“What does the word mean “Industrial” dance ITS-IWW?”

ABC of solidarity unionism

I for Industrial

"We're not the International Workers of the World,
nor the Union International workers-workers "

Why do so many people and organizations say “International” instead of’ “Industrial” in the name of our union? Without being really sure-e-s, Here's why we believe that could explain.

Some people, often journalists, err between “Industrial” and “International” because many North American unions have the word “International” in their name. for example: International Brotherhood of Teamsters or International Longshore and Warehouse Association. In their case, the term “International” indicates the US territory and Canada only. On our side, although Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is a labor organization present in several countries (Germany, England, Austria, Australia, Canada, States- United, Ireland, Norway and some African countries), if our name was English International Workers of the World, would it not redundant to say "World"And"International» ? On the other hand, in the case of the French translation of the IWW why not have taken the name of International Union of Workers-Workers rather Industrial Workers Union-Workers as this is the case?

We could even add that the term Industrial can be confusing in the sense that it suggests that we reserve our union activity and our membership as factories, mines, ports, construction sites, etc… short class circles as we commonly call “industries”. Why in this case that the biggest union SITT-IWW is the Workers Union of Workers-Starbucks? These coffee counters however, have not much in common with factories!

We would like to term Industrial because it characterizes the organizational structure that makes it relevant and unique our union.


The term "Industrial"Is confusing to anyone who does not know the meaning of this word in the history of the labor movement and union in North America. The SITT-IWW was formed in 1905 in Chicago, in response to’American Federation of Labor (AFL) and other business unions syndicate based workers-workers in their jobs, skills, work tools. For the founders, the founders of SITT-IWW, craft unionism practiced by the business unions allows the owning class (employer-e-s) to divide the union-e-s a profession against those of other professions or against other unskilled workers-e-s-workers. for example: the employee-s supports university are unionized separately from student-e-s and teacher-e-s. In the case of a conflict or a strike, the strengths of these different groups of the working class can come to oppose each other rather than uniting against their common boss, it is the government or governments.

Furthermore, for members SITT-IWW today unionization by workplace characteristic of non-industrial unionism makes the fight against bosses ineffective in a context where ownership is increasingly concentrated among a small number of multinationals.

Industrial unionism practiced by SITT-IWW wishes for his part unionize all workers' depending on the type of industry in which they work they, and not depending on the tool that they use. The idea is to form a great union with the economy's production sector in order to establish common working conditions and unite all workers-workers against their bosses-not-s effectively. Hence the slogan of “One Big Union!” and of “A Union For All and All!”.

In doing, the union-e-s also throw the long term the structural bases of the direct management of the economy, production and distribution by the workers. This process of worker-workers takeover of the economy involved little to small to social and economic transformation towards the industrial democracy.

here is list of industrial unions SITT-IWW you can read in English only for now. a titer of exemple, This list includes the following unions:

Health Service Workers Industrial Union 610
Foodstuff Workers Industrial Union 460
Communications and Computer Workers Industrial Union 560

To finish, for others the source of confusion Industrial and International reflects the fact that they are wrong in terms of the historically affiliating SITT-IWW with the four famous "international" communist. However, Although the SITT-IWW can count among its ranks anarchists, communist, socialist, unionists, etc ... SITT-IWW is not a communist organization, the SITT-IWW is a revolutionary industrial union organization.

0 replies
    • camric
      camric says:

      “Industrial” refers to the union of fashion that is based on the organization of persons by industry in which they work, rather than simply their occupation or workplace (ex: education, restoration, construction…)


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