The Seattle IWW has a rich history of organizing and we have experienced organizers who are willing to talk to workers interested in knowing more about how to build a union at their workplace. We have also worked with “dual carders,” who have two union memberships — one to the IWW, the other to the union that represents their workplace. These workers often organize with help from the IWW to democratize their union and improve their workplace through collective action.
If you want to organize a union in your workplace or industry, you are in the right place.
IWW organizers would be happy to talk with you about strategies for improving your working conditions. The IWW can also provide you assistance if you and your coworkers decide to organize a union with the IWW.
The best place to start is either a phone conversation or email correspondence. Before the first contact, it would be helpful (though not necessary) to know a few things about your workplace:
1) How many workers are there?
2) What are the different types of jobs that are there at your company? How many workers are there in each department?
3) Does your store/company have other shops or distribution lines in the area?
4) What percentage of your coworkers would initially be excited about a union? How many would be neutral or opposed? Do you think your coworkers at work need to know more about unions?
Here is some advice in the short term. You will want to keep any union talk, and general conversations about wages, benefits, hours, etc., out of the ears of management.
You will want to be a model employee because you do not want to give management any reason to fire you. Your job is worth defending and improving.
Start a Job Journal, noting positive and negative comments from supervisors and managers. Keep notes from meetings, schedule changes, etc. Make sure you note when, where, why, etc. Save company memos and pay stubs, ANYTHING that you think will help your case if you must use a government agency to fight the boss.
Lastly, it is legal to talk about union organizing and you have a legal right to organize to improve your working conditions.
But you should know that some of the most seemingly friendly companies have waged the most vicious union busting drives. The goal of keeping the campaign out of the ears of management is to do as much organizing as possible before your campaign goes public.
If you are already a member of the Seattle branch and need to pay dues, click here.