A hundred years ago America had a thriving labor movement. Workers organized to better their living conditions, for higher wages and for job security.
Back in those days there was a union called the Industrial Workers of the World. Members of that union and their supporters called themselves Wobblies. The Bosses, the capitalists and the police called them Reds.
Their leaders including Mother Jones, Joe Hill and Big Bill Haywood fought for workers rights and to create unions so that workers would have the power of numbers to balance out the struggle against those with the power of the money and the police who did the bidding of the rich.
So this Labor Day take a moment from your shopping or vegging out on television to remember Organized Labor and the role it played in bringing prosperity to the American workers.
Everything you need to know can be found in the Preamble to the constitution of the IWW.
Preamble to the IWW Constitution
The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. 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.
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.
We find that the centering of the management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the ever growing power of the employing class. The trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers.
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.
Instead of the conservative motto, "A fair day's wage for a fair day's work," we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, "Abolition of the wage system."
It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organized, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.
Tom Joad lives.
Joe Hill lives.
"Don't mourn the martyrs, organize."
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