IWW Negotiating with Employers

New Syndicalist has a piece on how we – the IWW – negotiate with employers, and it starts off with this very practical recognition:

“While the preamble makes clear that ‘the employing class and the working class have nothing in common’ we nonetheless have to accept that until workers as a class are organised well enough to reorganise the economy that we will have to lay out some principles and strategies that govern how we aim to interact with employers and the best means of getting better terms and conditions for our fellow workers.”

It is good and you should go read it. It has a much better understanding of social change than some Wobblies, whose vision is along the lines of:

  1. Join the IWW!
  2. ???
  3. Overthrow capitalism!

I do have one minor quibble with it, though, on this part:

“There is a popular misconception that the IWW historically did not negotiate contracts with employers. The origin of this is likely in the fact that union contracts did not become recognised in law until the National Labour Relations Act of 1937, well after the union’s foundation.”

The National Labor Relations Act came in 1935, not 1937, and union contracts were already recognized by law before this just by being contracts. There was no need for a law specific to union contracts. So, there’s some other origin to this misconception.

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