Preamble to the Constitution of the IWW, 1908

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. No peace is possible as long as hunger and misery overwhelm millions of workers while the minority that is the entrepreneurial class to arrogate all the good things in life.

The struggle between these two classes is to last until the world's workers are able to organize as a class, to seize the means of production, to abolish wage labor and live in harmony with the earth.

We consider that the concentration of the management of industries in the hands of a number of increasingly restricted haves makes the practice of corporatist unionism unfit to cope with the increasing power of the bosses. Corporatist unionism fosters a dynamic of opposition between different groups of workers within the same industry, contributing to mutual defeat in the war wages. Furthermore, it helps the bosses mislead workers into believing that the working class has interests in common with the bosses.

These conditions can be changed: the interests of the working class can only be served by an organization constituted so that all members of a given industry, or in all industries if necessary, stop working as soon as a strike or a "lockout" is declared, in any of the relevant services or facilities. So, face one or one of us is facing us all.

Conservative slogan " Equal work, equal pay! », our banners must oppose the revolutionary slogan " Down with wage-earners! ».

The historic mission of the working class is to eliminate capitalism. The army of production must be organized not only for the daily struggle against the capitalists, but also to maintaining production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing us to scale industries, we lay the foundation of a new society right inside the old.

The annotated preamble [in English]