About The IWW

I Will Win
Founded in Chicago in 1905, the IWW is open to all workers. Don’t let the “industrial” part fool you. Our members include teachers, social workers, retail workers, construction workers, bartenders, and computer programmers. Only bosses are not allowed to join. You have a legal right to join a union and your membership is confidential. It is up to you whether you discuss the union with your co-workers. If you are currently unemployed, a student, or retired, you can still join. We are a volunteer-driven union, and this means we, not union bosses, run the union. The IWW is not controlled by or affiliated with any political party or political movement. No money goes to politicians. Membership dues are used to maintain the union and assist organising campaigns. As a result, monthly dues are low.

Why join the IWW?

It does not take long to figure out that workers and their employers do not have the same interests. Workers want shorter hours, higher pay, and better benefits.

We want work to be meaningful, safe, and environmentally sustainable. We want more control over how we produce goods and provide services, through work that contributes to our communities and world. Our employers, in contrast, want us to work longer, harder, faster, and cheaper. They want fewer safety and environmental regulations and they demand absolute control over all decisions, work schedules, speech, and actions in the workplace.

Practical benefits of a union

The easiest way to stand up for each other in our workplaces and communities and to improve our working conditions is to join a union. That is why employers fight so hard, and spend so much money, to keep unions out of their workplaces. Workers with unions generally have higher pay and job security, better benefits, and fewer scheduling problems. More pay equals fewer hours at work and more hours for enjoying the good things in life. Union workplaces are safer and have less harassment, discrimination, and favouritism. This is because a union gives workers the power to make workplace decisions. The less we let our employers make all of the decisions, the better our lives and communities will be. Unions also provide mutual aid and community. This means assistance with problems at work, but it could also mean help with a community project or fighting a landlord.

Why every worker should be in the One Big Union

Whether your job sucks or is “pretty good” (at least today), we in the IWW believe you should join us for the following reasons. We need to start sticking up for our co-workers in our workplaces and in our industries. Ask around on your next shift. How many co-workers have two or three jobs? How many are one paycheck away from an eviction? We have a duty to our co-workers, and those who will follow in our footsteps, to make things better. The only way to do this is to organise together. When we band together around our common experiences and interests, we can improve our jobs and industries. Our labour, not our bosses, is what makes our workplaces tick and we can use our labour power to improve our jobs and our communities in the short term. In a lot of ways, that is what unions are all about.

With the IWW, you also belong to a union that has a long term vision and plan to eliminate the bosses, make our industries and economy democratic, and stop war and want and inequality. So join us.

As an IWW member, you get:

  1. volunteer organisers if you choose to organise your workplace and industry.
  2. union organising expertise in areas of strategy, media, community support, infrastructure building, and bargaining.
  3. commitment to democratic unionism, which means members control their own organising campaigns and the direction of the union.
  4. an international organisation dedicated to working together to build worker power on our jobs and in our communities.
  5. mutual aid and support.
  6. some practical things: a subscription to the Industrial Worker (union newspaper), the IWW internal newsletter, access to the IWW website, the union’s constitution, your local branch newsletter (if applicable), and a membership badge.

Join here!

15 Responses to About The IWW

  1. Terry Hume says:

    Moving to Scotland in the summer and would like to join IWW-Scotland. Is there a membersip form that I can complete.
    Current address: *, London, *

  2. J. Pierce says:

    Hey FWs, I’m a member from California. Great site! You also did a great job representing the organization in your ‘about IWW’ above. Its often very tough to explain the IWW and make it sound right. Keep up the good work.


    Missed wobblie mayday. Spent the day in celebration missed the organisation. Mistake I’ll not make again. call centres are a major area within Glasgow. The Black Headset will sign up for progression within the workplace. Our numbers have been hit hard. Sacking is all to easy in this environment. We will be at next Glasgow meeting.

  4. Jamie says:

    Page looks smart! One wee thought on “We want our work to be less boring, less dangerous, and less destructive to the environment.”

    How about more meaningful, safer and more environmentally sustainable? Folk are maybe more likely to be inspired and uplifted by saying how change might fulfill their needs.

    in struggle,

  5. Alex Benchimol says:

    I was excited to see the IWW alive and well in Scotland! I am an American expat, who is also a current member of the lecturers’ union, the UCU, but would like to join the IWW Scotland as well. Is this possible?

    All best,

  6. dfswob says:

    Hey, Alex!

    It’s certainly possible to join the IWW if you’re a member of another union, without giving up membership in that union. We call this holding a dual card and plenty of IWW members do it.

    I don’t know where you are in Scotland but here’s a list of contacts:


    Pick the place closest to you and give us a call/email or whatever. Hope to see you around soon 🙂

  7. CJ Levine says:

    Nice site, fellow workers! Tell me, how did ya do it? Email me back. cheers,

  8. Hey, cool tips. Perhaps I’ll buy a glass of beer to the man from that forum who told me to visit your blog 🙂

  9. Missed wobblie mayday. Spent the day in celebration missed the organisation. Mistake I’ll not make again. call centres are a major area within Glasgow. The Black Headset will sign up for progression within the workplace. Our numbers have been hit hard. Sacking is all to easy in this environment. We will be at next Glasgow meeting.

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  14. hamish says:

    Struggling to pay my membership by BACS (bank transfer)

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