The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is a radical labor union known for its inclusive and transformative approach to organizing. Founded in 1905, the IWW aims to unite all workers into “One Big Union” regardless of occupation or industry. With a focus on direct action and grassroots democracy, the IWW challenges existing power structures and advocates for revolutionary industrial unionism. It emphasizes solidarity, internationalism, and fighting against discrimination, offering workers a platform for collective action and worker empowerment.
- A radical labour union in Aotearoa New Zealand
- Empowering workers and promoting social justice
- Challenging oppression, fighting discrimination, and advocating for better working conditions and rights
We Are Not
- A traditional business union focused solely on incremental reforms
- Hierarchical or centralized, decision-making power resides with the workers themselves
- Limited to specific industries or occupations; we aim to unite workers from all sectors into one big union
To the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), industrial unionism is a core principle and a fundamental aspect of its approach to labor organizing. The IWW seeks to establish “One Big Union” that unites workers across industries, transcending traditional craft divisions. By organizing workers on an industry-wide basis, the IWW aims to build collective power, promote solidarity, and address systemic issues that affect workers across the entire industrial landscape.
Solidarity unionism” is the guiding strategic principle of the IWW, differentiating it from “Business Unionism.” It prioritizes building worker strength without relying on government or employer recognition. This approach rejects traditional contracts and instead focuses on gaining power through direct action tactics, resisting concessionary bargaining and restrictive clauses. Solidarity Unionism is the IWW’s innovative organizing strategy for building worker power and fostering solidarity.
How We Differ From Other Unions
The business unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers. The IWW offers a different vision
Our Stance on Political Parties
To the end of promoting industrial unity and of securing necessary discipline within the organisation, the IWW refuses all alliances, direct or indirect, with any political parties or anti-political sects, and disclaims responsibility for any individual opinion or act which may be at variance with the purposes herein expressed.
Our Stance on Ecology
Climate change exacerbates inequalities and exploitation. History has demonstrated that when a significant amount of the labour force organises for industrial action they can bring the bosses to the negotiating table and extract real gains for the workers. Likewise the environmental movement has demonstrated that community-led organising and direct resistance to natural exploitation can successfully defend ecological and social justice.By uniting these movements, ending self-destructive participation in the techno-industrial complex, and resisting infinite growth, we can change the system and prevent global catastrophe.