Welcome to the show.

An Introduction

IWW conventions are an annual display of our collaborative democracy and we’d like for you to follow along and see how we do it. It’s not always pretty (democracy rarely is) but we think having an open view into the process will give folks an idea about why we’re a democratic union for everyone and how we lead from below.

So here’s how this works:

  1. Members discuss an idea — something they want to change or add to the union— with other members of their branch.
  2. If the branch agrees the idea is good, they submit a “resolution” to the General Headquarters.
  3. On June 2nd, GHQ receives resolutions and distributes them to all branches.
  4. The branches discuss the resolutions and elect someone to attend the Convention as a delegate. Convention delegates carry a number of votes determined by the size of their branch. The branches typically give delegates a set of instructions on how they should vote.
  5. This is simplified a bit but, generally speaking, resolutions that pass convention are then sent to referendum.
  6. Delegates also submit nominations for candidates to hold office. These candidates are announced after convention and voted on in referendum.
  7. Referendum lasts for six weeks, during which every member, regardless of whether they’re in a branch or not, gets a vote.

It sounds like a lot but it’s a pretty good way to run a democracy. Every member gets a vote in referendum, but we also set a bar as to what issues we’ll consider by asking smaller groups of workers — the branch — to approve the idea first.

There’s a list of this year’s resolutions in the link below. Some of them have been redacted to protect member privacy.

IW would love to hear your thoughts on convention resolutions! Please email us at iw@iww.org and we’ll post it on the blog. We’ll be editing for taste, clarity, and content — which means some of the more technical, procedural resolutions will likely get little coverage since those discussions can be very specialized and we’re trying to entertain while we inform here.

Submission Rules: 

  1.  Submissions can’t contain a personal attack or anything that identifies a member of the union.
  2.  Submissions have to be accessible to non-members so if you’d like to argue some arcane procedural rule change try to at least keep the reading public in mind and show why the subject is interesting to them.
  3. The Editorial Committee and our wonderful volunteers reserve the right to change, add new rules, or reject articles we feel aren’t exhibiting working-class solidarity. If that happens, we’ll let you know why and ask for revisions to be made.
The full list of resolutions can be found here
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