chicago GMB: 2117 W. Irving Park Rd., 60618. Upstate NY GMB: P.O. Box 235, Albany 12201-, Organising Department Chair: 773-857-1090. Gregory Ehrendreich, del., 312- 0235, 518-833-6853 or 518-861-5627. www.
of the World 479-8825,, secretary@upstate-ny-iww.
Post Office Box 180195 IWW UK Web Site administrators and Tech Depart- Central Ill GMB: 903 S. Elm, Champaign, IL, 61820. org, Rochelle Semel, del., P.O. Box 172, Fly Creek
ment Coordinators:, www. Finland 217-356-8247. David Johnson, del., unionyes@ 13337, 607-293-6489,
Chicago, IL 60618 USA Helsinki: Reko Ravela, Otto Brandtintie 11 B 25,
00650. Freight Truckers Hotline: Ohio
773.857.1090 • NBS Job Branch National Blood Service: iww.nbs@ German Language Area Waukegan: P.O Box 274, 60079. Ohio Valley GMB: P.O. Box 42233, Cincinnati Mission Print Job Branch: tomjoad3@hotmail. IWW German Language Area Regional Organizing 45242. Committee (GLAMROC): Post Fach 19 02 03, 60089 Indiana Textile & Clothing Workers IU 410: P.O. Box 317741
Building Construction Workers IU 330: construc- Frankfurt/M, Germany Lafayette GMB: P.O. Box 3793, West Lafayette, Cincinnati 45231.
General Secretary-Treasurer: 47906, 765-242-1722 Oklahoma
Joe Tessone Austria: www.iw- Iowa
Health Workers IU 610: Tulsa: P.O. Box 213 Medicine Park 73557, 580-529-
uk, Eastern Iowa GMB: 114 1/2 E. College Street, Iowa
Frankfurt am Main: City, 52240. 3360.
General Executive Board: Education Workers IU 620:, Oregon Koeln GMB: IWW, c/o BCC, Pfaelzer Str. 2-4, 50677 Maine
Koala Largess, Ildiko Sipos, Koeln, Germany. Lane GMB: Ed Gunderson, del., 541-953-3741.
Recreational Workers (Musicians) IU 630: peltonc@ Munich: Barry Rodrigue, 75 Russell Street, Bath, 04530.,
Ryan G., John Slavin, Jason Krpan, 207-442-7779
John Reimann, Greg Giorgio Switzerland: Portland GMB: 2249 E Burnside St., 97214,
General, Legal, Public Interest & Financial Office Maryland 503-231-5488., pdx.
Workers IU 650: Netherlands: Baltimore IWW: P.O. Box 33350, 21218. balti-
Editor & Graphic Designer : Bradford:
South Africa Massachusetts Portland Red and Black Cafe: 400 SE 12th Ave,
Diane Krauthamer Bristol GMB: P.O. Box 4, 82 Colston street, BS1 97214. 503-231-3899. redandblackbooking@ 5BB. Tel. 07506592180., Cape Town: 7a Rosebridge, Linray Road, Rosebank, Boston Area GMB: PO Box 391724, Cambridge www. Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa 7700. 02139. 617-469-5162
Cambridge GMB: IWWCambridge, 12 Mill Road, Cape Cod/SE Massachusetts: Pennsylvania
Final Edit Committee : Cambridge CB1 2AD Western Mass. Public Service IU 650 Branch: IWW, Lancaster GMB: P.O. Box 796, 17608.
Maria Rodriguez Gil, Tom Levy, Dorset: United States P.O. Box 1581, Northampton 01061 Paper Crane Press IU 450 Job Shop: 610-358-
Nick Jusino, FW D. Keenan, J.R. Hull: Arizona 9496., www.
Boyd, Mathieu Dube, Neil Parthun, Leeds:, leeds@iww. Phoenix GMB: P.O. Box 7126, 85011-7126. 623- Detroit GMB: 22514 Brittany Avenue, E. Detroit 336-1062. 48021. Tony Khaled, del., 21328 Pittsburgh GMB: P.O. Box 5912,15210. pitts-
Michael Capobianco, Skylaar
Leicester GMB: Unit 107, 40 Halford St., Leicester Flagstaff: Courtney Hinman, del., 928-600-7556, Redmond Ave., East Detroit 48021
Amann, Chris Heffner LE1 1TQ, England. Tel. 07981 433 637, leics@iww. Rhode Island
Grand Rapids GMB: PO Box 6629, 49516. 616-881- Arkansas 5263. Shannon Williams, del., 616-881-5263 Providence GMB: P.O. Box 5795, 02903. 508-367-
Printer: London GMB: c/o Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, Fayetteville: P.O. Box 283, 72702. 479-200-1859. Central Michigan: 5007 W. Columbia Rd., Mason 6434.
Globe Direct/Boston Globe Media 84b Whitechapel High Street, E1 7QX. +44 (0) 20 48854. 517-676-9446, happyhippie66@hotmail. Texas
3393 1295, www.iww. DC com
Millbury, MA org/en/branches/UK/London Dallas & Fort Worth: 1618 6th Ave, Fort Worth,
DC GMB (Washington): 741 Morton St NW, Wash- Minnesota 76104.
Nottingham: ington DC, 20010. 571-276-1935 Duluth IWW: Brad Barrows, del., 1 N. 28th Ave E.,
Next deadline is Reading GMB: 55812. South Texas IWW:
California Utah
May 6, 2011 Sheffield: Los Angeles GMB: P.O. Box 811064, 90081. Red River IWW: POB 103, Moorhead, 56561. 218-
Tyne and Wear GMB (Newcastle +): tyneand- (310)205-2667. 287-0053. Salt Lake City IWW: 801-485-1969. tr_wobbly@ North Coast GMB: P.O. Box 844, Eureka 95502- Twin Cities GMB: 79 13th Ave NE Suite 103A, Min- yahoo .com
U.S. IW mailing address: neapolis 55413.
UK/Tyne 0844. 707-725-8090, Vermont
IW, P.O. Box 7430, JAF Sta- West Midlands GMB: The Warehouse, 54-57 Allison San Francisco Bay Area GMB: (Curbside and Buy- Missouri Burlington GMB: P.O. Box 8005, 05402. 802-540-
tion, New York, NY 10116 Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B5 5TH westmids@ back IU 670 Recycling Shops; Stonemountain Kansas City GMB: c/o 5506 Holmes St., 64110. 2541 Fabrics Job Shop and IU 410 Garment and Textile 816-523-3995
Worker’s Industrial Organizing Committee; Shattuck Washington
ISSN 0019-8870 York GMB: St. Louis IWW:
Cinemas; Embarcadero Cinemas) P.O. Box 11412, Bellingham: P.O. Box 1793, 98227. 360-920-6240.
Periodicals postage Scotland Berkeley, 94712. 510-845-0540. Montana
paid Chicago, IL. Clydeside GMB: c/o IWW, P.O. Box 7593, Glasgow, IU 520 Marine Transport Workers: Steve Ongerth, Two Rivers GMB: PO Box 9366, Missoula 59807. Tacoma GMB: P.O. Box 7276, 98401. TacIWW@
G42 2EX., www.iw- del., 406-459-7585. IU 540 Couriers Organizing Committee: 415- Construction Workers IU 330: Dennis Georg, del.,
Postmaster: Send address Olympia GMB: P.O. Box 2775, 98507. Sam Green,
Dumfries and Galloway GMB: 789-MESS, 406-490-3869, del.,
changes to IW, Post Office Box uk , Billings: Jim Del Duca, del., 406-860-0331, Seattle GMB: 1122 E. Pike #1142, 98122-3934.
180195 Chicago, IL 60618 USA Edinburgh GMB: c/o 17 W. Montgomery Place, EH7 Evergreen Printing: 2335 Valley Street, Oakland,
5HA. 0131-557-6242, 94612. 510-835-0254. 206-339-4179. www.
San Jose: Nevada
Canada Colorado Reno GMB: P.O. Box 40132, 89504. Paul Lenart, Wisconsin
Individual Subscriptions: $18 del., 775-513-7523,
Alberta Denver GMB: 2727 W. 27th Ave., 80211. Lowell Madison GMB: P.O. Box 2442, 53703-2442. www.
International Subscriptions: $20 Edmonton GMB: P.O. Box 75175, T6E 6K1. edmon- May, del., 303-433-1852. breadandroses@msn. IU 520 Railroad Workers: Ron Kaminkow, del., P.O.
Library Subs: $24/year, com Box 2131, Reno, 89505. 608-358-5771. ronka- Lakeside Press IU 450 Job Shop: 1334 Williamson,
Union dues includes subscription. Four Corners (AZ, CO, NM, UT): 970-903-8721, 53703. 608-255-1800. Jerry Chernow, del., jerry@
British Columbia New Jersey
Vancouver GMB: 204-2274 York Ave., Vancouver, Central New Jersey GMB: P.O. Box 10021, New
Published monthly with the excep- BC, V6K 1C6. Phone/fax 604-732-9613. gmb-van@ Florida Madison Infoshop Job Shop:1019 Williamson St.
Brunswick, 08906. 732-801-7001. iwwcnj@gmail. #B, 53703. 608-262-9036
tion of February and August.,, vancouverwob. Gainesville GMB: c/o Civic Media Center, 433 S. com. Bob Ratynski, del., 908-285-5426 Main St., 32601. Jason Fults, del., 352-318-0060, Just Coffee Job Shop IU 460: 1129 E. Wilson, New Mexico
Articles not so designated do Manitoba Madison, 53703. 608-204-9011,
Winnipeg GMB: IWW, c/o WORC, P.O. Box 1, R3C Miami IWW: Albuquerque GMB: 202 Harvard Dr. SE, 87106.
not reflect the IWW’s 505-227-0206, GDC Local 4: P.O. Box 811, 53701. 608-262-9036.
2G1. Garth Hardy, Hobe Sound: P. Shultz, 8274 SE Pine Circle, 33455-
official position. del., 6608. 772-545-9591, New York Railroad Workers IU 520: 608-358-5771. railfal-
Ontario Pensacola GMB: P.O. Box 2662, Pensacola 32513- Binghamton Education Workers Union (IU 620):
Ottawa-Outaouais GMB & GDC Local 6: 1106 Wel- 2662. 840-437-1323,, P.O. Box 685, 13905. Milwaukee GMB: 1750A N Astor St., 53207. Trevor
Press Date: April 20, 2011 lington St., PO Box 36042, Ottawa, ON K1Y 4V3 Smith, 414-573-4992.
May 2011 • Industrial Worker • Page 3

A Week Of Commemoration For The Triangle Factory Fire

By Tom Keough a combination of speakers and a fashion
In the month of March, IWW members show by students. The event was hosted
commemorated the 100th anniversary by the staff union, the United College
of the terrible Triangle Shirtwaist Fac- Employees of the Fashion Institute of
tory Fire. Nobody has forgotten how the Technology (UCE FIT). The president of
businessmen were allowed to treat their the union, Juliette Romano, was great—
employees so badly that 146 people were she spoke about her union and said that
killed and the owners got away with serv- she is very proud that her union was
ing no prison time, paying no money to the always a union of all the staff at FIT. All
victims’ families and eventually becoming staff, from building staff, office staff, and
the proprietors of a new factory nearby and professors, are members of one union.
continued to live the good life. The main speaker was Kalpona Akter,
Recently, an excellent website, http:// a former child garment worker and Execu-, was tive Director of the Bangladesh Center for
set up that helped facilitate and publicize Worker Solidarity (BCWS). She spoke of
many activities designed to memorial- a recent fire which killed 54 women in
ize the tragedy. They published a list of Bangladesh. She said that, “Bangladesh
events which included 94 different types essentially has a Triangle Fire every year.”
of events in New York City and nearly She spoke about the suffering of the work-
that many in other parts of the United ing class and their recent fight back, as well
States. The television station PBS ran an as problems of the U.S. working class buy-
Commemorating the Triangle victims at the site of the fire. Photo: Diane Krauthamer
excellent documentary on the fire and ing clothes made in sweatshops. Last year
the labor movement of that time. These garment workers in Bangladesh organized month. Some improvements were made all listed on the back. Some people who
events were organized and sponsored by a massive strike. Many of the workers were in the areas of safety, sanitation and marched were relatives of people who were
dozens of unions, Jewish organizations, imprisoned. Akter and several other lead- scheduling. killed. The message of the march was ex-
women’s groups, schools, musicians, ers were given special treatment in prison, This forum led up to the main Triangle plained with signs with such messages as
Italian-American and Asian-American and they were tortured repeatedly. It was Fire remembrance event—a spirited march “When it comes to Corporate Profits LIFE
organizations, church groups and even only through international solidarity from and rally in front of the building where the is an Expendable Commodity.”
some elected officials. many organizations, including Amnesty fire occurred—on March 25, 2011. IWW member David Temple was there
Wobblies participated in several of International and the International Labor Early that morning a group of people with his high school students. Many of
these events. Wobblies from New York Rights Forum (ILRF), that brought their assembled in Union Square. One-hundred these students are from Bangladesh. Fel-
and New Jersey went to a very well-orga- release. The ILRF and SweatFree Com- forty-six people wore the names of the low Worker Temple was actually able to
nized evening forum at the Fashion In- munities were also sponsors of the event, victims of the fire. Many unions were have his students meet with U.S. Labor
stitute of Technology (FIT) on March 23. proving, once again, why solidarity is still represented by groups of their members Secretary Hilda Solis. He teaches his stu-
Entering the hall, attendees walked by so important today. with their families and friends. Laborers dents about international labor issues and
cardboard buildings Akter felt that Local 79 and other unions also gave their has long run a program called the Bread
eight feet tall with the strike did not members signs which had the names of and Roses Curriculum. The students met
cardboard women achieve enough of people who died in the fire. The Team- Solis while marching down Broadway from
on fire leaping to its goals. The strike sters, the Amalgamated Lithographers Union Square Park. She recognized him
their deaths—a very and the previous of America (ALA), the Retail, Wholesale bringing his students to the commemora-
difficult image to organizing did get and Department Store Union (RWDSU), tion and chatted with the students. She
forget. The entire a pay increase, Actors Equity, the Hudson County Labor asked them where they were from and a
FIT community— raising the pay from Central Labor Council of N.J., UCE FIT 19-year-old told her three of them were
students, staff and an amount equal to and FIT students as well as union staff from Uzbekistan, seven from China, eight
administration— $10 per month be- and students from New York University, from Bangladesh, and one from Tibet!
worked skillfully fore the organizing United Students Against Sweatshops, Earlier, in the park, FW Temple spotted
to remember this began to $20 per other organizations and even some elected Bjorn from SweatFree Communities with
profit-driven horror Photo: Tom Keough month. Last year’s officials marched. Some marchers had the garment labor leader from Bangla-
“in our industry.” Babul Akhter & Kalpona Akter, Bangla- strike changed the large photos of the Triangle workers, desh, Kalpona Akter, The students chatted
The forum included desh Center for Worker Solidarity. pay to $40 per while others wore t-shirts with the names with Akter, mostly in English. After this
event, Akter went on to speak in Chicago,
IWW Constitution Preamble Join the IWW Today Boston,Washington, D.C., Philadelphia

The working class and the employing he IWW is a union for all workers, a union dedicated to organizing on the and then at New York University the fol-
class have nothing in common. There can job, in our industries and in our communities both to win better conditions lowing week.
be no peace so long as hunger and want today and to build a world without bosses, a world in which production and “It was meaningful and emotional. I
are found among millions of working distribution are organized by workers ourselves to meet the needs of the entire popu- washed a tear to think that my Bubby and
people and the few, who make up the em- lation, not merely a handful of exploiters. Pop could have been victims, too, and feel
ploying class, have all the good things of so proud of my radical union grandfather,”
We are the Industrial Workers of the World because we organize industrially ­–
life. Between these two classes a struggle
that is to say, we organize all workers on the job into one union, rather than dividing said FW Temple. There were about 2,000
must go on until the workers of the world
workers by trade, so that we can pool our strength to fight the bosses together. people present and the entertainment was
organize as a class, take possession of the
Since the IWW was founded in 1905, we have recognized the need to build a truly good. Another highlight was when Mayor
means of production, abolish the wage
system, and live in harmony with the international union movement in order to confront the global power of the bosses Bloomberg went on to speak, the crowd
earth. and in order to strengthen workers’ ability to stand in solidarity with our fellow booed him. Bloomberg is known for want-
We find that the centering of the man- workers no matter what part of the globe they happen to live on. ing to break city unions.
agement of industries into fewer and fewer We are a union open to all workers, whether or not the IWW happens to have On March 26, Wobblies attended the
hands makes the trade unions unable to representation rights in your workplace. We organize the worker, not the job, recog- Sweatfree Upper West Side Rally. This was
cope with the ever-growing power of the nizing that unionism is not about government certification or employer recognition organized to connect the other Triangle
employing class. The trade unions foster but about workers coming together to address our common concerns. Sometimes events to the problems of sweatshops
a state of affairs which allows one set of this means striking or signing a contract. Sometimes it means refusing to work with today in New York City. This event was or-
workers to be pitted against another set an unsafe machine or following the bosses’ orders so literally that nothing gets done. ganized to support the fired workers at the
of workers in the same industry, thereby Sometimes it means agitating around particular issues or grievances in a specific Saigon Grill restaurant who protest and
helping defeat one another in wage wars. workplace, or across an industry. leaflet every day outside the restaurant.
Moreover, the trade unions aid the employ- Because the IWW is a democratic, member-run union, decisions about what issues In 2009, the Saigon Grill was the scene of
ing class to mislead the workers into the to address and what tactics to pursue are made by the workers directly involved. a year of protest by the workers and many
belief that the working class have interests support groups including unions, student
in common with their employers. TO JOIN: Mail this form with a check or money order for initiation groups, workers’ centers and other social
These conditions can be changed and and your first month’s dues to: IWW, Post Office Box 180195, Chicago, IL justice groups. The IWW had joined these
the interest of the working class upheld 60618, USA. picket lines many times. In December
only by an organization formed in such
Initiation is the same as one month’s dues. Our dues are calculated 2009 the owners were arrested and jailed
a way that all its members in any one in-
according to your income. If your monthly income is under $2000, dues for numerous crimes including wage and
dustry, or all industries if necessary, cease
are $9 a month. If your monthly income is between $2000 and $3500, safety violations. A new owner bought the
work whenever a strike or lockout is on in
any department thereof, thus making an dues are $18 a month. If your monthly income is over $3500 a month, dues business. He received community support,
injury to one an injury to all. are $27 a month. Dues may vary outside of North America and in Regional including the required community approv-
Instead of the conservative motto, “A Organizing Committees (Australia, British Isles, German Language Area). al to get a liquor license, because he told
fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” we __I affirm that I am a worker, and that I am not an employer. the community that he would be a “socially
must inscribe on our banner the revolu- conscious” businessman who would run
tionary watchword, “Abolition of the wage __I agree to abide by the IWW constitution. Saigon Grill different from the previous
system.” __I will study its principles and acquaint myself with its purposes. owners. He then fired his staff, saying that
It is the historic mission of the work- Name:_________________________________ he wanted younger looking workers. The
ing class to do away with capitalism. The staff has picketed and leafleting every day
army of production must be organized,
Address:_ ______________________________
since, even in the worst weather. Several
not only for the everyday struggle with City, State, Post Code, Country:________________ hundred people were at the rally, includ-
capitalists, but also to carry on production Occupation:_ ____________________________ ing elected officials and clergy. A union
when capitalism shall have been over- organizing group from Domino’s Pizza
thrown. By organizing industrially we are Phone:_____________ Email:________________
attended the demonstration in solidarity.
forming the structure of the new society Amount Enclosed:__________ One worker told me how they had been
within the shell of the old. Membership includes a subscription to the Industrial Worker.
inspired by the Starbucks Workers Union.
Page 4 • Industrial Worker • May 2011

Their Interests And Ours

By Scott Nappalos living through managing and increasing
“The employers interests are our inter- the labor of others. That pressure leads
ests. We are all in a circle with the patients to interests against our own, and against
in the center,” a union president told us at humanity as a whole.
the first meeting of nurses in my moribund My coworkers at the meeting instinc-
hospital local. The union administrator tively resisted the administrator’s attempts
had been sent from out of state to develop to sell partnership. Every day we face de-
a labor-management partnership com- humanizing behavior and a factory model
mittee and try to create a collaborative of lean production that turns our caring
relation between the bosses and the union. labor for others into a mechanized form of
At my workplace, management routinely assembly labor. Our bosses routinely tell
reminds aging workers they would fire a us they want to eliminate us, and would
third of them if they could to achieve a see us on the streets if they could. They
“change in culture.” do not put forward any concept of working
The union administrator wanted us to together for the patient—instead their po-
develop programs that would cut costs for sition is that we are the problem. Manage-
management and help our working condi- rial organization is directed at solving the
tions. After exploring op- problem posed by work-
tions management would ers unwilling and unable
not accept and ones that to conform to their engi-
would not help us, I half- neered designs. At best,
jokingly suggested we fire they offer us apologies for
all the managers and run the health care system,
the units ourselves. but emphasize discipline,
A veteran nurse who subservience and utilize
usually is a union yes-woman told us a heavy threats.
story. A hurricane swept into our state. At the same time my coworkers were
All the hospitals initiated their emergency not inherently opposed to the idea of a
plans. At her hospital, the director of nurs- partnership. We care about the patients
ing ordered everyone to go home in the so we see the need to have some way of
middle of the storm because she wanted moving forward. The union leadership had
to save money, and was hoping it would to pitch the idea. The workers rejected it
be a small storm. but did not spontaneously propose class
The workers disobeyed and carried out struggle as an alternative, or any alterna-
their own plan to run the hospital without tive for that matter. This dynamic, being
management on board. They successfully pulled between worlds, is not an aberra-
cared for the patients in a disaster situa- tion but is a part of our experience in work.
tion. No one was disciplined for refusing Workers are torn between two worlds—the
to go home. ideas and practices of the dominating
Health care is special in that we need classes and our own—stunted and held
the services it provides. In a sense we back by the constant reproduction of class
all have common interests in keeping relationships all around us. As organizers,
it running. At the same time having a it is our job to draw that process out, and
class analysis of society as a whole helps contribute to building the struggles that
us understand where management and can rupture that teeter-totter and facilitate
workers’ interests diverge even in health our coworkers becoming conscious of their
care. Management is a class that earns its power and interests.

In February 2011, the IWW General Executive Board granted the 330 Industrial Organizing
Committee voluntary dues retention of all its members falling on the jurisdiction of the 330
IOC. This means that all members within the 300 department may opt to pay their dues to
their IOC to further the organizing of their Industry.
How will this work for 300 members that currently belong to a GMB?
For the time being, 300 members will have to decide whether they want to continue being
a part of their general membership branch, or if they want to be a part of their Industrial
Organizing Committee. If you wish to pay your dues to your IOC, simply tell whatever delegate
that you are paying dues to that you wish to have your dues go to the 330 IOC. However,
we are working with the GHQ to make it possible for individuals to belong to both of them
in the near future.
How will this work for 300 members that do not belong to a branch?
This is your chance to belong to and participate in a body of the IWW. If you currently pay
dues through an at-large delegate, you can continue to do so. You must tell the delegate
that you want your dues to go to the 330 IOC (More information for delegates can be found
below). If you are paying online, you will need to stop and begin paying your dues to either
a nearby delegate or to a 330 delegate. You can use the information below to contact the
IOC for more information on how to do this.
I’m a delegate. How do I collect dues for the 330 IOC?
Clearly earmark the dues that are collected for 330 on your delegate sheet. Make sure to Graphic: Mike Konopacki
record what member(s) on your sheet are paying to 330. It is of the upmost importance that
if a member belonging to the 300 department is paying dues to you that you inform the
Fellow Worker of their right to pay dues to their IOC. If the Fellow Worker chooses to do so, Solidarity Greetings from the Pittsburgh
you must be very clear in your recording of the destination of those dues.
I’m a branch secretary, what do I do? Anti-Sweatshop Community Alliance
GHQ has put together a new Branch secretary report for dues collected for IOC’s. When you
take in the delegates sheets every month, you will check to see if there are any earmarked
dues for the 330 IOC. If so, you will record this on a separate report that you will receive from
And the IWW’s unofficial
GHQ. (If you do not have this report form contact GHQ for instructions). The dues will not be Cartography Department…
split with the branch. The full dues will be sent to GHQ, and headquarters will split the dues please send maps to Kenneth
there between the IOC and GHQ.
Miller, 1306 Sheffield Street,
This is a great step in the march to Industrial democracy within the construction industry. 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA
Our dues retention will provide us with the ability to provide our members with new member 15233. Call 412-867-9213 for
packets, hardhat stickers, and trainings. Also it will provide us with sustainable funds to insure
that we have the ability to take on organizing drives.
information about the IWW’s
We thank everyone in the entire union for your work and support as we move forward Car tography Depar tment.
in building the construction union in the IWW.
To our fellow 300 members, this is the time to make the 300 IUs strong once again. There
is a lot of work to be done and a lot of different seats to be filled. If we are going to create
On May Day, the IWW
a union that will better our jobs and our lives, all members must stand up and contribute no transcends language,
matter how small or large the task. Get in touch with a committee member to find out how
you can help the work along. g e o g r a p hy a n d t i m e .
330 IOC
Graphic: Bill Yund, published in “The Point of Pittsburgh” by Charles McCollester
May 2011 • Industrial Worker • Page 5

Stonewalled By Stonemountain
By Jane Powell Macy’s Union Square in San Francisco was
ILWU Local 10 Shuts Down Oakland Port
By John Kalwaic banks.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary paying in 1987, except Macy’s provided On April 4, International Longshore Protesters took turns at the bullhorn,
of Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics, 100 percent employer-paid benefits. and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 demanding that workers’ jobs, pensions,
an institution based in Berkeley, Calif., and The union is currently in contract shut down the Big Container Port in Oak- schools and social services must be safe-
one of the few independent fabric stores negotiations with the owners. Stonemoun- land, Calif., as a line of trucks waited in guarded before one cent of interest is paid
left standing as chain fabric stores are tain offered the same contract as they vain for the workers to unload the cargo. to the banks and wealthy bond investors.
taking over. Stonemountain has remained did three years ago—no wage increase, The initiative to strike and not unload the Which has priority, they asked: profits for
profitable even in this difficult economy, a pitiful increase in paid time off and a port was spearheaded by the rank-and-file the wealthy, or our children’s future?
grossing over $2 million in 2010. Own- four-year agreement to these terms. We union members. The demonstration was They also highlighted Wells Fargo’s
ers Suzan and Bob Steinberg are proud were proudly told by the owners that we part of nationwide labor demonstrations role in the foreclosure epidemic and de-
of the store’s longevity and their claim are some of the highest paid fabric store to protest anti-union measures against manded a moratorium on foreclosures,
of “giving back to the community,” but workers in the United States, which sug- public employees in several states as well so that families can stay in their homes.
they should be ashamed. Their business gests that others are horribly underpaid. as to commemorate the assassination of On April 4, The Bail out the People
was actually built by retail workers whose All of the current employees at the store Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was killed Movement organized demonstrations at
skills and knowledge are women—it’s sad that while supporting striking sanitation work- Wells Fargo branches in Los Angeles and
they tout constantly, but a female business owner ers in Memphis, Tenn. Also, in Oakland, Baltimore, in solidarity with the teachers’
who have never been feels she can exploit approximately 100 teachers and educators action in Oakland. Wells Fargo is based in
paid a living wage or other women. came out to protest Wells Fargo Bank. The California, with their main headquarters
offered more than part- The owners appar- teachers chanted “bail out schools, not the in San Francisco.
time hours. ently think we all have
The store was first other jobs which are
unionized by the IWW extremely lucrative and
in 2003, and a few we don’t need the mon-
concessions have been ey. In reality, standing
made since then. The base wage is now on a concrete floor for nine hours a day,
a whopping $10.70 per hour, and you three or four days a week, doesn’t leave
can get crappy Kaiser health insurance if anyone a whole lot of energy for doing
you’re willing to devote one-third of your anything else.
monthly paycheck to the premium—except We are asking for support from
you won’t be able to afford to use it, seeing Stonemountain customers and the com-
as how it has a $1,500 deductible. A $10.70 munity at large in our fight for a decent
per hour wage may seem like a lot to wage. We love the store and the customers
people who are being paid minimum wage and we want it to succeed, but we also want
in other retail jobs, but the reality is that to share financially in that success. Please
retail wages have barely risen at all over email the owners, Suzan at fabriclady3@
the past 25 years while the cost of gas, food, and Bob at steinbergdiane@
and rent have tripled. The Stonemountain, and tell them you support
starting wage today is approximately what higher wages for Stonemountain workers. ILWU Local 10 demonstrates on April 4. Photo:

IWD In Australia, Part Two To The Memory Of Heroes Past: IWW & The Australian Labour Museum
By Bruce Campbell
The actions of the IWW in Australia in the early years of the 20th century still shape the face of unionism in the
country. Before the IWW, Australian unionism, despite its many good points, had a huge downside—it was for advanc-
ing the causes of the white man only. Of course, there were good people who knew that the worker deserved better.
The arrival of IWW ideology in Australia helped to organize these people into a radical force, leading to the formation
of the IWW Australian Regional Organizing Committee (ROC) in 1907.
The legacy of the IWW in Australia is hugely important, as the IWW was the first union—or for that matter, group—in
Australia to call for an end to racism, the right of free speech, equal rights for women and many other policies that are
now part and parcel of mainstream union policy in Australia. We should note that while there sure is still a distance
to travel, much of what the IWW called for back in the 1910s and 1920s is largely in place today.
Australian IWW members of the past are particularly famous for their vocal and outspoken opposition to conscrip-
tion. They can be said to have led this successful struggle to stop poor workers from being sent overseas to fight other
Photo: Jake Scholes poor workers who were defending their homelands while the wealthy on both sides just got richer.
Chloe Reynolds and Helen Reichelt demon- After the first official push on conscription failed, thanks to the actions of the IWW, the Australian government
strate in Perth, Australia, on International used the War Precautions Act and the Unlawful Associations Act to arrest and prosecute anti-conscriptionists. Tom
Women’s Day, March 8, 2011. Barker, editor of the IWW newspaper Direct Action, was sentenced to 12 months in prison in March 1916. Addition-
ally, 12 prominent IWW activists, called the “Sydney Twelve,” were arrested in New South Whales in September 1916
for arson and other offenses, despite a total lack of evidence. The Australian government even locked up the legendary

Correction To The Correction

proto-Wob Monty Miller, confining him to a filthy cell, despite Monty being in his mid-80s.
The good news is that the Australian government lost a second push to introduce conscription after they had locked
up all the leading Wobblies—an indication of how much the Wobblies had influenced the conscription debate and other
By the Industrial Worker
social justice matters in the broader community. So, despite the Australian government’s attempts to run them out of
In the “Correction: The Real Matilda Rabi-
town, the Australian IWW fought on against injustice, as it does to this day.
nowitz,” which appeared on page 5 of the April
The IWW continues to occupy a mythological place in Australian union history as the militant social justice avant-
2011 IW, we mistakenly said that Matilda’s
garde of the Australian labor movement. It is to the memory of Fellow Workers past that Australian Wobblies of today
granddaughter contacted the IW. Robbin Hen-
have arranged for the IWW Australian ROC to become Foundation Members of the Australian National Museum of
derson is, in fact, Matilda’s grandson. The IW
Labour, which is to be built in the nation’s capital, Canberra, in the coming months. Here’s to our heroes past—may
apologizes greatly for this error.
you inspire us always to fight the good fight!

Hey Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: You Can’t Hide!

By Chris Garlock, Labor Notes Chris Garlock of the Metro Washington politicians’ efforts
“Wherever Scott Walker goes, he AFL-CIO was ejected from the hearing to use the eco-
needs to know that we’re going to be entirely. nomic downturn
there waiting for him,” said International “The people of Wisconsin did not to “strip American
Federation of Professional & Technicaly vote for his agenda,” said Junemann, a workers of their
Engineers (IFPTE) President Greg Jun- Wisconsin native. rights” “shameful.”
emann at a demonstration in Washington, The House Republicans had planned And despite
D.C., against the controversial Wisconsin to use the hearing to give Walker and Walker’s best
governor. Walker testified at the House the National Right to Work Committee a efforts to dodge
Oversight and Government Reform Com- national stage to attack workers’ rights, the question, he
mittee hearing on April 14. under the guise of fixing broken state finally had to
Outside, two dozen demonstrators budgets. More than half the Republican admit to Rep.
chanted, “Hey, Walker, you can’t hide, committee members are recipients of Gerry Connelly of
we can see your corporate side” and “Tax funds from the anti-union Koch brothers, Virginia that he’d
Wall Street, not Main Street,” draw- big donors to Walker. never brought up
ing interest from passing tourists and a The plan backfired when Walker repealing workers’
speedy response from Capitol Police. Po- found himself the subject of tough collective bargain-
lice threatened arrests and dispersed the questioning from Democratic commit- ing rights during Photo: Chris Garlock, Labor Notes
“unpermitted demonstration” organized tee members. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of his campaign Demonstrators outside Walker’s hearing in D.C on April 14.
by National Nurses United. Ohio forced Walker to admit that several for governor. Even fellow witness Pete your budget, you bring people together,
Ann Louise Tetrault, a nurse from anti-union provision in his controversial Shumlin, governor of Vermont, chided you have a dialogue.”
Wisconsin, was booted from her seat in the “budget repair bill” had nothing to do his colleague, saying, “If you want to go This story originally appeared on
hearing by a Republican committee staffer with balancing the state’s budget. Rep. after collective bargaining, just come April 14 in Labor Notes. It was reprinted
before the hearing began, and reporter Elijah Cummings of Maryland called out and say it, but if you want to balance with permissiion.
Page 6 • Industrial Worker • May 2011

May Day Special

Celebrating May Day Throughout The World:

By Autumn Gonzalez and attack, the gap between rich and
Nicholas DeFillipis poor expands exponentially, and
May Day has its origins in the the powerful use race as a tool to
long, ferocious struggle for an divide and distract.
eight-hour work day. The concept May Day returned to Indone-
of a celebratory work stoppage sia in 1995 for the first time in 30
to achieve this goal started in years. Organized by the Centre for
Australia on April 21, 1856. Al- Indonesian Working Class Strug-
though the Australian workers gle and Students in Solidarity with
originally planned this to be a Democracy, workers protested
one-time event, annual proletar- for an increase to the minimum
ian celebrations gained popularity wage, freedom to organize, and
in Australia and quickly caught the release of political prisoners.
on across the globe. May Day as In the Indonesian capital of Ja-
we know it burst on to the labor karta, a delegation of 100 people
and political scene in 1884 when delivered their demands to the
the Federation of Organized Ministry of Labour. In the city of
Trades and Labor Unions (which Semarang, 1,500 people took part
became the American Federation in a rally resulting in brutal assault
of Labor) passed a resolution pro- by authorities. Many workers were
claiming that eight hours would beaten in the streets and arrested
constitute a legal work day after that year, but Indonesians perse-
May 1, 1886. The resolution called vere and continue to celebrate May
for a general strike to achieve this Day. Thousands took to the streets
goal, gaining the support of over of Jakarta during last year’s rally
250,000 workers by April 1886. to demand a guaranteed pension.
On May 1, 1886, more than In the 21st century workers
300,000 workers across the Unit- A famous rendition of Chicago’s Haymarket bombing in 1886. Graphic: continue to honor the tradition
ed States walked off their jobs. In of dissent and protest that has
Chicago alone, 40,000 workers struck. The commotion in its fight for the eight-hour ficials reported that Hitler was dead! marked May 1 for over 100 years. In May
struggle continued beyond May 1, with the work day. Under IWW leadership, eight- In 1946, in an economically troubled 2006, Latino immigrants called for a boy-
number of strikers in Chicago swelling to hour-day groups were set up across the and defeated Japan, workers celebrated cott of businesses and a day-long strike in
100,000 by May 3. This resulted in police country, printing and distributing thou- their first May Day since 1934. Singing the United States. The call to action was
repression of the strike, causing clashes sands of stickers which read, “I won’t leftist songs, 250,000 Japanese workers touched off in part by the xenophobic bor-
between workers and cops that led to the work more than eight hours after May 1, demonstrated in Tokyo to demand a sev- der fence movement, which gained trac-
Haymarket Massacre. 1912, how about you?” The struggle was to en-hour work day, the dissolution of the tion in the Sensenbrenner Bill in Congress.
In 1889, the International Workers’ be topped off with a massive demonstra- Shidehara Cabinet, and, most importantly, The bill would also have made it illegal to
Congress, attended by 400 delegations tion on May Day 1912. To celebrate May food. The event was dubbed “Food May knowingly assist an undocumented im-
from across the world, called for May 1, Day in 1918, as well as to protest poor Day.” In 1952, anger mounted among Ko- migrant to remain in the United States.
1890, to be a day of international dem- working conditions, thousands of IWW rean workers in Japan over the American Continued on next page
onstrations for an eight-hour work day. lumberjacks soaked their blanket rolls in war in Korea, and Japanese
It was a huge success, and workers in the kerosene to make a huge bonfire, forcing leftists were unhappy about
United States, most of Europe, Chile, Peru the bosses to supply them with more ac- the collaboration between
and Cuba took to the streets. The next year, ceptable bedding. the Japanese and American
Brazil, Ireland and Russia celebrated their Commemoration of the holiday led governments. As a result,
first May Day. In 1913, Mexican, Costa to violence in May 1919, when union- 3,000 people rioted in Tokyo
Rican and Ecuadorian workers held their ists, workers, socialists and anarchists and Kyoto, clashing with
first May Day celebrations, followed by marched in Cleveland to protest the jailing police, overturning cars,
Chinese workers in 1920 and Indian work- of Eugene V. Debs. As the group moved and breaking U.S. Air Force
ers in 1927. through the city, some police on the side- office windows. This riot be-
Since its inception in 1905, the IWW lines demanded they lower their red flags; came known as the “Bloody
vowed to continue the annual May Day tra- the marchers refused. Fighting broke out May Day Incident.”
dition. In 1907, the Wobblies kick-started and lead to two deaths, 40 injuries and During post-war years,
their May Day activities by publishing over 100 arrests. Some years later, during workers continued to honor
a class-conscious statement criticizing the Great Depression, the unemployed and celebrate May Day.
Labor Day: marched en masse on the holiday, and American author and com-
“Labor Day has completely lost its many were attacked or arrested by police. munist Howard Fast, in a
class character. The very fact that ‘Labor On May 1, 1944, imprisoned Ger- pamphlet to promote a May
Day’ was legally, formally and officially man, Polish, Czech and Russian leftists Day march in New York
established by the capitalist class itself, in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp City, explained in artful
through its organized government, took secretly rendezvoused to celebrate May prose why protest in 1951
the ‘starch’ out of it: destroyed its class Day, singing working-class songs and giv- was as important as ever:
character. The First of May has not ing speeches. This came only a few days an end to the Korean War,
been disgraced, contaminated, and blas- after German communist Wilhelm Pieck a call for a powerful union
phemed by capital’s official sanction and broadcasted his May Day greetings to the movement, freedom from
approval, as has Labor Day. The capital- German people from Soviet radio waves, want, an end to segregation.
ist class can never be a friend of May Day; predicting the Nazi regime would soon be His words ring true today as
it will ever be its enemy.” defeated. On May 1 of the very next year, wars persist, the labor move-
In 1911, the IWW was making a major the world breathed a sigh of relief as of- ment continues to fend off Stamp from May Day in Italy, 1990. Graphic:

“I LOVED it.”

“The Smell of Money”

“What great music too, but I really enjoyed the lyrics! Reminded me so much of
all my comrades from all my years as an activist. I kept trying to pick a favourite song
to tell you - but each new one changed my mind.”
- Delores Broten, editor of The Watershed
Sentinel, B.C.
Smokey Dymny has been writing political songs
since the 1970s.
He’s played on picket lines from sea to fished-
out sea. He’s played four of Toronto’s Labour Day
parades, many May Day events, and many, many
protest rallies. He was arrested at least six of these.
His first CD,“The Smell of Money: Dollars, Dirt
& Desolation,” has full accompaniment by Canadian
jazz & folk virtuosos.The song “General Strike” was recommended by Utah Phillips for
inclusion in the “Little Red Songbook.” The title song is about pollution in industrial
towns in Canada. Smokey’s political & environmental songs are often laced with satire
and feature many sing-a-long choruses, appropriate for a member of the IWW.
Now he has a new CD out—“Solidarity Is Easy”—whose title song is in the latest
“Little Red Songbook.”
For more information, visit, http://unionsong.
com/reviews/dymny.html and
Purchase CDs at:, or send $17 (CAD) to:
Smokey Dymny, Box 745, Quathiaski Cove, B.C., V0P 1N0, Canada
May 2011 • Industrial Worker • Page 7

May Day Special

A Look Back And A Look Ahead

Continued from previous page and action, on May
Although the bill managed to pass in 1, 2008, the union
the House, it had the unintended effect of shut down West
mobilizing immigrant communities and Coast ports to protest
allies around the nation, centered around the war. Iraqi port
the actions on May 1. The call for a day- workers, also union
long boycott and strike was heeded by members, shut down
Latinos, with major marches bringing as their port for an hour
many as 100,000 people into the streets in concert with the
in many major cities. The huge turnout action and sent a
brought much-deserved attention to the is- message of solidarity
sue of immigrant rights, sparking national to their brothers and
debate on immigration policy, reform sisters in the ILWU.
and racism. The push for a border fence May Day protests
and criminalization of undocumented in 2010 targeted
immigrants was defeated for a time, as Arizona’s Senate
workers, immigrants, students, churches, Bill 1070 and other
unions and entire communities raised anti-immigrant leg-
their voices and withheld their work in islation. Similarly
protest on May Day. in 2006, thousands
As the Iraq War has continued on, marched in cities
the International Longshore Workers around the United
Union (ILWU) used May Day 2008 to States, coming
show solidarity with both the people of together against bills
Iraq and with the working-class youth of that target Latino and
the military. The ILWU, much like the immigrant communi-
IWW, has a long tradition of standing up ties. Thousands march on the streets in Greece, May Day 2010. Photo:
against unjust wars and taking aggres- On May Day 2010,
sive direct action to further their goals; the Unified Communist Party of Nepal peaceful strike. Although the strike was bargaining rights for employees every-
the ILWU helped organize the group (Maoist) launched a general strike that eventually called off and did not lead to the where, are on our minds this May Day.
Labor for Peace, and during the 1930s, lasted for six days, involving upwards of resignation of the prime minister, it was a Workers, students, small business own-
ILWU members blocked shipment of 600,000 workers. The strikers demanded great advancement for the anti-capitalist ers and members of the community have
supplies to fascist movements in Eu- the resignation of the prime minister, struggle in Nepal. marched into the streets and reclaimed the
rope and Asia. In that spirit of solidarity who was widely viewed as a puppet of During the infamous Greek May Day public space of their state houses. We have
the expansionist of 2010, hyped by trade unions, left- all been reminded that, yes, there is the
Indian govern- wing political parties and anarchists, at possibility for large-scale protest and dis-
ment to Nepal’s least 20,000 people marched through sent in this country. Workers everywhere
south. Seventy- Athens to combat the unpopular auster- have watched people rise up in Egypt and
thousand strik- ity measures of tax increases, wage cuts throughout the Middle East, against insur-
ers surrounded and pension reductions demanded by the mountable odds and at great personal risk.
the national cap- European Union in exchange for a bailout The world has seen first-hand the power
ital of Kathman- of the economically-troubled Greek state. of a people’s action to topple even the
du on May 4. Chants of “Hands off our rights, IMF and most entrenched regimes. The movement
Pro-government EU Commission out!” echoed throughout toward a better world begins with small
groups and the Greece as protesters clashed with police, steps. When we talk openly about current
police clashed smashed windows and started fires in fits struggles internationally and at home, we
with the Mao- of justifiable indignation. can educate each other on the power of
ist strikers, but Clearly, recent events in Wisconsin workplace and community solidarity, and
ILWU port shut-down, 2008. Photo: overall it was a and Ohio, and the assault on collective organize for action!

May Day Mix Tape

By Jon Hochschartner
They say familiarity breeds contempt. That’s certainly how I feel about the protest songs of the Wood-
stock generation. So in honor of May Day, the international workers’ holiday, I’d like to present 10 of the
best protest songs from my lifetime.

10. “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy — There’s probably

never been a more obnoxiously shameful sellout than Flavor Flav, but
Public Enemy’s influence is undeniable. So they’re here.
9. “The New World Order” by Defiance, Ohio — Despite a
misleading title, which often relates to right-wing conspiracy theory,
this is a joyful lampooning of the myth of American exceptionalism.
As Sherri Miller puts it, “If you can’t hear God’s calling, you’re prob-
ably from France.”
8. “Take the Power Back” by Rage Against the Machine Photo:
— If Howard Zinn could rap, he might sound a little like this. Here,
RATM takes on cultural bias in mainstream accounts of history. Zack de la Rocha rhymes: “The present
curriculum, I put my fist in them / Eurocentric, every last one of them!”
7. “When the President Talks to God” by Bright Eyes — You can hear so much of the collective
frustration with Bush’s fundamentalist arrogance distilled in Conor Oberst’s voice.
6. “Changes” by 2pac — Less than 15 year ago, Tupac Shakur declared the obvious: “We ain’t ready
to see a black president.” Yet I hardly think the election of Barrack Obama would mollify him. Indeed, were
Shakur to release the song today, its famous opening would no doubt stay the same: “I see no changes!”
After all, the song’s lyrics sound more relevant than ever: “There’s war on the streets and the war in the
Middle East / Instead of war on poverty, they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me.”
5. “Fuck tha Police” by N.W.A — Once upon a time, Ice Cube, now the star of family-friendly fare
such as “Are We There Yet?,” was thought a grave threat by white America. Here, in what was a harbinger
of the 1992 L.A. riots, he and the group offers a scathing critique of racial profiling and police brutality,
which earned them a letter from the FBI.
4. “4th Branch” by Immortal Technique — It takes significant talent to recite what is, in essence,
a laundry list of U.S. crimes without sacrificing musicality. Immortal Technique accomplishes this. But
like too many otherwise progressive artists on this list, he holds a deeply reactionary attitude toward
gender issues which should not be excused for the sake of solidarity.
3. “Know Your Enemy” by Rage Against the Machine — In a time when celebrity activism
meant shilling for the Democratic party, RATM brought genuinely left-wing politics to a mass audience.
They’re particularly passionate here taking on apologists for American empire. Zack de la Rocha spits:
“What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy!”
2. “Rich Man’s War” by Steve Earle — More than the Left’s answer to the jingoism of Toby Keith,
this song manages a near timeless quality which transcends both the country genre and the Middle Eastern
conflicts it describes. It’s about all war.
1. “Keep Ya Head Up” by 2pac — Shakur was no great feminist, and perhaps that’s what made
this song more necessary, more moving. He takes on sexism, domestic violence, and reproductive rights
in what is arguably the rapper’s greatest song, political or otherwise.
Page 8 • Industrial Worker • May 2011

Jimmy John’s Workers ‘Quarantine’ Sandwich Shop

By Michael Moore The supporters included
Micah Buckley-Farlee was born with representatives of two state-
a severe medical condition that results in wide unions that represent
the spontaneous partial collapse of his workers in the health care
lungs. On a Saturday night last year, while field, the Minnesota Nurs-
working his shift at a Minneapolis Jimmy es Association (MNA) and
John’s, Buckley-Farlee began suffering SEIU Healthcare Minnesota.
severe chest pains. “Because I work union
“I went to my manager and said, ‘Hey, and because I have a con-
I need to go to the hospital. I think my lung tract, I can call in sick. There
is collapsing,’” Buckley-Farlee said. are no consequences for me
His manager’s response: Find some- to do that,” said Barb Martin,
one to work out the remainder of the shift a nurse at Fairview Uni-
or you’re fired. versity Hospital. “I’m here
Fortunately for Buckley-Farlee, one today on behalf of the MNA
of his co-workers was willing to work on to support the workers at
short notice that night. But several current Jimmy John’s who are trying
and former workers at area franchises say to gain the right to call in sick
the incident raises concerns about the when they are sick. “I really
health of Jimmy John’s workers—and don’t want you making me a
the safety of the sandwiches they’re paid sandwich when you have the
to make. flu or strep throat.”
“Workers are disciplined for calling in But according to Boehn-
sick,” said David Boehnke, who was fired ke, that’s exactly what he
from his job at a downtown Minneapolis did for three days straight
Jimmy John’s after raising concerns about during a bout of strep throat
employees working while sick. “The new last year.
attendance policy mandates discipline “We’re making minimum
for workers who call in sick or can’t find wage, and that just means we Graphic: IWW Jimmy Johns Workers Union
substitutes.” can’t afford to not be at work Poster advising the public of health risks at the sandwich chain.
Boehnke, who is active in the upstart and make the money we need
IWW Jimmy Johns Workers Union, joined to pay our bills, pay for our kids, pay for safety. While they re-organized support for
30 other workers and supporters in rais- our livelihoods,” Boehnke said. “When I heard Jimmy John’s corpo- another election campaign, Jimmy John’s
ing awareness of the franchise’s sick-days Kent Wilcox, a vice president of SEIU rate leadership was forcing people to work Workers Union supporters focused on the
policy—or lack thereof—on March 31 by Healthcare Minnesota and an employee sick, I knew I had to be here,” Wilcox said. issue of working sick—distributing fliers to
playfully “quarantining” a Jimmy John’s in a St. Paul hospital, called out Jimmy “Unfortunately, I was not surprised that patrons warning them of the franchise’s
store in Cedar-Riverside with a picket line. John’s for putting profits before product another corporation is putting their dirty policy of punishing workers for calling

Six Jimmy John’s Workers Fired For Whistleblowing greed ahead of their customers’ and their in sick.
employees’ health, safety and welfare.” That activity got six workers fired
Continued from 1 in retaliation. Workers at the 10 Jimmy John’s in March, although the union has filed
members of the IWW Jimmy The anti-union firings at franchises owned by Mike and Rob Mul- charges with the NLRB to get the workers
Johns Workers Union (JJWU) Jimmy John’s could easily ligan took part in an organizing election reinstated.
posted 3,000 copies of a backfire on the company. The last year, but the results were tainted This story originally appeared on
poster warning the public of JJWU filed charges with the by employer interference, according to April 7, 2011 in Workday Minnesota.
health risks at the sandwich National Labor Relations Board a ruling of the National Labor Relations It was reprinted in accordance with
chain. Management fired six on March 24, seeking reinstate- Board (NLRB), which nullified the elec- Workday Minnesota’s non-commercial
outspoken union members Graphic: JJWU ment of all fired workers. tion results. use policy.
May 2011 • Industrial Worker • Page 9

Fired Union Barista Achieves Victory In Brooklyn

Continued from 1 Practice (ULP) complaint with the Na- 2011, nearly a year after he
40 hours, his only written warning be re- tional Labor Relations Board (NLRB). At was fired for organizing. An
tracted and removed from his permanent the same time, the NYC IWW launched an additional $100 is attached to
record, an immediate cease to any and all aggressive campaign of direct action that a side agreement. Ozzie’s co-
harassment and/or retaliation based upon ranged from union-wide phone and email owners Melissa and Alon Azu-
his union affiliation, and for Ozzie’s to obey zaps to increasingly more spirited pickets lai have agreed to pay Bauer in
all federal labor laws, including those that and demonstrations in front of the store. three monthly installments.
relate to paid overtime. Six months later, on Dec. 23, 2010, In addition to making
When Ozzie’s co-owner Melissa Azu- Region 29 of the NLRB found merit with Bauer whole for lost wages,
lai found out about the demand letter, Bauer’s claims and issued a complaint management is required by
Bauer was immediately removed from against Ozzie’s Coffee & Tea. A hearing the NLRB to conspicuously
the schedule and unlawfully terminated date was set to take place on Feb. 8, 2011, display a notice stating that
a week later. Azulai didn’t have the de- in front of an administrative law judge. they “will not discharge, issue
cency to fire Bauer to his face; instead she This was later postponed due to the begin- warnings to, reduce the work
informed his then legal counsel, friend ning of heated settlement talks between hours of, or otherwise discrim-
and comrade Daniel Gross, via a phone Azulai’s lawyer, Eric M. Baum, and Bauer’s inate against, any employee
call. During this same phone conversation legal representation, Benjamin N. Dictor for engaging in activities on
Azulai told Fellow Worker Gross that “this and Quisquella Addison, legal interns from behalf of Industrial Workers
will all blow over, it always does.” Gross the Labor and Employment Law Clinic of of the World, or any other
informed Azulai that that’s not how the the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. labor organizations, or for en-
IWW operates, that when we start a cam- After a boisterous “punk percussion gaging in protected concerted
paign we stick with it until the bitter end. protest” involving whistles, pots and pans, activities.”
When Azulai refused to reinstate Bauer, noisemakers and the radical marching The notice goes on to state
Gross helped Bauer file an Unfair Labor band Rude Mechanical Orchestra, Ozzie’s that Ozzie’s Coffee & Tea “will
Coffee & Tea finally caved to increasingly pay Jeff Bauer the wages and
militant union pressure and rising legal other benefits he lost because
fees. In mid-March, Ozzie’s signed a settle- of the alleged discrimination
ment in Bauer’s favor, worth $15,500. against him” and that “Bauer
“The right to form a labor union is indicated that he does not
fundamental; campaign victories like Jeff’s want to return to work and
are critical to making that right real. This would not accept an offer of
win is a great testament to the power of employment.” Furthermore,
creative and determined worker-led cam- Ozzie’s is required to notify
paigns,” said Gross. Bauer in writing that they have
“FW Bauer’s victory is a great inspi- removed from their files any
ration to every Wobbly barista out there. references to his warning and FW Bauer signing the settlement. Photo: Liberte Locke
He has been a driving force of solidarity discharge, and that the warn- least one boss will think twice before in-
behind the Starbucks Workers Union for ing and discharge will not be used against terfering with a worker’s right to organize
many years. He has stood with us, so we him in any way. for respect and dignity on the job and for
stood with him. That is solidarity union- “Ozzie’s violated my legally protected a safe, non-hostile work environment,”
ism. The SWU toasts his hard-fought vic- right to join, form or assist a union,” Bauer he added.
tory,” added NYC IWW member Liberte said. “They harassed me, retaliated against Bauer is now employed as a proud,
Locke. me, reduced my hours, demoted me and dual union card-carrying janitor at the
According to the terms of the NLRB terminated me for engaging in protected College of Staten Island, and is a Wobbly
settlement, Bauer is to be made whole for concerted activity.” for life.
all lost wages, estimated tips and overtime “I’m happy that this is almost all be- For more information, visit http://
Graphic: pay in the amount of $15,400 by May 29, hind me. I can move on knowing that at

A May Day greeting

to all of our

Happy May Day!

brothers and
sisters in the build-
ing trades. To all
the people who get up
every day and build
from Hit The Bricks
communities we send (IWW Building Trades Newsletter!)
greetings. To all
those who labor for their families to
their own detriment we offer an
additional hand to ease the load. To all
those who work eight to ten hours a day
working tall in sweat we offer a
sympathetic ear and shoulder. To all
those who struggle
in darkness we
offer the light of
the One Big Union
and Industrial
Democracy. To
those who would
deny us our rights
we offer a warn-
ing. May the poor
take courage and
the rich take
care. Our day will

Page 10 • Industrial Worker • May 2011

Wobbly Arts

Solidarity Forever: A History Of IWW Musicians:

By John Pietaro of the Pacific Northwest’s coastal towns. many others as well;
Of all U.S. radical organizations, the “Mac” McClintock had come to the and also useful since
IWW is perhaps that which has most fully IWW with an arsenal full of topical original it held the crowd for
embraced the notion of the revolutionary songs including “Halleluiah, I’m a Bum” Wobbly speakers
cultural worker. Many of its early organiz- and “The Big Rock Candy Mountain” and who followed.”
ers were writers, musicians or visual artists he helped to popularize many of Joe Hill’s Wobbly historian
(often simultaneously) who successfully songs including “The Preacher and the Salvatore Salerno
used the arts as a tool in organizing work- Slave.” He traveled the country organizing clarifies:
ers across the globe. The Left’s focus on for the IWW, spending much of his time in “Cultural expres-
folk arts as a representation of cultural the hobo jungles of the period, where he sions such as songs,
and national heritage has been a foremost had been a frequent guest since his teenage cartoons and poetry
tool in outreach since the turn of the 20th years. Prior to the IWW, McClintock had became a critical
century. This foray into a “culture of the worked as a railroad switchman in South form and means of
people” became a major point of identi- Africa and then, according to Wobbly communication be-
fication by the proponents of the masses historian Joyce Kornbluh: tween the IWW and
and was the natural outgrowth of the use “…[he] bummed his way to London to its members. While
of songs by workers and others in trying attend the coronation of Edward VII in IWW worker intel-
situations. Folk song collectors grew in 1902. He was a civilian mule skinner in lectuals had a major
prominence during the first decades of the the Spanish American War, and had also role in disseminat-
20th century, producing a “folk revival,” made his way to China at the time of the ing knowledge of the
which had blossomed by the 1940s. Ironi- Boxer Rebellion.” activities, prin-
cally, in the United States, the political Left Of course McClintock also had the ciples and tactics
(primarily the Socialist and Communist honor of leading that first IWW march- of industrial union-
parties) did not acknowledge the impor- ing band, which became a fixture in the ism, worker artists
tant role of folk arts for decades, though Pacific Northwest for several years. Mc- went beyond formal
this media was a vastly important histori- Clintock, like others of his generation, political expressions
cal point of reference. This is particularly remained a Wobbly throughout his life. to create a language
true in the IWW. He began to perform songs of labor and and symbolism that
Accounts of Wobbly musicians have struggle on radio broadcasts in 1925 and made the IWW’s
been recorded as early as 1906, just one he continued to have a show through the principles meaning-
year after the IWW’s founding. The Spo- mid-1950s. In addition to his IWW mem- ful within the con-
kane IWW branch was approached by bership, McClintock had also joined the text of the workers’
highly active Socialist Party orator/orga- American Federation of Musicians Local cultural and social
nizer Jack Walsh, who developed a plan 6 in California, but he is best known as a alienation.”
to aid the Wobblies’ somewhat stunted songwriter of the IWW. A Wobbly poet/ Graphic:
organizing attempts. Though Walsh was Ultimately the Industrial Workers organizer of almost “Joe Hill” by Wobbly artist Carlos Cortez.
able to draw a considerable crowd in the Band and the IWW Spokane branch dis- legendary proportions, later an associ- had secured not only a voice on the job
depressed tenderloin district of the city, pensed with its early leader Jack Walsh, ate of the Socialist Party, was Arturo but fair and just wages. Following this,
he was encountered purposeful disrup- whom they saw as a shrewd businessman Giovannitti (1884-1959). This Italian Giovannitti participated in the IWW’s
tions by the missionaries of the Salva- largely out for his own profit. But the dye anarchist relocated to the United States unsuccessful Patterson Silk Strike and
tion Army and one of their particularly had been cast and the cultural workers in 1901 and became entrenched in the wrote for significant Left magazines in
pious brass bands. Not to be outdone by among the Wobbly ranks had become cause of radical labor, developing power- both English and Italian, including The
the cacophony, Walsh and the Spokane celebrated by the people and notorious ful journalism skills along the route. Masses and The International Socialist
Wobblies soon had its own powerhouse by the powers that be. Greenway writes: Giovannitti worked as a coal miner and Review. He also created his own anti-war
Industrial Workers Band. Blaring “…his idea had taken root, and be- joined the Italian Socialist Federation of organ, Il Fuoco, as World War I erupted.
on cornets and marching to the thunder- fore long street singing and organiza- North America. Soon thereafter his writ- Giovannitti, long considered one of the
ous pulse of drums and tambourines, the tion became the principal activity of the ing skills led him to the post of editor labor movement’s greatest orators, was
Wobbly band were said to have devastated struggling Pacific locals. The national of the Italian-language left periodical Il expelled from the IWW in 1916 along with
all whom they crossed. The band, clad in policy board bestowed its benediction Proletario. Quickly, Giovannitti joined Ettor and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn due to
black overhauls and red work shirts, left on topical singing as a weapon of revolt, the IWW and focused his efforts on orga- their activities in a Minnesota iron-ore
no corner safe for the street evangelicals. and Walsh’s four-page leaflet grew larger nizing the textile workers in Lawrence, strike that IWW leaders did not agree with.
According to John Greenway’s book, year by year.” Mass. He and organizer Joseph Ettor Joe Hill (Joel Emmanuel Haaglund,
“American Folksongs of Protest”: Another important songwriter asso- led the groundbreaking Bread and Roses a.k.a. Joseph Hillstrom, 1878-1915) was—
“Walsh organized a brass band of his ciated with the IWW was T-Bone Slim strike of 1912, during which both men and remains—the IWW’s guiding cultural
own, in which Mac McClintock played (dates unknown, c. 1890-1942), whose were arrested on a bogus murder charge. force. A model for the fighting cultural
an E-flat baritone horn and a giant lum- actual name was Matti Valentine Huhta. While serving his jail term, Giovannitti worker, Hill wrote globally relevant, mili-
berjack beat, as McClintock recalled, the T-Bone served the movement as a highly was encouraged to write about it and he tant topical songs and biting parodies in
“b’jeezuz” out of a bass drum. Walsh’s active Wobbly musician/organizer, though composed the multi-verse book-length support of the union cause and in the
band learned four tunes and hammered he was a journalist by profession in addi- work “Arrows in the Gale,” which process spawned a legend. Among his
away at these over and over until the tion to laboring in other fields over the spoke of the struggle and brandished an most famous pieces are “The Preacher and
evangelists capitulated.” years. He became affiliated with the IWW introduction by Helen Keller. It included the Slave,” “Casey Jones, the Union Scab,”
The Industrial Workers Band, taking around 1910 and quickly began to write for the haunting poems “The Walker” and “There is Power in the Union,” “Mr. Block,”
a cue from the popular parodies of the their various periodicals. He also put many “The Cage” which told of the sense of and “Where the Fraser River Flows,”
evangelists’ songs, began to perform their of his poems to music. The best known of eternal hopelessness of the men he amidst a stream of others. He performed
own such lampoons of the Religious Right these was “The Popular Wobbly,” a parody encountered in jail. A 1913 article in Cur- on piano, guitar and various other instru-
of their day. Among them was “When the of the then-hit “The Girls Go Wild, Simply rent Opinion magazine wrote of Giovan- ments. Hill composed songs in bars and
Roll is Called Up Yonder,” as well as songs Wild Over Me,” which Slim transformed nitti and his poetic works: IWW halls at night, so that he would have
by Harry “Mac” McClintock (1883- into a sardonic protest song. The Wobblies’ “He has the soul of a great poet, the them ready for union meetings, pickets
1957), already a noted songster in the hobo own historical documents call T-Bone fervor of a prophet and, added to these, and other functions the next day, spread-
jungles, and Richard Brazier. Armed Slim one of the most famous and popular the courage and power of initiative that ing the word of this global industrial union
with this minimal repertoire and copies of Wob writers, as he penned numerous mark the man of action and the organizer through music. Hill came to the United
of song-lyric leaflets they printed up, the pamphlets in addition to a number of of great crusades…This jail experience States from Sweden as a young man and
Band embarked on something of a tour songs. He would remain an active Wobbly of Giovannitti’s has given the world one saw firsthand the terrible conditions work-
throughout his life. of the greatest poems ever produced in ers had to endure in the first part of the
Starting with 1909, the the English language…‘The Walker’ is 20th century; shortly thereafter he pledged
Wobblies began publishing more than a poem. It is a great human allegiance to the cause of the IWW. He
“The Little Red Song document.” became a mythic character in all Left fac-
Book” which made songs More so, a piece in Forum magazine tions when he was silenced by the state of
of labor and social change of the day stated: Utah via his infamous unjust execution.
available to all workers. “The significant thing is that here we Famously, his last written statement was
Richard Brazier, an IWW have a new sort of poet with a new sort “Don’t mourn for me—organize!” Hill, for
musician, was part of the of song…He and his songs are products all the mythology that surrounds him, has
committee which produced of something that few Americans yet been the subject of numerous biographical
the first IWW songbook. He understand. We do not comprehend the sketches; his life, and the frame-up which
described how the music of problem of the unskilled just as we do not ended it, have been the viewed as a prin-
the Industrial Workers first comprehend the IWW that has come out cipal to the labor historians’ repertoire.
drew him in: of it. A poet has arisen to explain…In ‘the IWW members Dean Nolen and Fred
“What first attracted Walker’ he has pointed the prison as no Thompson’s detailed booklet, “Joe Hill:
me to the IWW was its man, not even Wilde, has done.” IWW Songwriter,” offers considerable in-
songs and the gusto with The charges against Giovannitti and sight, even if some of it remains shrouded
which its members sang Ettor were overturned on appeal and the in the Joe Hill legends. While they cite that
them. Such singing, I pair were freed after five months. Upon Hill’s first years in the United States were
thought, was good propa- release, they found that their strike had often a rather desperate attempt to
ganda, since it had origi- been a success and the mostly Italian im- find employment (he became something
Wobbly musician T-Bone Slim. Graphic: nally attracted me and migrant workers had won. Indeed, they Continued on next page
May 2011 • Industrial Worker • Page 11

Wobbly Arts

From The Industrial Workers Band To Utah Phillips

Continued from previous page ing to areas which contained oppressed
of a “wharf rat,”) the first accounts of his workers, often immigrant or home-grown
cultural work date back to 1906. Hill was unskilled laborers, who could be moved to
then living in San Francisco and chroni- action via the arts in a most profound way.
cled The Great Earthquake for his home- Ralph Chaplin (1887-1961) is recalled as
town paper. Later, living in New York, he one of the strongest cultural voices in the
worked as a porter by day and played piano IWW, functioning as a writer and editor
in downtown saloons by night. But much on several Wobbly periodicals as well as
more to the point: offering visual artwork and music to many
“The earliest parody written by Hill struggles. But Chaplin’s influences predate
that we know of went to the hymn “In the the IWW: As a boy he was a witness to the
Sweet Bye and Bye,” a Salvation Army infamous Pullman Strike in Chicago and
favorite. It was already in circulation by his young adulthood Chaplin was em-
before it appeared in the 1911 edition of ployed as an artist by the Charles H. Kerr
the IWW songbook.” publishing house, which released relevant
The IWW’s official historical docu- early socialist books and also published
ment, “Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology,” the W, a guiding force for all progressive
describes Hill’s cultural work as such: activists.
“Hill’s songs and writings articulated Chaplin’s activities with the IWW
the simple Marxism of the IWW Preamble came early into the federation’s existence
and the Wobbly philosophy of “direct ac- and he worked alongside such legendary
tion..Wobblies, socialists, communists, figures as Mother Jones. His most impor-
AFL-CIO members transcend sectarian tant achievement, however, was his 1915
differences to sing Joe Hill’s songs and authorship of labor’s anthem, “Solidarity
share his lore.” Forever,” written to the tune of “John
John Greenway’s “American Folk- Brown’s Body,” a theme of the Abolitionist
songs of Protest” tells of Hill’s first possible movement. Over the years, Chaplin spoke
encounter with the Wobblies as well as of the struggle of the coal miners at a strike
his presentation of “The Preacher and the in Kanawha Valley, West Virginia, as the
Slave” to the IWW: influence for his writing of this song. He
“One evening late in 1910 Joe Hill was serving as editor of the union news-
walked into the Portland, Oregon IWW paper at the time, and he returned home
hall with a song he had written to the from the strike line one evening in January
tune of the popular Salvation Army gospel 1915 and wrote the lyrics out to as he lay
hymn, “In the Sweet Bye and Bye.” He on his living room rug. The song was pub-
gave it to the secretary of the local, George lished immediately thereafter in the Jan. 9
Reese, who handed it to Mac McClintock, edition of Solidarity. This song continues
the local’s “busker,” or tramp entertainer. to hold up as the primary anthem of labor
Mac sang it to the men idling in the and some of its more militant verses are
hall, and the tremendous applause that heard only during the more radical gather-
greeted its rendition convinced Reese that ings, but in any event, it remains respected Utah Phillips at a 2007 peace march in Grass Valley, Calif. Photo:
they had something. He and McClintock as the movement’s theme. He wrote of the active Wobbly musician until his passing within the Wobblies’ actions:
revised the song, and printed it in their song’s origins in Wobbly, an IWW organ: in 2008. “Let there be a “free speech fight” on in
little song leaflet which two years later “I wanted a song to be full of revolu- In the current day, the IWW stands some town, and the “wobblies” converge
was adopted by the IWW as the official tionary fervor and to have a chorus that as a dedicated force for social change, upon it, across a thousand miles, and fill
songbook of the union. Hill was invited was ringing and defiant.” maintaining offices not only throughout the jails with champions.
to join the Wobblies, and so began his Additionally, Chaplin penned other the nation but internationally. In the wake “And singing. Remember, this is the
fabulous career.” Wobbly songs that have of the IWW’s centenary of 2005, increased only American working class movement
As has been written been well-remembered attention has been brought to their strug- which sings. Tremble then at the IWW, for
of many times over the including “The Com- gle through actions such as the ongoing a singing movement is not to be beaten...
years, Hill’s organizing monwealth of Toil” and campaign to organize workers in Starbucks They love and revere their singers, too, in
efforts in the state of “Paint ‘Er Red.” The lat- shops. Multiple accounts of compact disc the IWW. All over the country workers are
Utah were successful ter song became a vehicle collections have offered music dedicated singing Joe Hill’s songs, “The Rebel Girl,”
enough that the pow- for the forces of reaction to the cause and the publication of many “Don’t Take May Papa Away From Me,”
ers of both government in their fervor to neutral- new books on the Wobbly journey have Workers of the World, Awaken.” Thou-
and business converged ize the IWW and it was brought it a newfound focus. As organized sands can repeat his “Last Will,” the three
to stop him at all costs. cited in numerous court labor seeks to look into to its own radical simple verses written in his cell the night
Not long after, he was documents during the heart, it cannot avoid the mission of these before execution. I have met working men
arrested on a murder World War I era prosecu- Industrial Workers, particularly when carrying next their hearts, in the pockets
charge that has always tions of the IWW. “Solidarity Forever” is next performed at of their working clothes, little boxes with
been contested by the Ironically, by the a strike line or rally. These words of unity, some of Joe Hill’s ashes in them. Over Bill
IWW and a wealth of oth- 1930s, Chaplin became this melody of rebellion, rings as loud and Haywood’s desk in national headquarters
ers. Eugene V. Debs, the a voice for the more con- true now as it did then. is a painted portrait of Joe Hill, very
nation’s most celebrated servative end of orga- The noted journalist John Reed, a moving, done with love…I know no other
socialist and radical of nized labor and he stood Wobbly in the 1910s before helping to group of Americans which so honors its
the 1910s, offered the Ralph Chaplin. Photo: as an outspoken critic of
found the Communist Party, wrote in a singers…”
highest praise to Hill during the time of the Congress of Industrial Organization’s 1918 piece for The Liberator magazine of This piece originally appeared on Dec.
the Wobbly’s imprisonment. He wrote in Communist-associated unions, though how the IWW was able to touch so many, 27, 2010, on http://theculturalworker.
an article in The American Socialist: these were usually on the cutting edge of so deeply. Here he offers perhaps the best, and was reprinted with
“Joe Hill is of a poetic temperament workers’ rights and engaged on a mass possible description of the power of song permission from the author.
and is the author of songs of labor of scale in the same industrial organizing the
genuine merit; he is of a tender, sympa- IWW had pledged itself to since its found-
thetic and generous nature and utterly in- ing. His turn against his Wobbly comrades
capable of committing the crime charged has never been fully explained.
against him.” The IWW suffered the brutal assault of
The story of Joe Hill is best remem- the reactionary U.S. government’s initial
bered as one of martyrdom. He’d survived Red Scare, that which targeted anarchists
red-baiting, police assaults and vicious as “foreign terrorists” and subjected the
Pinkerton detectives’ dubious means of IWW offices to continual ransackings and
strike-breaking. He lived to tell of dock- its members to constant oppression. By
yard fights, barroom brawls, and back- the end of the organization’s first decade,
room precinct house beatings. But he was it had already experienced significant
not able to survive the Utah court which damage and during WWI ,Wobs needed to
found him guilty and sentenced him to largely take their operation underground.
death in 1915. While imprisoned, Hill By the end of the 1920s, this noble union
wrote prolifically and toward the end of- had become a shadow of its former self.
fered what was arguably his most famous While the IWW has had points of invigora-
prose, which today is simply recalled as tion over the decades, it was often ravaged
“Don’t mourn—organize!” by times of deprivation. But the anarchist
While Joe Hill continues to put a core found new alliances within the street
face on the concept of Wobbly cultural and campus uprisings of the 1960s and
workers, he was by far not alone in this 1970s and could boast such members as
role. Significant numbers of itinerant celebrated folksinger/activists Phil Ochs,
musicians, poets, bards and visual artists Dave Van Ronk and especially Utah
functioned as IWW organizers, travel- Phillips, who remained perhaps the most Joe Hill’s ashes at IWW General Headquarters in Chicago. Photo: Diane Krauthamer
Page 12 • Industrial Worker • May 2011


Lessons From Latin American Social Movements

Dangl, Benjamin. Dancing With Dyna- tions and started a dance which attempted people, fighting against destructive
mite: Social Movements And States In to transform “protest into politics...” Many coal mining practices in the interior.
Latin America. Oakland, CA: AK Press, of the more privileged movement elements In the mid-1980s, with the pass-
2010. Paperback, 160 pages, $15.95. desired a “return to class separation” and ing of the Brazilian dictatorship, a
the “logic of the state and political parties” “new constitution” established “the
By John Maclean was left to work its magic. Some found the right of the government to redistrib-
Benjamin Dangl introduces his “Danc- cycles of complaint and election to be more ute unused land to landless farmers.”
ing With Dynamite: Social Movements comforting than the “day-to-day creative The National Colonization Agrarian
And States In Latin America” with some initiatives of assembly, the piqueteros, the Reform Institute (INCRA) is the
words from Pedro Cabellero, a Paraguayan occupied centers and factories, indigenous institutional means through which
landless activist: “‘No one listens to us, communities, and other self-organized title to land can be transferred. The
so we have to take matters into our own initiatives throughout Argentina.” first Movimento Sem Terra (MST)
hands...The legal route isn’t working, so During the 2010 electoral break- occupation occurred on Oct. 29,
we have to go for the illegal route, which through of Frente Amplio (FA), as Presi- 1985; more than 2,000 families
does work.’” This is sound advice for dent Jose Mujica sang “folksongs outlawed descended on Fazenda Annoni, in
people in the United States too, a land in during military rule” with a jubilant the state of Rio Grande do Sul, and
which a moribund liberal class has become people, Eduardo Galeano commented that resisted attempts at their removal. In
adept at policy drift; closing off traditional it was a time “of celebration but also of the decades since then, the MST has
avenues to change, and allowing legal compromise.” The FA got together in the “expropriated some 35 million acres,
remedies to lag behind adverse develop- early 1970s, and sought to emulate hap- land that is now occupied by nearly
ments in the real world. Dangl writes that penings in Chile, under the then popular 400,000 families.” Dangl writes
in situations like this, “survival trumps the President Salvador Allende. Through all that from the beginning, the MST
law,” the state becomes “irrelevant,” and these decades of struggle and sacrifice has recognized the right of all family
what we need is to move together, daring Uruguay was dominated by the National members to participate in common
to go beyond the dance. and Colorado Parties. The economic col- efforts, conducting themselves col-
He begins with chapters on Bolivia and lapse in Argentina, just across the Rio de lectively, and educating their chil-
Ecuador, both sites of powerful indigenous la Plata from the country, and a national dren to “advance gender equality.” Graphic:
movements. In Bolivia the Movement struggle over water privatization, pre- According to a 2006 MST report, cited by Los Banados (The Bathed Place), a com-
Toward Socialism (MAS) broke through sented an opening for the upstart party. Dangl: “‘the wealthiest 20 percent of the munity “of desperate poverty and violent
out of labor and indigenous groupings, Dangl writes that FA political leaders Brazilian population own[s] 90 percent crime” locked between the city of Asuncion
and in Ecuador, Pachakutik was founded began to “water down” their principles, of [the country’s] land, much of it being and a river. The area is populated by the
for political coalition-building out of the making all the “right signals,” as they idle, used for ranching, tax write-offs, or displaced of Paraguay, and has “risen up
Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities moved ever rightward “turning their backs to produce crops exclusively for export, to manage its own destiny, pressure the
of Ecuador (CONAIE). In both situations on their leftist base...” He relates his expe- while millions starve.’” After setting up a government for funding and support,
constitutions were re-written, but only rience at an FA base meeting, in the city camp the landless families must immedi- fight poverty, and build community from
political parties, not varied movement of Montevideo, and how when it ended a ately begin pressuring INCRA, and other the ground up.” Dangl attended a meet-
elements, could participate in the draft- more experienced member pitched for the officials, for land titles. This process often ing of the Coordinating Committee of
ing. In Bolivia, some commentators, who patient participation of new arrivals to its takes years, and in the meantime “land- Community Defense (CODECO) in which
came through the resource wars, see politics, stressing the importance of the owners, their thugs, and police” try to force women from throughout the neighbor-
MAS as serving to domesticate hard-won work, and how what they may be unsure the squatters out through harassment and hoods participated prominently, and as
movement “capacities,” and in Ecua- of now will become clearer with time, and assassination. The MST uses the state, but he later walked through the area he saw
dor political leaders, on securing office, struggle. In battles for lesser evils “the believes in direct action to secure rights “small aqueducts, sewers, and bridges,”
“sought alliances with the country’s elite” logic of electoral politics takes precedence to the earth which no government can urban gardens, and livestock, hearing of
and reverted to a pattern of “cooptation over the urgent demands of a population” bestow. Despite the compromises of the how the people reclaimed all this from the
and repression” with their indigenous sup- and this can undermine social movements, Workers Party (PT) and its leaders, their river, with no help from a state which only
porters. In both lands, a local reliance on leaving them “lost and confused.” Dangl embrace of neo-liberal designs, agribusi- demonizes and attacks.
destructive extractive resource technolo- writes that the former guerrillas of the FA ness, along with unemployment produc- There is much in this book for people
gies, and predatory foreign corporations, were so busy conquering power that they ing austerity, an autonomous MST has in the United States to heed. The final
are a direct threat to communities. “converted activists into voters.” developed “hundreds of farming coopera- chapter of “Dancing With Dynamite”
In 2001, a precipitous economic de- In Venezuela, under Hugo Chavez tives, one natural medicine factory, 1,600 contains an overview of recent struggles
cline in Argentina saw people banding and The Movement for the Fifth Republic government-recognized settlements, in the United States; the author writes of
together to “create a new society out of the (MVR), the government has “funded and numerous health clinics, 1,800 primary the Republic Window and Doors factory
wreckage of the old.” As things worsened organized” many projects with poor com- and secondary schools for some 160,000 occupation in Chicago, fights over water
the unemployed began to block streets, a munities; these include Mercals, for food, students, and a literacy program in which privatization in Michigan and Georgia,
desperate gambit for having their griev- radio stations, and health clinics. Dangl 30,000 adults participate.” the MST-like Umoja Village, and Take
ances met, and the piquetero movement quotes a citizen as saying that “‘[Chavez] Paraguay, despite the election of Back The Land movement in Florida. Max
was born. The middle class was eventually is the first president who even knows we former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo Rameau of Take Back The Land writes of
dragged down, and with this a “larger are here...’” In the Caracas barrio, El 23 de in 2008, remains a company state for the homeless who would occupy foreclosed
sector of the population was…willing to Enero, the residents used direct action to oligarchs, black-market business, narco- homes: “’the right of human beings to
try activist alternatives and tactics previ- take over a police station, with a horribly traffickers, and transnational corpora- housing supersedes the corporate drive to
ously seen as too radical.” At one point the repressive role in the area’s past, and made tions. The monstrous legacies of the maximize profits...We advance that asser-
turmoil was such that the country went it over into a “community radio station and Colorado Party and Alfredo Stroessner, tion by directly challenging existing laws
through five presidents in a matter of cultural center.” The MVR “didn’t emerge which ruled for 60 years prior to the 2008 which favor profits over human needs.’”
weeks. Dangl quotes a legal commentator, directly out of a social movement,” like presidential election will not be overcome Dangl concludes by calling for a reversal
who said that the failure of the bosses was other political parties in the new Latin easily. A year before the election, Paraguay of our destructive export of torture and
so great that some judges, in the context America, but formed amidst dissent within exported over 4 million tons of soy, much economic policies which devastate hu-
of struggles over reclaimed companies, the military, and to advance the political of which ends up in the bellies of European man communities around the world, and
ruled that work should come before a once career of the popular Chavez. One com- cattle. The new president condemned the by asking activists in the north to take up
sacred private property. The Kirchner ad- mentator, quoted by Dangl, says that the industry as a terror campaign against the the autonomous direct action tactics of
ministration sought to “restore legitimacy poor really respond to these programs, vulnerable. Hundreds of thousands of our fellow and sister workers to the south.
and belief” in Argentina’s failed institu- because they enable them to “‘see a way children suffer from malnutrition, health
out of poverty.’” A re-write of the national problems associated with soy and dumped
constitution has given the state control agrochemicals are widespread, and untold
Subscribe to the over Petroleos de Venezuela SA, providing thousands of small farming families have

Industrial Worker
crucial funding for its domestic efforts, been violently expelled by thugs or “poi-
given textual support for a Housewives’ soned off their land.” Dangl visited the
Union, and called “for the breakup of large, tenacious community of Tekojoja, which
Raise eyebrows! Get ideas! private land holdings.” One of the most he describes as “sandwiched between
significant developments in the country seemingly limitless expanses of soy,” and
10 issues for: may be the communal councils, which seek writes: “I could smell the chemicals in the
• US $18 for individuals. to “transfer power from mayors and gov- air already...I began to feel a disorienting
• US $22 for internationals. ernors to ordinary citizens...” These hold sensation of dizziness and nausea...” These
• US $30 for institutions. great potential for getting rid of wasteful small family farmers not only deal with
bureaucracy, and for getting around “cor- constant chemical intrusions, from the
Name: ________________________ rupt and unresponsive politicians.” In practices of their Brazilian agribusiness
Address:______________________ 2005, the national government issued “de- neighbors, but they suffered full scale
State/Province:_______________ crees” that provide for the expropriation of assaults which saw buildings burned and
“businesses and factories,” paving the way community members murdered. The
Zip/PC________________________ for “workers to manage them as coopera- perpetrators of these crimes are still at
tives.” According to Dangl, Venezuela has large, and drive by their victims daily with
Send to: PO Box 180195, gone further down this path than the much impunity. Dangl writes that the “expan-
Chicago IL 60618 USA publicized Argentina. Despite all of these sion of the industry takes place with the
advances there are still many struggles to support of the Paraguayan state, military,
Subscribe Today! be engaged in on the ground; Dangl men- and justice system” even under the new
tions those of the landless and indigenous populist president. Finally Dangl tells of
May 2011 • Industrial Worker • Page 13


How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care

Potter, Wendell. Deadly Spin: An Insur- of domestic propaganda. The organiza- cial interests and their PR accomplices,
ance Company Insider Speaks Out on How tion put together a list of eight common and condemned “the reactionary selfish
Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and ploys of propagandists; they include fear- people and politicians who fought year
Deceiving Americans. London: Blooms- mongering, grand generalities, celebrity after year every proposal we made to
bury Press, 2010. Hardcover, 288 pages, testimony, name-calling, associations with improve the people’s health.”
$16.00. everyday people, the use of “doublespeak” Insurers and employers in the United
or euphemisms, bandwagoning and loyalty States are forcing more and more Ameri-
By John Maclean transfers. cans into consumer-driven plans with
Wendell Potter begins his book, In 2007, while visiting his boyhood high dollar deductibles, ceilings under
“Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company In- home in Tennessee, Potter found in nearby which no benefits will be paid out; and
sider Speaks Out On How Corporate PR Is Wise County, Va., that the United States this is increasing out of pocket expenses,
Killing Health Care And Deceiving Ameri- had joined the third world. Remote Area and causing people to delay or forgo care.
cans,” by recognizing the 45,000 people Medical (RAM), founded by Stan Brock of Potter writes of a “forced ‘migration’
who die every year, in the United States, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom fame, of workers [in]to managed care,” from
because they lack health insurance. To was conducting its eighth annual medical traditional indemnity plans during the
the many who mistakenly believe that the expedition to this isolated border area. 1990s, due to provisions of the Nixon-
United States has the best health care in RAM is a “highly mobile relief force of era Health Maintenance Organization
the world, or that Obama is spearheading a doctors, dentists, optometrists, nurses, (HMO) Act. In 1998, a PR campaign was
government takeover of our health, he can and medical technicians who volunteer undertaken to help improve the image of
only say that he did his job well in support their time to treat hundreds of patients a managed care; companies hired Goddard
of industry profits. Potter writes that “the day,” and when Brock began organizing Clausen, the creators of the “Harry and
dark arts of PR” can turn a criminal into the group 25 years ago, he had no idea Louise” commercial aimed at the Clinton
the benefactor of humanity. He says that that most of its expeditions would be to plan, and the Hawthorn Group, both of
the Obama administration was “played communities in the United States. When which operated behind a front group
like a Stradivarius” by Karen Ignani of Potter arrived at the Virginia fairgrounds called Coalition for Affordable Quality Graphic:
American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), he relates: “I felt as if I’d stepped into a Healthcare. Rather than owning up to all employee benefits, including health
who rose to her position after a stint with movie set or a war zone.” He saw hun- their failures, health insurance companies plans.” As a result of this interpretation
the AFL-CIO in the 1990s. The first part of dreds of soaking wet people, who had been “pointed the finger of blame at their cus- ERISA has preempted state law, and is
the AHIP strategy is the “charm offensive,” lined up for hours, waiting before “barns tomers,” and their CEOs embarked on per- “used as a weapon” to prevent states from
which positions the industry publicly as a and cinder block buildings with row after sonal responsibility crusades, which Potter implementing consumer rights in health-
good faith reform partner, while the sec- row of animal stalls” for treatment, and describes as a ploy “for pushing risks, and care. The health insurers and other com-
ond undertakes a covert campaign of fear others “lying on gurneys on rain-soaked costs, formerly borne by institutions onto panies are opposed to changes in this law,
mongering, lies, and misinformation, with pavement.” Typically hundreds are turned individual Americans.” Potter writes that and together with their PR consultants
the intent “of killing any reform that might away because the volunteers must return the shift from “failed” managed care to have created a front group, the National
hinder profits.” Wendell Potter knows all to their lives and workplaces. Potter de- “consumerism” was all about meeting the Coalition on Benefits, to beat back states’
this because he helped to put the strategy scribes himself as having had a spiritual expectations of Wall Street, finding ways rights. Potter relates the story of the death
together during his 20 years of service to epiphany here, when he realized that these to “avoid paying for healthcare,” and shift- of Nataline Sarkisyan, and how her family
the health insurance cartel. people could have been his relations, or ing “costs to policy holders.” Big insurance discovered that their “insurance plan was
Potter surveys some early, and more the victims of “policy rescission”—the companies like CIGNA and United Health protected by ERISA” and this denied them
recent, PR efforts from U.S. history. Ivy dumping of the insured for preexisting Group began forcing their employees legal recourse, in state courts, against
Lee, considered one of the originators of conditions. into “high-deductible plans”—a process the insurer CIGNA. Hilda Sarkisyan, the
“crisis management,” worked with coal Potter writes that in the United States that was called “going full replacement.” young woman’s mother, has made it her
operators throughout the early 1900s, and we “forfeited” the advancement of our A 2005 survey of employers “showed purpose to educate people about this law,
was taken on by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in healthcare system, and essentially left it that more than three quarters of all U.S. believing that it “allows insurance compa-
the aftermath of the Ludlow massacre. One to profiteers. The longstanding strategies companies planned to shift costs to their nies to...get away with murder.” Under this
of his recommendations to Rockefeller was employed to scuttle serious reform efforts employees.” Potter then mentions the sale “shield of protection” the insurance cartel
to walk around with a pocket full of dimes, can be seen clearly in the American Medi- of the “illusion of coverage” and what he has “no financial incentive to provide
and be seen giving them out to children. cal Association’s (AMA) 1960 “Operation calls “limited-benefit plans.” These are timely treatment” and can decide whether
Edward Bernays worked with George Coffeecup.” The “Women’s auxiliary” of the “ultimate in cost shifting” and are or not benefits are to be paid out. Many
Washington Hill of the American Tobacco the AMA was activated around the country marketed to chains with high employee attempts to address this injustice have
Company all through the “Roaring Twen- to listen to an LP called “Ronald Reagan turnover. He calls them “fake insurance.” been beaten back, including the Patient’s
ties,” and one of his books was seen to have Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine,” Finally, it is through premium increases Bill of Rights in the 1990s; and Potter,
ended up on a shelf in Nazi propaganda and to agitate against proposed Medicare and the shifting of costs that insurers are who admits to being “the company’s main
minister Joseph Goebbels’ library. As a PR legislation. Potter claims that this record able to “manipulate” their “medical-loss voice [during] the case,” cites the grieving
officer for CIGNA, Potter, along with APCO provided the talking points for future fear- ratio” (MLR). This ratio is followed closely mother as saying “this is not only about
Worldwide, a Washington, D.C.-based based campaigns against reform—with by Wall Street and CEOs concerned about my daughter...This could have happened
firm, and a front group called Health Care even the likes of Sarah Palin quoting from their stock options, and it says much that to any one of us. We have to put a stop to
America, undertook a campaign against the disc. The pattern of thoughtful, practi- having to pay for care is seen as a loss. these people. They cannot tell us who’s
Michael Moore and his film “Sicko.” They cal moves toward reform followed by pri- Potter writes that from 1993 to the present going to live and who’s going to die.”
succeeded in drawing attention away from vate interest fear-mongering was so well- “the average MLR in America has dropped For Potter, cigarette companies are
Moore’s criticisms, spreading fears about established in the United States that even from 95 percent to around 80 percent.” central to all of this, particularly Phillip
a government takeover of healthcare, and FDR was made to detach health insurance The storied AMA issued a report in Morris (PM); President Obama didn’t just
not a single reporter was able to follow from Social Security; and, in 1949, under 2010 documenting nationwide “the state sign into law the Patient Protection and Af-
the funding back to health insurance in- Truman, the first president to support a of competition in the health insurance fordable Care Act of 2010, but did the same
terests. Potter also mentions the efforts single payer plan, the country experienced industry.” It found that 24 of the 43 states for the Regulatory Strategy Project, a year
of the Institute for Propaganda Analysis “its first-ever all-out paranoid-propaganda examined, up from 18 the previous year, earlier. This legal coup, in part written by
(IPA), between 1937 and 1942, and the blitz by the country’s for had just two large insurers controlling PM, was 10 years in the making, and some
threat to democracy it saw in the face of care sector.” Truman cautioned us about “70 percent, or more” of their market have warned that it makes the Food and
a growing PR industry and other forms not heeding the “scare words” of the spe- share. Within the “313 metropolitan mar- Drug Administration “a de-facto research
kets” surveyed, 99 percent of them were and development department for cigarette
deemed “highly concentrated,” according manufacturers.” This product kills more

A May Day Call

to Department of Justice (DOJ) guidelines, than 443,000 people a year. Potter writes
up from 94 percent one year earlier. In of cigarette makers that their strategies
a little over half of these markets, one have “injected...negative, manipulating
insurer controlled 50 percent, or more, of DNA into corporate culture worldwide, to
all available business. There has been such the detriment of people everywhere.” Their
************************ a collapse of competition that the AMA
suggested that the DOJ “aggressively” use
“success” showed the way: hire a PR firm,
create a front group, and get third parties

ALL Workers of the World: its anti-trust powers to combat the trend. to sign on; write letters and opinion pieces,
These swollen, anti-competitive insur- get to know publishers and editors, influ-
ers have rigged the system so as to hike ence the “tone and content” of what gets

Unite against empire and all premiums, cut benefits, dump enrollees,
force consumers to pay more out of pocket,
written, put together fake surveys; and
play with numbers, get your talking points
and “deliver massive and growing profits” out there, and always be charming. Finally,
corporate and state predators to themselves. Potter says that our repre-
sentatives have failed us in allowing this
Potter cites an author as saying—sadly
for the prospects of democracy—that we

************************ “cartel” to take hold.

It is important to understand that
“could be heading for a well informed class
at the top and a broad populace awash in
the insurance cartel has federal law on opinion, spin, and propaganda.”
-- Harry Siitonen, SF Bay Area its side. In the early 1970s the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
The next time someone, awash in spin,
tells you that Starbucks workers have it

GMB was passed to prevent employers from

stealing the retirement benefits of work-
great—health insurance and all—tell them
of this tragic tale, and the “fake” insur-
ance marketed to chains with significant
ers. Despite the obvious intent of the law
courts have “interpreted [it] to apply to employee turnover.
Page 14 • Industrial Worker • May 2011
May 2011 • Industrial Worker • Page 15

International Labor Struggles

A Look At Three Figures From The IWW In South Africa

Photo: South African Trade Union Council Photo: “A History of Communism in South Africa” Photo: “Bernard Sigamoney Papers”
Andrew Dunbar as an 80-year-old blacksmith. T.W. Thibedi, year unknown. Bernard L.E. Sigamoney in his later years.
By Lucien van der Walt elled on the IWW. As interest in the Rus- in the leftwing of the African nationalist IWW lines in March 1917. Sigamoney
The IWW was the main influence on sian Revolution rose, Dunbar and others South African Native National Congress joined the ISL, and was the union’s first
the radical left in South Africa in the early formed Africa’s first Communist Party in (SANNC). When a failed general strike in secretary. The union claimed members
20th century. But who were the South October 1920—on a basically syndicalist July 1918 led to a crackdown on the ISL, among Durban’s large Indian population,
African Wobblies? This article looks at platform; he was general-secretary. In Industrial Workers of Africa and SANNC, notably on the docks, in garment work
three key figures. 1921, this merged into the official Com- it fell to Thibedi to revive the union in Jo- and laundries, painting, hotels, catering
munist Party of South Africa (CPSA), but hannesburg. The union drew its members and tobacco workers. There were efforts
Andrew Dunbar (1879-1964) Dunbar headed a syndicalist faction. Later from across the African working class, and to unite it with the Industrial Workers of
Andrew Dunbar was general-secretary expelled from the CPSA, he faded from was more a general membership branch Africa. Meanwhile, Sigamoney and other
of the IWW in Johannesburg, established union and socialist work. than an industrial body. ISL figures supported the independent
in June 1910. A hefty Scots immigrant The key African in the early CPSA, Tobacco Workers’ Union, and its big strike
who arrived in 1906, he worked in the Thibedi William Thibedi (1888- Thibedi put his syndicalist background to in October 1920, and the 1921 strike of
Natal railways as a blacksmith, leading a 1960) work when he ran the party’s night school Indian furniture workers.
mass strike in 1909. This cost him his job, The son of a Wesleyan minister, in Johannesburg, and became a full-time Sigamoney did not join the CPSA.
and he went to work on the Johannesburg Thibedi William Thibedi was one of the organizer and unionist. When the CPSA Instead, he left radical politics, going to
tramways. These were the IWW’s strong- most important African syndicalists in expelled him in 1929, the communist- Britain in December 1922 to study as an
hold, with a powerful presence amongst 1910s South Africa. Hailing from the led Federation of Non-European Trade Anglican pastor, and returning to work
the white workers, and led to big strikes in small town of Vereeniging, he trained as Unions forced his reinstatement; he was for St. Anthony’s Indian Mission in Jo-
1911. In 1912, Dunbar was ousted from the a school teacher and worked at a church expelled again in 1931. Later, Thibedi hannesburg in 1927. He was viewed as a
IWW, which faded away soon afterwards. school in Johannesburg. Around 1916, he flirted with Trostkyism before drifting troublemaker by the authorities, partly
In 1914, he was in the War on War joined the ISL and became its first major away into anonymity. because he associated with the Industrial
League, which set up the revolutionary African leader. and Commercial Workers Union, a union
syndicalist International Socialist League In September 1917, Thibedi was in- Bernard Lazarus Emanuel influenced by both the IWW and Marcus
(ISL) in September the next year. The ISL volved in organizing an ISL-sponsored Sigamoney (1888-1963) Garvey, as well as the SANNC. Sigam-
campaigned for One Big Union, and fought conference that led to the formation of Bernard Lazarus Emanuel Sigamoney oney’s remaining years were focused on
against the oppressive laws applied to Af- a “Solidarity Committee,” intended to was the grandson of indentured Indian work in the church, in promoting Indian
rican workers, the majority of the working reform the orthodox trade unions. These farm laborers, Pariah Christians, who ar- sport, and in promoting the civil rights of
class, including indenture, pass controls, generally excluded people of color (except rived in South Africa in 1877. His family people of color.
housing in closed barracks, etc. It also in Cape Town), tended toward craft union- managed to secure him an education, and
opposed the discrimination being applied ism, and were prone to binding no-strike he worked as a teacher at Estcourt Indian Conclusion
against Indians and other minorities. agreements. Thibedi served on the Com- High School and then St. Aidans’ Boys’ The multiracial IWW tradition in
In June 1917, Dunbar was part of mittee which was not however a success. School. South Africa threw up some remarkable
an ISL team running study groups in In 1918, Thibedi was involved in the During World War I, Sigamoney militants. These three men—one white,
downtown Johannesburg amongst African Industrial Workers of Africa in Johan- became increasingly involved in politics, one African, one Indian—exemplified the
workers, advocating civil disobedience and nesburg, arguing for One Big Union, addressing public meetings on the grow- high moral character and dedication it
One Big Union against African oppression united on class lines across the races; and ing food shortages in Durban. He soon evoked, and its staunch and unwavering
and capitalism. This led to the Industrial mass action. Along with other figures in encountered the local ISL, which founded opposition to the country’s barbaric racial
Workers of Africa, an African union mod- the union, he also promoted these views an Indian Workers’ Industrial Union on capitalism.

Subscribe to the Industrial Worker

Subscribe or renew your Industrial Worker subscription.

Give a gift that keeps your family or friends thinking.

Get 10 issues of working class news and views for:

• US $18 for individuals.
• US $22 for library/institutions.
• US $30 for international subscriptions.
Name: ____________________________________________________________
Zip/Postal Code:______________________________________________________________
Send this subscription form to:

Industrial Worker Subscriptions,

PO Box 180195, Chicago, IL 60618 USA
Subscribe to the Industrial Worker today!
Page 16 • Industrial Worker • May 2011

Pogroms Follow Killing Of Settler Family

By Michael Dranove any proof that any Palestinians were
Following the brutal murder of an responsible for the killings. Rumors are
Israeli settler family of five on March circulating that Thai workers might be
11, Israeli settlers have begun pogroms responsible for the killings, with the
against Palestinians living near the illegal Palestinian news agency Ma’an reporting
settlement of Itamar, where the killings that Thai workers had been rounded up by
took place. Itamar is one of hundreds of Israeli police for questioning. This has not
The IWW formed the International Solidarity Commission to help the union build illegally-constructed settlements located stopped the Israeli army from rounding up
the worker-to-worker solidarity that can lead to effective action against the bosses in the occupied West Bank. and imprisoning dozens of Palestinians
of the world. To contact the ISC, email Reports of violence against Palestin- across the West Bank. Israeli soldiers en-
ians increased dramatically following news tered the village of Awarta, south of Nab-
May Day: A Celebration Of International Solidarity of the killings. Al Jazeera reports that in
the occupied city of Hebron in the West
lus, at night and arrested 40 men and boys,
fingerprinting them and taking their DNA.
By Matt Antosh Bank, a Palestinian man was stabbed, a The Palestinian territories have been
I’m really not a protest person, mostly shop was set on fire, and two Palestinian divided into untenable cantons by Israeli
due to a mild phobia of large crowds and girls, ages 5 and 11, were intentionally checkpoints and settlements, such as It-
new people. Since becoming active in hit by cars. In the city of Nablus, burning amar. Israeli settlement construction has
left-wing struggles in 2007 I’ve been to barricades were erected by settlers who been determined by the United Nations to
around four rallies or marches. With the threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at cars be illegal under the Geneva Convention.
exception of a rally in protest of the killing and pedestrians. Two Palestinian children However, a recent U.N. Security Council
of international development workers and were hospitalized after a group of settlers resolution condemning Israeli settlement
solidarity activists by Israeli commandos firebombed a Palestinian home. Israeli expansion was vetoed by the United
on board the Mavi Marmara bound for soldiers and settlers also uprooted 500 States causing anger across the occupied
Gaza last year, I’ve only been to Winnipeg’s olive trees belonging to Palestinians near territories.
annual May Day march. Bethlehem. Israel receives more than $3 billion
Is there any other reason why? May The pogroms were launched without worth of U.S. aid every year.
Day is International Workers’ Day, the day
that working people themselves decided
to honor our struggles and accomplish-
Bahrain Unions Protest For Rights
By John Kalwaic Persian Gulf states where workers have
ments from the past year. It’s the day to
As part of the recent wave of protests at least the right to organize and strike.
remember the Haymarket Anarchists who
in the Middle East, strikes and riots have Workers do not have rights in Saudi
fought for our right to have eight hours of
occurred in the small Gulf nation of Bah- Arabia, and in the United Arab Emirates,
work, eight hours of rest and eight hours
rain. What started in Tunisia and Egypt even state-controlled unions are against
of recreation. Most importantly, it is a
has since moved to other parts of the Mid- the law. Bahraini pro-democracy activists
day to remember and celebrate that we
be an ISC liaison in your branch, or just dle East, even to fairly wealthy countries have used strikes as a way to challenge the
are not alone in this struggle: working
participating because you’re passionate like Bahrain and Oman. Bahrain, a nation dictatorship of the Sheik Hamad bin Isa Al
people across the globe are in the same
about building solidarity with other na- with a majority Shi’a Muslim population, Khalifa. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia,
situation, fighting back together, and that
tions and unions. is ruled by a Sunni Muslim monarchy. one the United States’ closest allies in the
our solidarity with them is what binds us.
Participating in May Day is an act of Bahrain also contains a vast number of region, launched an invasion in Bahrain
There is no doubt that I don’t have the
international solidarity, in its most genu- migrant guest workers. in hopes of quashing the uprising and
amazing experiences of my fellow ISCers. I
ine and simplest form. It is affirming that Workers have taken to the streets preventing unrest from spreading to Saudi
have never tasted sweet pecan pie in South
between “two classes a struggle must go to protest the royal family’s hold on the Arabia, which has already experienced
Africa or paid witness to the daily humili-
on until the workers of the world organize government. Bahrain and Kuwait are two smaller protests and riots.
ation of the military occupation in Pales-
tine. Heck, the furthest out of Canada that as a class, take possession of the means of
I’ve ever been is to Fargo, North Dakota. production, abolish the wage system, and A Call For Labor Representation On
The Second Gaza Freedom Flotilla
But international solidarity isn’t just live in harmony with the Earth.” Interna-
about visiting other nations, meeting and tional solidarity is an action anyone can
learning about people’s lives and loves and do, and if we are going to build a more
just world, everyone should do their part Fellow Workers,
struggles. As important as that is, inter-
and march in or organize a May Day rally In addition to my IWW work, I’ve been working with the Free Palestine Move-
national solidarity is also something you
wherever they live. ment* (FPM) which is a participant in the second Gaza Freedom Flotilla to break
do at home. It’s writing a protest letter or
If you are interested in becoming in- the Israeli Blockade of Gaza.
passing a branch motion. It’s tying up the
volved, ISC calls happen third Monday of This flotilla of 15 ships, carrying more than 1,000 passengers and 5,000 tons of
phone lines at Jimmy John’s for a lunch
the month. For more information, email humanitarian supplies, is scheduled to sail to Gaza on May 31 (although it may be
period despite never actually eating there. delayed, depending on circumstances). The anticipated time participants should be
International solidarity is volunteering to
prepared to devote to this undertaking is at least two weeks.

IWW Statement Of Solidarity To The Peoples

There is no dearth of volunteers, and most ships and organizations, open to all,
are indulging in a more-or-less strict vetting process, with chosen volunteers being

Of Japan And The Freeters Union primarily responsible for making their own financial arrangements.
The FPM has decided on a different procedure to fill our quota of flotilla passen-
By the ISC line of these disasters and the aftermath, gers: we will limit the number of participating members and cover all their expenses.
Over 20,000 people have died and many risking their lives to stave off nuclear In order to obtain maximum influence and gravitas among the American people,
hundreds of thousands more left homeless catastrophe. The Industrial Workers of we’ve made the decision to invite specific representatives from a broad spectrum of
from the earthquake and tsunami that dev- the Word stand in solidarity with all of endeavors with an eye towards persons respected and influential in their fields who
astated Japan on March 11. On top of that, the Japanese people, and our comrades in could best articulate the experience and capture the ear of the public and the media.
the Japanese are facing a potential nuclear the Freeters Union in particular. We urge Some confirmed members of the delegation include former congresswoman
disaster, and radiation leak. As is often our members to do whatever is needed to Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. ambassador Samuel H. Hart, U.S.S. Liberty survi-
the case, working people are on the front support our Japanese fellow workers. vor Joe Meaders, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, American Indian Movement representative
William “Jimbo” Simmons, musical artists Dead Prez, African-American political
Donate To The Catastrophe Aid and Solidarity activist Fred Hampton, Jr. and others.

Fund for General Freeters Union in Japan

My own interest is to ensure that working people have a presence onboard,
so as to best convey the international import of the voyage from a working-class
By the FAU-IWA donations for the relief and solidarity fund perspective.
Given the vast destruction wrought whose resources are to be used in close I urgently need your input in finding such persons.
by the earthquake and tsunami on March consultation with the “Freeters Zenpan In Struggle,
11, and given the threat of a nuclear di- Roso,” a self-organized group of precari- fw sparrow, X326388 sfba gmb IWW, FPM
saster caused by the destroyed nuclear ous workers in Japan. (650) 219-9641
Graphic: FPM
power plant in Fukushima I, the FAU- Donations can be sent to:
IWA launched a solidarity and aid fund *FPM is a tax-exempt, U.S. government-approved and United Nations-accredited
for precarious workers in Japan—the FAU, FAU NGO with a commitment, through nonviolent action, to deliver humanitarian aid to
“Freeters Solidarity Fund.” As an anarcho- Konto 96152201, the people of Gaza and to open access to peaceful travel and trade by sea—a right
syndicalist grassroots trade union, our first Postbank Hamburg (BLZ 200100 20) that has been denied by a 43-year-old Israeli naval blockade. For more informa-
concern is the many precarious workers under the codeword “Freeters.” tion, visit
(Freeters), who were excluded even before
the disaster, often forced into appalling Every little contribution is welcome as an
working and living conditions. It calls for expression of living class solidarity. Assessment Stamp
for Friends of the
Support international solidarity! Palestinian Workers Group
Assessments for $3,
Benefit stamp designed by
$6 are available from
your delegate or IWW underground cartoonist
headquarters PO Box Spain Rodriquez.
180195, Chicago, IL Send $5 and a SASE to sparrow at IWW San
60618, USA. Francisco, 2022 Blake Street, Berkeley, CA 94704.