On Saturday 21st October branch members from all over Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England descended on Cardiff for the 2017 IWW Organising Summit, graciously supported by our hosts this year, IWW Cymru Branch.
Around 50 IWW members braved the worst that Storm Brian could throw at them to attend a great day filled with workshops, discussion, networking and the sharing of our success stories from organising across these islands.
We opened the day with an introduction and a review of potential reforms we can make to how the union functions in order to increase transparency, ensure greater access for all and increase engagement across our membership. Afterwards, we broke out into our first sessions of the day where fellow workers got involved in workshops which covered diverse topics such as; how can we practically support prisoner resistance to the industrial prison complex? and Artificial Intelligence and whether that spells the end of work(ers) as we know it?
Lunch came next, and a great spread of Vegan and Gluten Free food, lovingly prepared by our Welsh Comrades, was devoured by all – and of course it wouldn’t have been Wales without the obligatory Welsh Cakes and Bara Brith!
After our fill of delicious food we dove back into a packed afternoon covering a wide range of topics including knowledge sharing from our members experience of organising in West London warehouse’s and factories, an open discussion on the role that the IWW should play in the broader struggle against fascism, and an introduction to different research methods that we can use to help support our organising,
Too many great sessions took place to amply describe but the atmosphere amongst the delegates was all a-buzz with excitement and enthusiasm as we look towards seeing us grow as a Union!
To round off the day we reconvened as a group to review the Union’s Organising Strategy laid down in 2012 and to discuss its relevance today in the light of an ever changing workplace, our ever expanding membership and the greater number of those taking an active role in the One Big Fighting Union!
Great ideas were shared by the group and it was agreed that to treat this issue properly there will be a conference in 2018 dedicated to the long term strategy of the Union – watch this space for details and how to sign-up, as it is shaping up to be a good one!
After the close and rounds of applause and thanks for the organisers, delegates and hosts for the day, we retired in true wobbly fashion to the pub to catch up with comrades old, comrades new and over a few drinks plan how we can build the union to be bigger, better, slicker and stronger.
For the One Big Union!