The Industrial Workers of the World are a radical union with a long history of working class, feminist and anti-racist struggle. We have recently involved in organising Deliveroo and Uber Eats in Bristol and Leeds and carrying out radical casework and direct action to defend our members.
A motion was unanimously passed by the union in support of the Women’s Strike on March 8th 2018. Here is an extract:
Many members of the IWW are already involved in regional organising for the Women’s Strike on International Women’s Day. We propose that the IWW makes explicit it’s support and solidarity for fellow workers who take action on this day.
In short this is a social strike that goes beyond the conception of the “Industrial Worker” (a heavily gendered ideal) as the main radical force in society and instead broadens the capacity for social struggle to all those that face oppression, poverty and precarity under current economic conditions. The social strike recognises that the work of care and social reproduction are labour necessary for capitalism to function and that this work is mostly carried out by working class women. We cannot possibly hope to build a new society in the shell in the old without tackling the patriarchal imbalances in our societies.
We have seem huge feminist mobilisations in recent years from Argentina to Poland, from Ireland to Mexico as women and non binary people take to the streets to defend themselves and their rights. Though the struggle in the UK has yet to ignite on the same scale, we are hoping to lay the foundations of a powerful feminist movement that will build class consciousness for people of all genders.
Our sister unions UVW, IWGB and CAIWU have pledged their support to the women’s strike and so should we. In the West Midlands, we will in the Birmingham Women’s Strike assembly also be working in collaboration with UCU, the GMB children’s centre branch and the Unison home care workers branch. We would like the union to commit to supporting it’s members who take place in the Women’s Strike.
This is not a officially sanctioned strike that requires a ballot. We refuse to to relegate the concept of the strike to the definitions of the state with it’s all it’s legal barriers and anti-worker legislation. We propose that the IWW commits to providing mutual aid to those who take part in social actions and promote the women’s strike to it’s members.
Women are consistently discriminated against in the workplace, and it is only through collective action that we can build a better tomorrow. Many of our members will be out on the day, helping to encourage people to organise to build sustainable movements which constructively work to win better conditions in the workplace.
On a day where the desire for change will fill people with confidence and hope for a brighter future, lets harness that energy to deliver real change! To this end, the IWW has produced a leaflet with some great tips and advice on how you can build solidarity in your workplace:
- You can get a copy of the leaflet here
- If you want more advice or support in organising your workplace get in touch with organising [at] iww [dot] org [dot] uk where we will put you in touch with your local branch!
We are feminists of all genders. We call on our communities to stand together on March 8th and show our collective power. This is only the beginning. Join a union, organise in your neighbourhood. An injury to one is an injury to all!
The Gender Trouble Wobblies Collective