About the IWW

The IWW is a member-run union for all workers, a union dedicated to organizing on the job, in our industries and in our communities. IWW members are organizing to win better conditions today and build a world with economic democracy tomorrow. We want our workplaces run for the benefit of workers and communities rather than for a handful of bosses and executives.

We are the Industrial Workers of the World because we organize industrially.

This means we organize all workers producing the same goods or providing the same services into one union, rather than dividing workers by skill or trade, so we can pool our strength to win our demands together. Since the IWW was founded in 1905, we have made significant contributions to the labor struggles around the world and have a proud tradition of organizing across gender, ethnic and racial lines – a tradition begun long before such organizing was popular.

We invite you to become a member whether or not the IWW happens to have representation rights in your workplace. We organize the worker, not the job, and recognize that unions are not about government certification or employer recognition but about workers coming together to address common concerns.

Sometimes this means refusing to work with dangerous equipment and chemicals.

Sometimes it means striking or signing a contract. Other times it mean agitating around particular issues or grievances in a workplace or industry.

The IWW is a democratic, member-run union. That means members decide what issues to address, and which tactics to use and we directly vote on office holders, from stewards to national offices. Why wait? Join the IWW and organize for a better future.


The Preamble to the IWW Constitution – This is the IWW’s mission statement and call to action.

Official IWW Literature – Official IWW literature is any literature, written by or about the IWW, that has been approved by the IWW’s General Executive Board (who are elected to one-year terms by a democratic vote of the dues paying membership), or by a direct vote of the IWW’s general membership.

Industrial Unionism – The IWW organizes industrially rather than by trade. These Industrial Unions are to be grouped together into six Departments. Our goal is to organize all industries into One Big Union. here we explain this concept.

Solidarity Unionism – is the term we use for the guiding strategic principles of the IWW as opposed to ‘Business Unionism.’ We strive to build unions based on the direct strength of workers on the job, without regard to government or employer ‘recognition.’ It also refers to a strategy that eschews traditional contracts as our end goal. Instead we seek to win gains and build power through direct action tactics, rejecting concessionary bargaining and the prevalent ‘no-strike’ and ‘management rights’ clauses most traditional trade unions are all too willing to accept. Here you can find out more about our the IWW’s unique and innovative organizing strategy, Solidarity Unionism.

How the IWW Differs from Business Unions – The business unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers.  The IWW offers a different vision

The IWW Stance on Political Parties and Anarchism – To the end of promoting industrial unity and of securing necessary discipline within the organisation, the IWW refuses all alliances, direct or indirect, with any political parties or anti-political sects, and disclaims responsibility for any individual opinion or act which may be at variance with the purposes herein expressed.

The IWW’s Stance on Ecology – Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth.