IWW Statement in Solidarity with Canary Workers’ Co-op

The contemporary media industry is well known for puppeting the capitalist and state narratives and for promoting job insecurity, low wages and controls on the freedoms of journalists to speak the truth to power. The dynamic of employer and worker strips good journalists of the ability to provide the public with genuine working class perspectives and reporting on the events that we ought to know about. While this dynamic remains, even under the most progressive of bosses, the voices of the workers remain chained.

The Industrial Workers of the World welcomes the decision by our fellow workers and union members at The Canary publication, to take steps to remove bosses from their workplace, and create equitable and horizontal democratic structures through the founding of the Canary Workers’ Co-operative (CWC).

The workers of the CWC “believe in the need for a radical media that isn’t afraid to speak truth to power, amplify the voices of the oppressed, and envision a world beyond capitalism and the state. Radical media needs to be a microcosm of the world we want to live in. It needs to be worker-run and truly democratic.”

The organising of this Co-operative has taken place over many months and has emerged out of several conflicts that arose because of the behaviour of the Canary’s prior leadership, and the hierarchy and inequality institutionalised within the workplace.

While co-ops still exist under capitalism, we recognise the revolutionary spirit of this initiative that sets a positive example for others to follow; embodying the change you want to see; taking control of your own workplace; using your platform for the benefit of the working class.

The Canary Workers’ Co-op has adopted a horizontal and ‘sociocratic’ structure. This means that there will no longer be bosses and the workers will make all the decisions themselves in decentralised working groups and general meetings. All members are recognised as equals and will have equal democractic control of the CWC.

The CWC is run for the benefit of all the workers and everyone will be paid the same for a day’s work (currently £12 an hour). This is in contrast to the disproportionately high pay received by the bosses in the past, taken from the profits of the workers toil.

Furthermore the CWC is committed to providing education and training to members for the good of the co-op, and for the good of the movement. This whole process is a learning experience for all those involved, including the IWW itself as we support the CWC as it develops and redefines its relationship to the union and the wider class struggle.

We are proud of our fellow workers at the Canary for starting this journey to build a radical alternative to the capitalist structures which alienate the workers from their work and keep the means of production in the hands of a few.

IWW sends our solidarity to the Canary Workers’ Co-operative!

We celebrate this new beginning for you all, and we look forward to supporting you to achieve better working conditions and practices that will inspire others to follow this example.

Dump the bosses off your back!