- McJobs and Workers -

I've given it some thought also

Posted by: Quincunx on October 18, 1998 at 12:34:31:

In Reply to: Dissecting the IWW posted by Julie-The Gruntled Generation on October 14, 1998 at 19:22:15:

: Dissecting The Message of the IWW

: >>The working class and the employing class have nothing in common<<

J: I have to eat and pay bills just like my employees do. I need to have money for the basics in life.

Qx: I'm of the view that this is a declarative statement that should have been more closely looked at in 1905 (when the Preamble was written) and deserves an internal debate within the IWW. I would argue that a revision is in order and to at least substitute it with something that would at least tell folks what these two classes don't have in common. Instead of absolutizing a social divide and declaring that there is nothing in common between the employing class and the working class a more thorough explanation should be in order. If not for the IWW at least for the onlookers who read the Preamble.

: >>There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life<<

J: I have yet to meet a rich fast food manager or district supervisor for that matter. Their car might be a bit nicer than mine or my employees but they sure aren't rolling in the dough.

Qx: I think this part is about the tensions that are present when a society polarizes. Even if most Americans aren't class conscious the elements of class divisiveness are present and most visible in the labor-management schism in workplaces.

Also, the growth of the management (i.e.; boss) class has been such that it has been estimated that up to one-third of the US workforce is comprised of managers of some sort or another. So class divsions aren't so easily visible as they once were but the ironic phenomenon of management unions has appeared and has a lot to tell everybody.

What should be noticed is the wealth of the top-echelon of corporate executives who in the end call the shots in terms of political and economic policies. That's where one will find the conspicuously wealthy. Even then a billionaire could walk right by any of us and we wouldn't even guess anything about their financial status.

: >>Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth.<<

J: Sounds real earthy but then their would be no reason for anyone to try to move up in life or better themselves or even have an opportunity to gain more in life because they are held down by a system that says they have to be like everyone else and cannot achieve more than others.

Qx: I would argue that capitalism does just that. It's just that this system called capitalism doesn't tell anybody outright that one cannot achieve more than others. There's definitely a lot of conformity and so to achieve what is possible in many instances requires giving the impression of being like eveybody else. Just try getting a job at most large corporations in which you could possibly "get to the top." I think one would find that toeing the line and knowing when to keep quiet are necessary social skills. Of course, there is such a thing as socialism for the rich.

Personally, I would like to see the entire planet give up capitalism and try for an alternative but I doubt that it will be overthrown any time soon. That doesn't stop me from advocating a way out of this present system as a way for human survival. I also think we as a human race may just have no other choice but to give up on capitalism as a way to the future due to the ecological crisis that's getting worse.

: >>These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry, or in all industries if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one an injury to all.<<

J: Oh great so if your pisssed off about your job I should lose everything Ive worked for eventhough I haven't been wronged by my employer. Unions aren't needed for work stopage. If one doesn't like their job or the way they are treated then they can stop working and go find a new job.

Qx: I don't feel that just up and quitting is a very smart or wise thing to do when one can fight for better working conditions right where they are working at now. Strikes are actually very rare and you should learn more about worker solidarity before you claim that just because your employer hasn't done you any wrong you don't feel inclined to participate in any sort of collective action.

In many instances, the wrongs perpetrated against one employee in another department can become the start of an institutional pattern of abuse that needs to be confronted by workers themselves before this kind of endemic abuse is seen as "normal". In your course on labor history didn't you discuss or research the conditions that led up to any strikes at all? I hope so. Perhaps you would tell us which books you were furnished with as reading and study material.

: >>It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism<<

J: Says who??

Qx: The IWW Preamble!

J: No one asked me if I wanted to do away with Capitalism.

Qx: Well, do you?

J: I infact like a system that will reward me for hard work.

Qx: Then don't expect capitalism to help you when you're in your retirement years or if you get injured on the job or if you work hard and some boss decides to can you for some ridiculous reason.

J: I know that if I do my job well then I will make more money and move up to a higher postion.

Qx: Good luck Julie. By the way, I must thank you for bringing the IWW Preamble up as a subject of debate. I don't feel we should leave a stone unturned when it comes to labor issues.

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