- McJobs and Workers -

More on the Wobblies

Posted by: Flint Jones ( IWW, USA ) on August 19, 1998 at 00:44:09:

In Reply to: Here's the response - not necessarily the one you want !!! posted by Trolley Dolly on August 14, 1998 at 09:41:41:

TD: Flint, I saw your appeal for a response, and decided to go to one of the many links you posted, the one about what would an anarchist society be like. My problem is, I haven't got the time or the energy to read all that bumf now. If you want a response you're going to have to wait while I pull on my waders. I usually log on here after a hard day scratching a living, and what I write at the moment keeps me up too late and adds to my huge sleep debt. But don't worry, I promise I'll try to read even half of it, and get back to you eventually.

Flint: More than a century ago the Anarchists were at the front of the 8-hour work day movement here in the U.S.A. The idea was that if we workers had to work less, their would be more jobs and we'd all have more time to spend with our families, do those things that make us humans instead of just workers, and have time enough to actually learn politically about our situation... and then time to act. An 8 hour day would sound real nice now... Americans are now working on average 47 hours a week at one or more jobs (like say working two mimimum wage jobs that never quite give you full time hours so they don't have to pay out benefits... everybody who works Fast Food knows that game). An 8 hour day is something it appears we have to fight for again. Wobblies want the 4 hour day, but then thats such a dream that we'll take 7 or 6 happily. :) Kind of like "Abolishing the Wage System" you got to have goals, right?

TD: Just a couple of things though - I had a similar conversation with Qx about how the net is still prohibitive to low wage earners. For flips sake, I can hardly afford it ! Anyway, Qx reckoned it was a low percentage of the desired audience that were able to access the IWW website.

Flint: Agreed, the Internet is not the most accessible medium. However, It is perfect for the kind of organizing I want to do. Namely in IU560 Communication Workers which will probably merge at our next General Assembly to reflect how the industry as a whole is increasingly organized. So, if you want to unionize geeks, you go where the geeks are. Unlike your typical McDonald's worker who has no real economic power unless they unite on a truly massive scale, a computer industry union would help bring labor as a force to be reckoned with.

TD: You also say many people have different ideas of "where we should go". Do you guys waste much time arguing over it ? Or do wobblies (whatever that means) do whatever they like under the IWW banner, as long as they have workers interests at heart?

Flint: Generally speaking, we usually agree to disagree on specific political arguements, and agree together on action. For instance, we can debate till were blue in the face whether violence is neccessary for a revolution or not (espeically when they call in the army to break your strike), but we can all agree to the non-violent tatics like strikes, boycotts, and pickets as good tactics. As to how we decide thigns, we do it democratically... with as much local autonomy as we can muster. There is some discussion of moving to a difference in democratic union-wide decisions that will better represent and protect minority opinion from the tyranny of the majority as it were... as you can imagine, its quite a discussion. Alot of people involved in the WObblies, are ofcourse very political, but we try not to let those kind of arguements hamper our organizing.

DT: I'm not trying to escape the issue Flint, I'll read the stuff when I can. I'm just trying to buy some time - be patient with me.

Flint: I didn't expect you to read all the links immeaditley. An Anarchist FAQ is huge! And its being regularly adde to and updated. Hopefully one day they'll publish it in book form. The primary purpose was to show you that we have done alot of thinking about where we want to go... and that we can get there.

DT: By the way, I just want you to know that when I first started posting here it was to annoy people, for a laugh - but I actually quite enjoy the debate now. No doubt you can tell this from my posts recently.

Flint: Obviously, most of the Wobblies on here have an agenda beyond simply annoying people. We put up with a lot of shit, from both capitalists and their owned lapdogs in big media... that is when they care to addresss us at all, the last thing we need is workers trying to annoy us. Its upsetting, but hey... in a forum we can at least address the issues, and maybe... just maybe have one of our hecklers join the fight. That great saracasm of yours would be a wonderful tool against those who are keeping the rest of us miserable for their profit margins. I'm hear because It wasn't that long ago that I was working the grill for minimum wage... and wishing I'd met a Wobbly back then.

DT: And I tried to set up an address at bigfoot, but I fecked it up and never got round to giving it another go.

Flint: May I suggest Hotmail.com?

TD: Til next time.

FLint: Solid.

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