- McJobs and Workers -

How can TD stand when they work so long?

Posted by: Flint Jones ( IWW, USA ) on August 23, 1998 at 10:01:44:

In Reply to: More on TDs stance !! posted by Trolley Dolly on August 20, 1998 at 10:07:40:

TD: I am a lot more assertive when it comes to saying no to something I know will eat into it even more.

Flint: Thus the dilema. We had an 8 hour day, and we didn't get it because of company benevolence, politicians, or the invisible hand of the free market. Rather we got it by organizing and working towards things collectively. Lots of folks who were working 10 to 14 hour days go together on their time off to figure out how to get it. So some time it takes time go get time. Kind of the same way you've got to invest a lot of money to make alot of money ;)

TD: I don't think I'm quite ready to be a card carrying member JUST yet thanks ! My big issue is that I don't think you (the IWW as an org) really get inside what makes people tick, why they act or behave in certain ways. Everybody's motivations are different, not everyone views a situation in the same way, yet you guys would like all workers to see the light, and join forces. My argument is that because we all vary so much in our individual desires and motivations it is unrealistic to expect everyone to suddenly fall into step on the same issue.

Flint: I see your point, which is one of the reasons I joined the IWW.
Unions, its been said, can be the school of the revolution. By struggling for things everyone (meaning the workers here) can agree on like say an 8 hour day, wage increases, health care... we begin to think and act like a class instead as so many lonely isolated individuals. You begin to trust one another and help each other, cooperate. It something our devil-may-care, rugged individualist, competition-at-all-costs, social-darwnistic, surivial-of the fittest corporate culture wants to discourage us from doing at all costs.
Yet I don't think society would function at all without the amount of mutual aid and cooperation that continues to exist (whether you believe in altruism or not, its something that we need to encourage as a species).

I don't expect the working class (most people don't seem to even realize class exists or blatantly deny the class they are in) will suddenly come into a revolutionary conciousness. In the past there has been more of one, in Europe there is more class conciousness than in the US. You got to build it, one individual at a time, one shop at time. Syndicalism is a slow route to revolution, but one I think is pratical, proven, and peaceful.

There are unions, and then there are unions of course. I think the IWW structure makes it less likely to be co-opted or seperated from its goals and tactics, while still allowing local (and individual) autonomy and democracy.



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