- McJobs and Workers -

'a fair days wage for a fair days work' is an arbitray slogan.

Posted by: Internal eXile ( IWW (East Bay Branch), Amerikkka ) on July 23, 1998 at 09:41:52:

In Reply to: IWW wake up ! It's 1998, not 1898 posted by The Trolley Dollies on July 21, 1998 at 10:19:21:

:First off, it's written in the same tired old revolutionary language that all manner of Socialist off - shoots use when banging on about their particular slant on industrial relations. This kind of stuff was trotted out by the Workers Revolutionary Party and the Socialist Workers Party in the U.K. 15 years ago, and it's still exactly the same. Talk about the blind leading the blind. If something doesn't appear to be working, isn't it common sense to try a new approach?

Well, what would you suggest? As far as the language is concerned, how much of that site did you explore? Did you, for example, read any of the suggestions on how to organize in the Restaurant industry? Did you read about conditions in the timber industry? The IWW site is pretty extensive. I have created at least 130 different pages myself that deal with a variety of problems and potential soultions. If you're going to criticize a site, you would do well to explore it thoroughly.

:From what we saw ten years ago it was mainly middle class university students who peddled this guff when they went through that rebellious phase at University, and were faintly embarrassed that Mum and Dad's money (earned by the exploitation of the masses) fed, clothed and kept them in beer and fags.

They were also protesting militerism, nuclear proliferation, destruction of the environment, production for profit and not need, poverty in a society of abundance, sexism, racism, homophobia, ageism, discrimination against indigenous peoples, state-sponsored terror, counter-insurgency surveilence by governments, government itself, and quite a few other things.

: Secondly, we are really interested to know exactly what IWW would like to replace the wage system with, once it has been abolished. What is wrong with "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work" ??? Perhaps

What's wrong is that "a fair days wage for a fair days work" is an arbitray slogan. It has no practical meaning. I subscribe to the labor theory of value, i.e. "labor produces all wealth". So a far days wage for a fair days work would be an equal share of the company's profits.

: how are they going to take possession of the means of production ? Do the workers have the expertise, once they have overthrown the "employing class" to step into the bosses shoes and do his/her job ?

Yes, and yes. Its all a matter of education. The boss produces no produc at all. A CEO who sits behind a desk all day and issues orders is unnecessary for the production of burgers. If they were, then how would any person make home-made burgers? Further, whatever administrative tasks a boss carries out can be divided equally or partially among the various workers. Finally, even if some sort of coordinator is needed, why should they earn 300 times as much as a common worker? Do you really believe that a CEO produces 300 times as many burgers?

:It's not simply a case of tell the capitalist pig who owns the cotton mill to take a hike, and let the workers who operate the machinery continue to do so as an equal group of co-owners/workers. To operate in the industrial climate of today takes, knowledge, experience,

No one denies that.

:expertise. Of course only a few have this expertise. And wherever

That's debateable. If you wanted your car fixed, and you suddenly had the power to have it done for free would you ask a mechanic or would you ask the stock-holders of the car companies that employ mechanics?

: To conclude, the nature of industry HAS changed since Marx's day you know. How can you possibly expect to be able to apply the doctrines he came up with in the mid 1800's to economies and industries in 1998?

Indeed it has, and the IWW is in the forefront of those changes. For example, the IWW has one of the highest percentage of internet users of any labor union in the world. The IWW's website was the second labor union site on the internet EVER. I'd say that's quite an accomplishment. And whereas many organizations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on maintaining internet sites, the IWW maintains dozens of sites and adminsters six of its own servers on a shoestring budget.

: We thought you might be worth listening to until we read the IWW website. Talk about pie in the sky ! Get yourselves a mission statement that bears some relation to the real world - it's 1998, not 1898 !

By the way, the IWW was formed in 1905, so you're seven years off. And, rather than criticize blindly, perhaps YOU could offer some helpful suggestions on how we might better address working conditions. One thing's for sure, the fact that rank & file controlled, democratic organizations are ESSENTIAL to any problem that workers might have in the workplace, and the IWW endeavors to do just that. Would you suggest that a bureaucratic or top-down organization would better serve their needs?

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