Upcoming SEWN meeting: 24th June

agitate_educate_organise1Fellow education workers!

The next meeting of the Scottish Education Workers Network will be on Tuesday, 24 June, at 7 pm at the Electron Club space of CCA in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

I hope you will be able to attend this meeting.  And please invite other education sector workers and supporters to come along.

More information on the Scottish Education Workers Network can be found here and here.

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Writers wanted for Strike Back #2

writingThe first issue of the IWW Scottish news-sheet was distributed mostly around May Day events. It was good to get something out, articulating some of the activities IWW branches & members are up to. However it could be improved, and cover more workplace issues and portray (by interviews or short experiences of job situations) the appeal of the Wobblies today.

I meant to get this notice out a bit earlier, though branches should have circulated various deadlines. The next issue needs to be printed by about July 10th, using our sympathetic printers in Glasgow.

So if you could put a short piece together could you let me know within the next 7-10 days (by 23rd) and have the final copy to me in 14-16 days.30th is FINAL date. A short deadline but sometimes best to focus thinking. In addition if you have notes about an issue but don’t feel confident about writing it in a news-sheet friendly format, send them to me and I’ll try and draft something in harmony with your intentions.

Cheers,

Keith Millar westscotland@iww.org.uk or hereandnowscot@gmail.com

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Book launch & talk: Wednesday 18th June

MannyNess2

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Keep May Day alive all year long…

 …Join the Industrial Workers of the World.

MayDay

Whether you’re unemployed, studying, a lonely radical in your workplace or even already have a union, the IWW is for you.

The IWW, also known as the Wobblies, are an industrial union, founded in 1905, that provides an alternative to the centralised, hierarchical trade union model. We link our actions to a broad range of immediate and long-germ needs and rights of the international working class.

The Industrial Workers of the World believe that the working class can:

  • unite according to the principle ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’
  • reclaim our towns and cities, and move beyond the welfare state
  • challenge the status quo while working toward the new kind of world that is ours to create

We have general membership and industrial branches in Africa, Australia, England, Scotland, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States, and Wales. We welcome all new members who want to try their hand at horizontal union agitation, along with radical campaigning and solidarity actions industrial sectors and all those categories that are used to divide us.

Our programme is based on cooperation

It is central to the history and purpose of the IWW to act in solidarity with others in the anti-authoritarian revolutionary left. Without such efforts, we will fail to free ourselves from the thinking and structures of capitalism. This process depends on us taking the time, finding the space, and acquiring the tools for envisioning, creating, and practicing alternatives.

Right now, IWW Scotland members are working with the Scottish Peace Network and other community organisations on a project that combines our IWW principles and practices: planning World War I centenary events and actions that oppose rather than glorify militarism and imperialism. Before, during, and since the First World War, our union has maintained that the only war the working class have any interest in fighting is the class war.

Contact us…

 

 

 

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Strike Back! No. 1 (May-June 2014)

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The year ahead for the Scottish Education Workers’ Network

IWadvert2The Scottish Education Workers Network is now in its second year as an IWW-initiated industrial organising project.  Our purpose is to help bring together workers throughout the education sector and across job titles.  SEWN stands for eliminating the disparity in status, pay, and benefits within the sector, and discrimination based on gender, religion, ethnicity, or physical difference.  We believe that all workers in the education sector have a right to make workplace decisions via grassroots democracy.

We believe that through initiatives like SEWN, we can become more aware of, and break down, ways of thinking and acting that the capitalist system teaches us and reinforces at every turn.  We can create new paths toward working class comradeship and empowerment.   We recognize that attaining these goals requires both workplace and community efforts.  Bolstered by the support and assistance of our general membership branches, we in SEWN are working in both spheres.

For example, this past autumn and winter we acted in solidarity with Higher Ed and Further Ed workers fed-up with negotiations that go nowhere on the issues of pay, pensions, and working conditions.  Thanks to our dual carders, we were able to stay informed about, and respond to, upcoming strike actions, and the hypocritical rhetoric and deceptive and collusive tactics of the TUC bureaucrats. As an alternative, SEWN put together an Escalation Not Capitulation leaflet for distributing on the picket lines.

This spring we will have new leaflets for students; will be challenging the action by some schools to dock workers a whole day’s pay for two-hour strikes; and doing more outreach throughout the ed sector, particularly the nursery, primary, and secondary sections of it.

Issues we will be focusing on include the unconditional right to strike; higher wages and lower work-loads; end of zero-hours contracts, privatization, and wage gaps within the sector; reverse pension and programme cuts; no pre-set curriculum or teaching to the test; and education for liberation by teacher-learners in a culture of sharing and trust.

Along with workplace agitation, we are committed to connecting our issues and organising goals to campaigns such as uniting health care, housing, transport, clerical, social service, and education workers to fight budget cuts and take a stand on workfare and medical assessments; providing full funding for public services by taxing the rich; and pressuring councils to pay back the Common Good Fund.

During the coming months, we also will be discussing how we can expand the settings for our work– bringing our values and resources to neighbourhood centers and other groups and projects within our community.  Collective action, class consciousness, open learning, alternative structures, worker solidarity, the common good, and socialism are ideas that are as pertinent and important to campaigns and to efforts at community organising as they are to industrial organizing.  Just as an injury to one is an injury to all, so is the strength of one the strength of all.

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Introducing Liverpool IWW!

Originally posted on Liverpool IWW:

We are Liverpool members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union. We promote the idea of ‘one big union‘ – that all working class people should be united as a social class, so that capitalism and wage labour can be abolished. We believe in workers controlling their own struggles against their bosses, until they are finally in a position to ‘sack the boss’ and run things in their own interests.

For a while, there have been IWW members (or ‘wobblies’ as we are known for reasons that no-one understands) in Liverpool, walking around thinking that they were the only ones. Then one day at a demo, someone noticed that somebody else was wearing an IWW badge. So the idea of starting a local group was born.

We are aware that not everyone in the local left will welcome the new arrival. Some will be threatened…

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