Constitution of the Industrial Workers of the World
Last modified on January 1st, 2022
The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.
There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life.
Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organise as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the earth.
We find that the centering of the management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the evergrowing power of the employing class. The trade 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.
These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry, or in all industries if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one an injury to all.
Instead of the conservative motto, ‘’A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, ‘’Abolition of the wage system.”
It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organised, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.
Knowing, therefore, that such an organization is absolutely necessary for emancipation, we unite under the following set of guiding principles and rules:
Name and Structure
This organization shall be known as THE INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD.
The Industrial Workers of the World shall be composed of actual wage workers brought together in a Regional Administration with all the rights and responsibilities entitled by the IWW’s International Guiding Principles and Rules, embodying Industrial Union Branches, General Membership Branches, Industrial Unions, Industrial Departments, and Regional Organizing Committees.
With respect to the global IWW, this organization constitutes the North American Regional Administration. The entirety of this constitution shall apply to the territories currently known as Canada, The United States of America (USA), and The United Mexican States (Mexico), and to those IWW members who fall under the jurisdiction of this Regional Administration, according to the IWW’s International Guiding Principles and Rules.
- An Industrial Department shall be composed of Industrial Unions in closely kindred industries appropriate for representation in the departmental administration, and assigned thereto by the General Executive Board of the Industrial Workers of the World.
- An Industrial Department shall consist of two or more Industrial Unions aggregating a membership of not less than 20,000 members. The departments shall have supervision over the affairs of the Industrial Unions composing same, provided that all matters concerning the entire membership of the IWW shall be settled by a referendum.
- The Departments shall be designated as follows:
- Department of Agriculture, Land, Fisheries, and Water Products
- Department of Mining
- Department of Construction
- Department of Manufacturing and General Production
- Department of Transportation and Communication
- Department of Public Service Industrial Unions
- Industrial Unions shall be composed of actual wage workers in a given industry welded together as the particular requirements of said industry may render necessary.
- Whenever a membership of no less than 100 has been attained in any industry, the General Executive Board shall issue an Industrial Union charter upon receipt of a petition signed by 51 members of said Industrial Union.
- An Industrial Union, once chartered, shall act to convene a Convention or Assembly to adopt Industrial Union Bylaws and a uniform Industrial Union dues structure, and to nominate Industrial Union officers to be elected by mail ballot of the membership of said Industrial Union.
- Industrial Union Branches in the same industry without a chartered Industrial Union are encouraged to establish coordinating bodies consistent with Section 5 hereof.
Component parts of the IWW may set up such coordinating bodies as they wish, provided their cost shall be defrayed by the sections setting them up, and further provided that they shall not void rank and file control.
No legislation conflicting with the Constitution of the IWW shall be passed by any subordinate body.
All charters of Industrial Unions, ROCs and local bodies where no ROC exists shall be issued by the GEB. In industries where the IWW includes a functioning Industrial Union, charters shall be issued only on recommendation of its General Organizing Committee. In other industries it shall be permissible for local General Membership Branches to organize and administer local bodies of workers in any industry until they apply for and are granted Industrial Union Branch charters. In localities where there is one or more Industrial Union Branch(es) and a General Membership Branch, it shall be locally optional either to set up a delegate council to handle matters of common concern (such as educational, defense, and social activities) or to leave these to the General Membership Branch, with the sharing of financial obligations to be arranged between them. Where no General Membership Branch is chartered, it is expected of all members of the IWW to arrange for occasional at which any and all members, whether they are members of Industrial Union Branches or not, may meet together to plan local joint activities. Charters shall be issued to GMBs or to IUBs only if the GEB finds it feasible for their members to meet together. More than one GMB in the same city or area shall be chartered only when the GEB finds language, transportation, or other practical reasons warrant it. Regional Organizing Committees
- Regional Organizing Committees are subordinate regional sections of the IWW. Whenever there are 10 or more members of the IWW in a region, they may petition the GEB to form a ROC.
- ROCs may set their dues structure, local branch sizes and elect officers. Services provided to individual ROCs shall be negotiated between the ROC and General Administration.
- ROCs may print membership cards and issue stamps in the local language(s). The membership numbers for the cards shall be provided by General Headquarters.
- ROCs will negotiate with the General Administration for services and a per capita for international organizing activities.
- All ROCs will be required to set up an Organizing Bulletin or other method of internal discussion accessible to members within that ROC. The local Organizing Bulletins shall contain an international report from the GST and GEB which shall be provided to the ROC on a monthly basis.
- In the absence of a ROC in a region, one or more individuals may be delegated by regional members, or by the GST, for a period of one year for the purpose of organizing a ROC. Such delegates shall report at least quarterly to the GST, and may retain all dues and initiation fees collected. The default dues for members from countries outside the USA or from countries without an established Regional Organizing Committee will be 1% of take home pay, unless that creates an undue hardship on the member at the discretion of the delegate.
- It is the aim of the IWW to build world-wide working-class solidarity. The IWW therefore actively opposes bigotry and discrimination on and off the job. No wage or salaried worker shall be excluded from the IWW or barred from holding union office because of race, ethnicity, sex, nationality, creed, disability, sexual orientation, or conviction and charges history. Membership of the IWW and officership in the GDC is open only to wage or salaried workers except as provided in Section 1(b), but can be denied to those workers whose employment is incompatible with the aims of this union.
- No unemployed or retired worker, no working-class student, apprentice, homemaker, prisoner or unwaged volunteer on a project initiated by the IWW or any subordinate body thereof shall be excluded from membership on the grounds that they are not currently receiving wages. Such workers may take membership in the Industrial Union for the industry in which they last worked, or for which they are now training, or at which they work part-time, or in the case of students and homemakers in Educational Workers I.U. 620 or Household Service Workers I.U. 680 respectively as may seem most practical. This provision shall not deny to any Industrial Union or Industrial Union Branch the right to limit vote on strictly point-of-production matters. Workers employed in co-operatives democratically run by their employees are welcome to membership. Members who become temporarily self-employed may retain their membership or apply for withdrawal cards, which are issuable also to those who must withdraw when they become employers.
- No member of the Industrial Workers of the World shall be an officer of a trade or craft union or political party. Branches may allow IWW members to become officers of trade or craft unions as long as these exceptions are reported to the General Administration and no IWW member receives significant pay (more than dues rebate and expenses) as a result of being an officer or official in a union that does not call for abolition of the wage system. Exceptions may be made by branches to allow unpaid officers of political parties to become members.
- No Law Enforcement Officer (LEO), certified by the government to enforce the law, and no Prison Guard, whether employed by the government or a private company, shall be a member of the IWW, and any member who becomes such shall be expelled.
- No person whose primary income (over 50% for at least 90 days) comes from being a landlord, shall be allowed membership, and any member who becomes one shall be expelled. Members who collect rent from housemates, renting out the other half of a duplex, and members who are renting out their second home shall be exempt from this ban. A Branch at their own discretion may vote to retain a current member in violation of this clause.
All applicants shall agree to abide by the Constitution and regulations of the IWW and diligently study its principles and make themselves acquainted with its purpose. This obligation shall be printed on the application blank.
- Whenever there are three or more members on the job, they may constitute themselves a shop or a job branch, and elect a shop committee and a job delegate to attend to urgent matters between business meetings. No member should serve permanently on a committee. At each meeting a new committee should be elected. All members should take their turns at serving on committees.
Whenever members of the Industrial Workers of the World shall hold jobs in more than one industry, they may simultaneously be members of more than one Industrial Union or Industrial Union Branch with full rights to democratic participation in said bodies, provided that they are actual workers in said industries, and provided further that they pay all dues and assessments required by each Industrial Union or Industrial Union Branch of which they are members. Members who are simultaneously members of more than one Industrial Union or Industrial Union Branch shall have only one vote in General Organizational elections and referenda.
- IWW Shops Wherever the IWW represents a majority of workers in a workplace, those workers may apply to be recognized as an IWW Union Shop. All workers applying for recognition as an IWW Union Shop will fulfill all GEB requirements, pass a means test, and agree to annual re-assessment. Any IWW Union Shop may use the IWW label and will be issued an IWW Union Shop Card to publicly display.
- IWW Co-operatives To encourage worker self-management of the means of production and the abolition of the wage system, the IWW shall allow Worker Co-operatives to apply for IWW recognition. All co-operatives applying for IWW recognition will fulfill all GEB requirements, have been in operation for a minimum of one year, pass a means test, have all members of the co-operative be members of the IWW in good standing, will have put no excessive financial barriers in place to prevent workers from joining. and agree to an annual clearance. IWW Co-operatives shall consist of at least three members. Any elected Co-operative officer shall be subject to recall election if one is called for by the membership. Co-operatives that have met the GEB requirements and been granted IWW recognition shall have the right to use the IWW Label. A recognized IWW Co-operative shall not undermine wages in their industry. IWW Co-operatives will honor all union boycotts and strikes. IWW Co-operatives will use union products and services whenever possible and recycle as feasible.
- Not less than five members, not including the paid Branch Secretary, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
- No paid official of any part of the Industrial Workers of the World shall be permitted to vote in Branch meetings.
The General Administration shall consist of the General Secretary-Treasurer and the General Executive Board.
- The term of office shall be for 1 year and the same shall commence on January 1. Officials, after having served their first term of office, shall be eligible for two more terms only, except as specified in Section 3 (c) and (d).
- The General Executive Board shall set the wages of all general organization employees and organisers.
Elections: General Administration
- The General Secretary‐Treasurer shall be a member for 3 years, and 18 months in continuous good standing immediately prior to nomination. The General Executive Board shall consist of seven members all of whom have been members for 18 months, and 12 months in continuous good standing, immediately prior to nomination. In the event that no nominee for General Secretary‐Treasurer meeting the 3 year membership requirement can be found, then the 3 year requirement shall be reduced to one of 2 years membership with 18 months continuous good standing prior to nomination. A person elected to office must remain in continuous good standing until assuming that office or forfeit the right to hold the office.
- Nominations for General Secretary‐Treasurer and members of the General Executive Board shall be made at the General Convention of the IWW or through the mail with nominations closed by the adjournment of the General Convention. Candidates require a minimum of two (2) nominations in order to be placed on the ballot. In either event, election shall be by general referendum ballot as provided for in Article IX, Sec. 2. Candidates for General Administration office shall be listed in random order. The ballot shall include space for write‐in candidates. Following the General Convention, the General Secretary‐Treasurer shall contact each candidate who was nominated, in writing. A written acceptance addressed to the General Secretary‐Treasurer must be received by September 30th from each candidate whose name is placed on the ballot or their candidacy will be considered rejected. No member shall be a candidate for or be permitted to hold more than one General Administration office at a time.
- The three candidates receiving the highest number of nominations for General Secretary‐Treasurer shall have their names placed on the ballot. Members who have served three or more consecutive terms as General Secretary‐Treasurer shall not have their names placed on the ballot, except in the event that three qualified nominees cannot otherwise be secured. When this is the case, the names of the nominees who have served three or more consecutive terms may be placed on the ballot, but the ballot shall clearly state the number of terms in succession previously served by such a candidate. All write‐in candidates who meet the requirements of Article III, Section 3(a) are considered qualified nominees. The one receiving the highest number of votes on referendum being elected.
- The 21 candidates receiving the highest number of nominations for General Executive Board member shall have their names placed on the ballot. Members who have served three or more terms consecutive on the General Executive Board shall not have their names placed on the ballot, except in the event that 15 qualified nominees cannot otherwise be secured. When this is the case, the names of the nominees who have served three or more consecutive terms may be placed on the ballot, but the ballot shall clearly state the number of terms in succession previously served by such a nominee. A write‐in candidate must receive a minimum number of votes equal to 5% of the IWW members in good standing. All write‐in candidates who receive the minimum number of votes and meet the requirements of Article III, Section 3(a), are considered qualified nominees. The seven nominees receiving the highest number of votes on the referendum shall constitute the General Executive Board.
- The General Executive Board Chairperson shall be the alternate to the General Secretary-Treasurer.
- An officer of the General Executive Board automatically vacates office in any of the following circumstances: 1) if that officer ceases to be a member of the IWW in good standing; 2) if that officer fails to lodge a report with the board for more than one month, without prior leave of the chairperson (provided such leave may not be reasonably withheld), and if the officer fails to report in response to a request by the GEB chairperson to report within ten (10) days; 3) if that officer resigns the office by written notice received by the Board, the chairperson, or the GST; 4) if that officer is recalled from office by a ballot of members held in accordance with Article IX.
- Alternates to the General Executive Board shall be the remaining nominees in the order of votes received. In the event of a vacancy on the General Executive Board, with all duly elected members or alternates already serving or being unavailable, the General Secretary and the GEB Chairperson shall appoint a board member until another shall be elected by referendum.
- No official of the General Administration shall be permitted to hold other office in, or become a paid employee of, any Industrial Union of the IWW.
Duties of the General Secretary-Treasurer
- The duties of the General Secretary-Treasurer shall be to take charge of all books, papers and effects of the office. They shall conduct the correspondence pertaining to their office. They shall be the custodian of the seal of the organization, and shall attach same to all official documents over their official signature. They shall furnish the committee on credentials, at each General Convention, a statement of the financial standing of each Industrial Union. They shall have a voice, but no vote, in the governing bodies of the organization. The General Secretary-Treasurer shall close their accounts for the fiscal year on the last day of June. They shall make a monthly report to the General Executive Board and the general membership. They shall also make a complete itemised report of financial and other affairs of their office to each General Convention. They shall prepare and sign all charters issued by the General Executive Board or ROCs. They shall receive all moneys for charters from Industrial Unions and Industrial Departments. They shall receipt for same, care for and deposit all moneys as instructed by the General Executive Board in some solvent bank or banks, which shall be drawn out only to pay indebtedness arising out of due conduct of the business of the organization, and then only if bills have first been duly presented by the creditors when a check shall be drawn by them in payment thereof. They shall employ such assistants as are necessary to conduct the affairs of their office, remuneration for such employees to be fixed by the General Executive Board.
- They shall publish a monthly General Organization Bulletin containing their monthly report as well as that of the General Executive Board; together with official notices, referendum ballots, monthly and annual financial reports, and other organization business. In the event of financial necessity the General Secretary-Treasurer is authorised to issue fewer than twelve bulletins per year, but in no case fewer than eight per year. The Bulletin shall also include letters from IWW members on current referenda and elections, organizing campaigns, and other union business. Any member or branch in the union in good standing is allowed 500 words and one image per bulletin. A $5 donation to help cover costs is requested, but not required of those who cannot afford it. Any submission over 500 words must include a minimum donation of $15 per 500 words to be printed. Any submission with over one image must include a minimum donation of $5 per image. This provision does not apply to reports of committees, reports of the GEB, charges filed, or other materials required by the Constitution or Bylaws to be included in the GOB. The GST shall publish all submissions received by the published monthly deadline, deleting only epithets and/or personal attacks against other members (except that members shall have complete freedom to criticise the conduct of union officials without censorship, subject to the provisions of Bylaws Article III Section 7a).
Duties of the General Executive Board
- The General Executive Board shall elect its own chairperson from its own number. The General Executive Board shall have general supervision over all affairs of the organization between conventions, and shall watch vigilantly over the interests throughout its jurisdiction. It shall be assisted by the officers and members of all organizations subordinate to the Industrial Workers of the World. It shall appoint such organizers as the conditions of the organization may justify.
- The General Executive Board shall not appoint or cause to be appointed any delegate or organizer against the protest of, and without first notifying, the General Organizing Committee of the Industrial Union which has jurisdiction in the territory in which the delegate or organizer is to operate. All organizers so appointed shall at all times work under the instruction of the General Executive Board. All organizers and General Executive Board members, while in the employ of the Industrial Workers of the World, shall report to the chairperson of the General Executive Board in writing, on blanks provided for that purpose, at least once each week.
- The General Executive Board shall have full power to issue charters to Industrial Departments, Industrial Unions, Branches, and Industrial District Councils.
- The General Executive Board shall have full power and authority over all IWW publications and guide their policy.
- The members of the General Executive Board shall have power to visit any subordinate body of the IWW and have full authority to examine and audit all accounts of such body; and also to enforce the use of the uniform system of bookkeeping as adopted by the Convention of the IWW from time to time.
- The General Executive Board shall meet on the call of the chairperson or majority vote of the General Executive Board.
- All matters pertaining to the organization shall be settled by the entire General Executive Board by mail or wire when absent from headquarters. It shall take a majority vote to settle any question.
- The General Executive Board shall issue a monthly report of their activities. International Committee
- The International Committee shall be composed of three IWW members with at least 18 months continuous good standing, to be elected by general referendum
- The General Secretary-Treasurer and General Executive Board chairperson shall serve as ex officio members of the Commission with voice but no vote.
- The International Committee members are subject to the same nomination, election and recall procedures as any other officer of the General Administration.
- The International Committee will coordinate the IWW’s international relations with other unions outside of NARA’s jurisdiction; maintain an ongoing, regular exchange of information and publications; and coordinate international support towards unions engaged in labour conflict. The Committee shall issue, in collaboration with the Press Officer, international solidarity statements on behalf of the organization.
- The International Committee shall assist at large members in countries outside of its jurisdiction who seek to set up a ROC, in collaboration with other RA and ROC.
- The International Committee shall be responsible for representing the IWW on the international front. Whenever the IWW is part of a coalition or organization including groups or organizations outside of its jurisdiction, the International Committee will be tasked with selecting a representative. This selection will need to be approved by the General Executive Board.
- The International Committee shall assist the Organizing Department to connect with their counterparts in other labour unions as the need arises. The International Committee shall assist the Organizing Department to connect organizing inquiries outside of NARA’s jurisdiction with local IWW chapters or allied unions when possible. On request of the Organizing Department, the International Committee will work to develop relationships with specific unions in key industries or companies.
- The terms of the International Committee will be of two years. Charges Against General Officers
- Charges against any of the General Officers shall be filed in writing with the GEB or the General Convention, at the option of the person filing charges. Also, in the case where a member of the Union who is not a General Officer is accused of exercising the authority of the GEB or GST without their approval, such charges shall be filed in writing with the GEB or the General Convention, at the option of the person filing charges. If the charges are filed before the GEB, they shall at once have a copy of the charges sent to the accused, together with the notice of the date of the hearing of the charges. Charges filed before the General Convention must be sent to the General Secretary at least 30 days prior to the date of the convening of the Convention. On receipt of the charges the General Secretary will forward a copy of the same to the accused and notice to appear at the convention for trial.
- Chargeable offenses are those specified in General Bylaws Article III.
- Any decision of the GEB on charges tried by them shall be subject to appeal to the next General Convention and from the General Convention to the general membership. The decision of the General Convention on charges can be appealed to the general membership. This appeal must be filed with the General Administration within ninety (90) days from the adjournment of the General Convention. The cost of appealing to the general membership shall be borne by the party taking the appeal. If the vote on appeal results in the favor of the party taking the appeal then the General Organization shall refund the cost of the appeal.
- Charges Against General Officers pertaining to discrimination and harassment shall be pursued according to the procedures outlined in Bylaws Articles III and XIV.
- All officers elected by referendum, all appointees of the GEB, all committee chairs elected by the General Convention, all members designated to manage assets of the General Administration, and all members serving on a union body formed by the GEB, General Administration, or General Convention are subject to Article III, Section 7 of the Constitution. ARTICLE IV Clearinghouse
- The General Headquarters of the Industrial Workers of the World shall function as a Clearinghouse that will automatically settle all debts between Industrial Unions and General Headquarters.
- All credentials authorizing members to initiate members or to collect dues shall be issued by the General Secretary-Treasurer. He or she shall issue such credentials on their discretion, on the recommendation of the local or industrial union officers, and must do so on the instruction of the General Executive Board. Those so credentialed shall have been members for 6 months, except that newly organised groups may elect one of their members to serve in that capacity. All such credentials shall bear a distinguishing number, and shall empower the bearer to initiate members or collect dues in all industries.
- The General Secretary-Treasurer may, at the request of a General Membership Branch or Industrial Union Branch, issue blank delegate credentials with distinguishing numbers in blocks of five to the Branch Secretary-Treasurer. The branch may request as many blocks of delegate credentials as needed, and the General Secretary-Treasurer shall attempt to honor all requests for blank credentials. The General Secretary-Treasurer shall deny issuing blank credentials only if the Branch requesting them has failed to report on time as required by the IWW Constitution. The Branch may elect delegates and issue a set of blank credentials to a new delegate as it sees fit, provided that they meet the conditions outlined in sub-section (b). The newly credentialed delegate shall complete a form issued by the General Secretary-Treasurer that includes background and membership information, as well as a brief explanation for the need for delegate status. A currently credentialed delegate of the branch issuing the new credentials must agree to sponsor the new delegate, and shall co-sign the form. The sponsoring delegate shall be responsible for all actions taken by the new delegate in their duties as a delegate until the General Secretary-Treasurer approves the new delegate. Delegates from General Membership Branches and Industrial Union Branches may sponsor new delegates from any member within a reasonable distance of the branch. The sponsoring branch shall be responsible for outfitting the new delegate with membership supplies.
- All job delegates or others bearing such credentials shall record all fees, dues, assessments, etc., collected on the forms provided by the General Secretary and shall identify receipt both on the page of the dues book and on top of the stamps with their credential number and date, and shall report at least monthly to the General Secretary by submitting this record together with all signed applications for membership, and all fees and dues money received; provided, any Industrial Union or Industrial Union Branch, or General Membership Branch, through which the delegate operates may require that this report be transmitted through it to record the information in its own files and to retain such portion of moneys as this Constitution and pertinent Bylaws permit.
- The Chairperson of the General Executive Board shall countersign all checks issued by the General Secretary-Treasurer. At the same time as the General Executive Board selects its chair, it shall also select a non-board member to be designated check co-signer. The co-signer will have the same eligibility requirements as a Board member.
- Job delegates working out of the general office shall remit all of initiation fees and dues, whether for employed or unemployed members. Secretaries of chartered branches shall remit forty percent of same to the general office and retain sixty percent in the branch treasury.
- The GST shall be the custodian of the funds of a General Membership or Industrial Union Branch only upon its request, but they shall be the custodian of the funds of each Industrial Union, except operating funds for which the organisers or officers are, in accordance with the Bylaws, held responsible. The General Administration cannot use the funds so entrusted to it without the consent of the Industrial Unions or other bodies owning such a fund, so long as these bodies continue.
- Supplies issued delegates and branch secretaries on behalf of Industrial Unions shall be charged to the Industrial Union.
- Reports with remittance for dues, etc., paid during the month shall be sent to the General Secretary not later than the 10th day of the following month. Should any branch or Industrial Union fail to do so, further supplies to it shall be withheld until these reports are received.
- Any candidate for GST wishing to relocate General Headquarters shall so state in their candidate statement, and that intention shall be noted by including the proposed location next to the candidate’s name on the ballot for general officers.
Duties of Branch Secretaries and Delegates
Except as provided otherwise in Branch or Industrial Union Bylaws, branch secretaries shall be the responsible custodians of all branch records, funds and supplies; shall issue such supplies to delegates in their branch and receive reports from them; shall maintain such records of these transactions as Bylaws or organizing programs require; shall report all such business to the General Secretary-Treasurer at least monthly; shall also transmit to the General Secretary copies of all minutes of meetings and of their own monthly financial report to their branch; shall endeavor to keep all members in good standing and aware of all referenda. They shall also report at least monthly to the General Secretary on the activities and prospects of their branch.
- Each year, the IWW shall hold a General Convention of the Union, on or around the first full weekend of September. Nominations for the convention host site shall be made at the General Convention of the IWW or through the mail with nominations closed by the adjournment of the General Convention. Election of the convention host site shall be by general referendum ballot as provided for in Article IX, Sec. 2.
- The General Convention of the IWW shall not remain in session over 10 days. The General Executive Board shall cause an agenda to be issued to the delegates the day Convention convenes, or earlier, that specifies the time limit on each question. All resolutions shall be provided to General Headquarters at least 90 days before the opening of the General Convention and headquarters shall include all resolutions in an issue of the GOB that shall be mailed according to the member’s preferred form of GOB mailing not less than 60 days before the General Convention is called to order to all members who are not members of Regional Organizing Committees where a working agreement may specify otherwise. No resolution not circulated in advance shall be considered by the Convention unless it is of an emergency nature and the delegates vote by a two-thirds majority to add to the agenda.
- The General Convention of the IWW is the legislative body of the union and its enactments are of legal force. Enactments concerning any and all amendments to this Constitution which the Convention may adopt are of legal force when sustained by a referendum vote of the membership. Referenda to approve changes to the Constitution shall be issued according to the provisions of Article IX Sec. 2.
- The General Convention has the power to determine the policy of the union, when sustained by a referendum vote of the membership.
- The General Convention has the power to expel any member for violation of the principles, Constitution or Bylaws of the union.
- The General Convention shall use the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order as standard parliamentary procedure. Convention may elect a parliamentarian to assist the chair and delegates with interpretation of rules of order.
- Representation at the General Convention of the IWW shall be by delegates from chartered branches and Industrial Unions. Each delegate shall have one vote, except as provided for in Sections 3 (f), (g).
- Individual members in good standing may attend the convention, with voice but without vote and shall be seated separately from the delegates.
- Each chartered branch will require a minimum of 10 members to send a delegate to the General Convention, branches with between 10 and 19 members in good standing shall have one delegate, branches with between 20 and 29 members in good standing shall have two delegates, branches with between 30 and 49 members in good standing shall have three delegates, branches with between 50 and 69 members in good standing shall have four delegates, branches with between 70 and 89 members in good standing shall have five delegates, branches with between 90 and 129 members in good standing shall have six delegates, branches with more than 130 members in good standing shall have 1 more delegate for each additional 40 members. Branches may send no more than four delegates to be physically present at convention. Industrial Union delegations shall be elected by the Industrial Union subject to its bylaws; the number of delegates shall be calculated according to the number of delegates the chartered branches of the industrial union are entitled to. Representatives of Industrial Unions or Industrial Union Branches must be actively employed in the industry represented by that union; or if unemployed due to seasonal or other circumstances, actively looking for work in that industry.
- The expenses of delegates to the General Convention shall be wholly or partially borne by the body they represent. No delegate to the General Convention shall have any amount of their expenses paid for out of the treasury of the General Administration, with the exception of expenses paid by funds meant to increase representation of the diversity of the working class. Representation for IU 613 at the General Convention of the IWW shall include delegates from chartered Inside locals. IU613 Branches will also be allowed to send proxies, including at-large members, IWW members from outside GMBs, or outside IWOC locals. IU613 branches can choose any union member who meets the criteria of eligibility laid out in Article VI Sec. 6 of the Constitution to serve as their proxy.
- Branches will decide the mandate for delegates and may instruct delegates to represent the full range of views of the branch. Branches will supply their delegates with written instructions. The IU613 Branch sending delegates or proxies will decide the mandate for delegates and may instruct delegates or proxies to represent the full range of views of the body. Delegates or proxies may be supplied with written instructions.
- Branches may send less than the entitlement of delegates. The delegates sent may carry the votes of the delegates not sent. IU 613 Branches may send less than the entitlement of delegates or proxies. The delegates or proxies sent may carry the votes of the delegates not sent.
- Branches not able to send delegates may ask another branch to carry their votes to the Convention. No branch can carry the votes of more than one other branch.
- Chartered branches entitled to two or more delegates with 5 or more members employed at one workplace, or 10 or more members employed in an industry, are encouraged to appoint their delegates from these workplaces or industries.
- Not less than 60 days before the start of the General Convention, the General Secretary-Treasurer shall send to each branch and each Industrial Union credentials in duplicate for the number of delegates they are entitled to at the Convention. The Branch Secretary and the Industrial Union Secretary shall fill out the blank credentials and return one copy to General Headquarters at least 15 days prior to the start of the Convention. The other copy shall be presented to the Committee on Credentials when the Convention assembles. If a branch is not entitled to have a delegate, General Headquarters shall send notification of this to the branch. If a branch wishes to challenge the records at GHQ, they shall contact the General Headquarters and shall provide corrections accompanied by reports, dues and documentation to the General Secretary-Treasury. Should a branch supply documentation that entitles the branch to an additional delegate(s), General Headquarters shall issue the additional credentials and the branch shall communicate to GHQ at least 15 days before the start of the Convention the names of those who have been elected to serve as delegate. Preliminary Session Sec. 5. The General Executive Board shall draw up a list of delegates, against whom no contest has been filed at General Headquarters. The General Secretary-Treasurer shall call the convention to order and read the aforesaid list. The delegates on the said list shall proceed to form a preliminary organization by electing, with each delegate against whom no contest has been filed receiving one vote, a temporary Chairperson, a Credentials Committee, a Resolutions Committee, a Balloting and Distribution Committee, and a Planning Committee. Each committee must have a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of five (5) members. Any member in good standing of the IWW in attendance may serve on these committees, and these committees shall remain active for the duration of the convention. Delegates’ Eligibility
- Delegates to the General Convention from chartered branches must be members of the IWW for 6 months and in continuous good standing for 60 days immediately prior to nomination, with the exception of delegates representing branches chartered less than one year prior.
- The general administration officials shall be delegates at large, with voice but no vote. All paid officials and employees must be off the payroll 90 days prior to the convening of the General Convention to become eligible as delegates. Any member who has not been on the payroll 10 consecutive days in the 3 months immediately prior to the convening of the Convention, shall be eligible as a delegate. No delegate shall cast more than one vote when voting on the seating of a contested delegate or delegates. No delegate shall have more than one vote on the expulsion of a member.
- Delegates to the General Convention shall not serve for two consecutive terms. Records of Delegates The Clearinghouse shall forward a complete record of each delegate elected to the General Convention of the IWW to the chairperson of the GEB and to the Secretary-Treasurer in order to facilitate the work of the Credentials Committee of the General Convention. Joint Delegates
Two or more unions, with a total membership of 500 or less, may jointly send a delegate to the Convention, and the vote of said delegate shall be based on the representation hereinbefore provided for. Auditing Committee
The General Convention of the IWW shall nominate an Audit Committee. The Audit Committee shall be elected in the General Referendum, consisting of 3 members and 2 alternates. General Headquarters’ books, records, and bank accounts shall be closed and reconciled by July 31 of each year. Its expenses shall be borne by the General Organization. It shall convene between the close of the fiscal year and the next convention, where it shall present its report. This report shall be published in the General Organization Bulletin. Resolutions
- Resolutions for the General Convention shall be acted upon by their Industrial Union convention, and if the Industrial Union has no convention, then the branches acting on same must send them to their Industrial Union GEB or G.O.C. chairperson to be segregated; and each resolution shall be on a separate sheet of paper and duplicated. No resolution sent in by an individual shall be considered by the General Convention.
- Branches and NARA committees submitting convention resolutions shall submit a copy of the minutes of a meeting at which the resolution was adopted. These minutes will list the number of members voting who are in good standing, and the votes in favor, against, and abstaining. The submitting branch must have at least 10 members in good standing at the time that the resolution is submitted.
- Resolutions submitted by branches, boards, or committees must be endorsed by two (2) or more additional branches (IUBs or GMBs) at the time of submission in or‐ der to be heard at Convention. Endorsements must be voted on at an official branch meeting. Submitting branches must provide the meeting minutes of the endorsing branches with the submission of the resolution. Endorsing branches must meet all charter, quorum, constitutional and bylaw requirements at the time that the resolution is submitted. Resolutions submitted by NARA committees/boards require en‐ dorsements from NARA committees/boards that would be altered if the resolutions are successful.
- NARA Committees may only submit resolutions pertinent to the business of the committee.
- If there is a question of the number of members in good standing, the Branch Secretary shall submit a delegate report, or photos of current membership cards, to verify that there are ten or more members in good standing.
- The General Secretary shall verify the standing of all members signing a referendum petition, or may request the GEB chair do so.
- Resolutions published in the GOB and official notifications by the General Administration shall include the vote totals in parentheses following the title of the resolution.
- No branch or NARA committee may submit more than three (3) convention resolutions
- Any branch that has properly submitted a resolution may unilaterally withdraw the resolution up until the convention delegates are seated in permanent session. Once delegates are so seated, all remaining resolutions become the business of the delegates.
- Each resolution and amendment to the constitution or bylaws submitted to general convention shall be given three readings, each reading separated by a reasonable amount of time to allow for consideration of amendments.
- At the first reading, the chair shall rule on whether the resolution or amendment to the constitution or bylaws has been properly submitted and is in order. The ruling of the chair may be challenged and overturned by a simple majority of delegates. Resolutions determined to be out of order do not proceed to second reading. Resolutions proceeding to the second reading shall be referred to the resolutions committee to consider amendments.
- The resolutions committee shall, before the second reading of the resolution, review any amendments submitted by delegates. The resolutions committee shall assist delegates with the preparation of amendments and prioritize amendments for consideration by convention. The resolutions committee may, at their discretion, merge, split, or amend proposed amendments for clarification and ease of consideration by the convention, in consultation with the branch delegation or representative of the committee that proposed the motion. The resolutions committee may not debate, negotiate, or otherwise attempt to make a substantive change to any resolution without the express consent of convention delegates of the Union body which authored the resolution.
- At the second reading stage, delegates shall vote on the amendments brought forward by the resolutions committee. Once all amendments brought forward by the resolutions committee for second reading have been considered by the convention, the resolution shall proceed to third reading.
- At the third reading stage, delegates shall vote on whether to adopt the resolutions. A two‐thirds majority of voting delegates is required to adopt resolutions that contain a Constitutional amendment or change to the General Bylaws. Further amendments to the resolution emanating from the floor at third reading may be considered only by a two‐thirds vote of delegates present.
- Convention resolutions are only to appear in internal union publications (GOB, listserves, forums, etc) and not in external facing union publications (Industrial Worker, Solidaridad, iww. org, IWW social media channels, etc.)
There shall be a Universal Label for the entire organization. It shall be of a crimson color and always the same in design. The use of the Universal Label shall never be delegated to employers, but shall be vested entirely in our organization. Except on stickers, circulars, and literature proclaiming the merits of the Industrial Workers of the World, and emanating from the General Offices of the Industrial Workers of the World, the Universal Label shall be printed only as evidence of work done by IWW members. When the label is so printed it shall be done by the authority of our organization, without the intervention of any employer. Whenever the Universal Label is placed upon a commodity as evidence of work done by Industrial Workers, it shall be accompanied by an inscription underneath the label stating what the work is that Industrial Workers have done, giving the name of Industrial Department to which they belong and the number or numbers of their unions; and the Universal Label shall never be printed as evidence of work done without this inscription.
Each Union and Branch shall be provided with a seal by the General Secretary-Treasurer, which shall bear the number of the Union, and all official papers from the union or branch must bear an imprint of this seal, and none will be legal without this impression.
The revenue of the organization shall be derived as follows: Charter fees for Industrial Departments shall be $100.00 and for Industrial Unions $50.00. Branches shall pay $40.00 for seal and charter. Initiation Fees & Dues
- The Industrial Unions shall have autonomous right to set their own initiation fees, dues and assessments, other than General Organizational assessments. It is the policy of the IWW to put no financial barrier to prevent any worker from joining. Accordingly, initiations shall not exceed $33.00 nor monthly dues exceed $33.00. All Industrial Unions and Industrial Union Branches shall charge sufficient dues to meet their obligations and cover their expenses. No part of the initiation fees or dues mentioned above shall be used as a sick or death benefit, but shall be held in the treasury as a general fund to defray legitimate expenses.
- Industrial Unions and Industrial Union Branches shall have autonomous right to set their own initiation fees, dues and assessments. However, such dues must be set at a rate that enables continued per capita payments. These payments are for the General Administration and chartered bodies (such as General Membership Branches and their successors) as described in (e) below.
- It is the policy of the IWW that no financial barrier shall prevent any worker from joining. Accordingly, Industrial Unions and Industrial Union Branches shall not set excessive initiation fees or dues. In no case shall Industrial Union or Industrial Union Branch initiation fees or monthly dues exceed two times the straight time hourly wage of the member.
- Dues paid by Industrial Union Branch members to their delegates consist of three parts: 1) Industrial Union Branch dues 2) Per capita due to General Administration, defined as fifty percent of the amount mandated under subsection (a) above; 3) Per capita due to the local General Membership Branch or its successors, which amount shall be negotiated between these bodies and the Industrial Union Branch.
- The GEB is authorized at its discretion to waive the initiation fee or reduce it to a nominal fee when incorporating previously organized workers or in organizing campaigns among especially distressed workers. The GEB is further authorised to waive dues payments in the event of a strike or lockout.
- All dues stamps for all Industrial Unions must be of the same design without the price printed on them.
- A page shall be provided in the credentials fully stating the initiating fee and the dues charged by every Industrial Union for the information of delegates and branch secretaries.
- Members in Inactive Standing may reinitiate their membership by paying an initiation fee along with one month’s dues upon reinitiation or by paying, in full, any back dues at the current dues rate. Any person reinitiating their membership shall be assigned the same membership number in which they were originally assigned upon their first initiation. If a replacement card is needed upon reinitiation, the Branch or General Headquarters shall issue the replacement at no additional charge.
- For members in Canada and the U.S. dues shall be set as follows: 1) $11 per month for workers earning less than $2000 per month. 2) $22 per month for workers earning between $2000 and $3500 per month. 3) $33 per month for workers earning more than $3500 per month. Sub-minimum dues of $6 per month may be paid by members in poor economic circumstances. Dues of members in the sub-minimum category who belong to organized branches shall be apportioned as follows: $3 to the General Administration, $3 to the branch. Initiation fees shall be equal to one month’s dues. Each new member shall be provided a copy of the One Big Union pamphlet.
- Regional Organizing Committees shall set dues for members in their regions. Dues for members in regions without ROCs shall be set, in local currency, by the GEB in consultation with members in those regions.
- The General Executive Board is authorized at its discretion to allow 50% of the dues and initiations collected to be retained by those involved in an organizing campaign provided the delegates involved report on the progress of such campaigns to the General Executive Board monthly, and account for all money received and spent.
- Every four years the General Convention shall elect a committee of three members in good standing to serve on the Dues Adjustment Committee. General Convention may strike the committee early or postpone the striking of the committee as it sees fit. The purpose of this committee shall be to investigate whether the current dues rates support the needs of both the General Administration as well as local branches and to study the effects of inflation on dues rates and brackets. The committee shall bring its recommendations to the following year’s General Convention.
- All proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws shall clearly state the article, section and paragraph to which the amendment applies. New articles and sections shall be so stated. Each clause to be amended shall be on a separate sheet. Conflicting Parts
- All parts of the Constitution conflicting with amendments ratified by a referendum vote are hereby declared null and void.
- A referendum on any organization question, including constitutional amendments, may be initiated by the General Executive Board, or by a petition of 5% of members not in bad standing. The number of members at the beginning of each calendar year will be used for the entire year in determining total membership.
- All properly submitted referendum items shall be included on a ballot to be issued each year no later than October 15. Notification of all referendum items, including the full text of all questions to be voted upon and the names of all nominees for General Administration office who have not declined, shall be provided to all members at least 30 days prior to the issuance of the ballot. Members shall be notified based on their preferred form of GOB mailing. The notice shall specify the deadline for submitting discussion of the referendum items for publication in the GOB. Ballots shall be sent to all members in good standing and shall be open for voting for not less than 30 days and not more than 45 days. The deadline for receipt of ballots at General Headquarters shall be printed on the ballot, but in no event shall be later than November 30. Ballots shall be counted and the results released no later than midnight December 1.
- Ballots issued by affiliated Regional Organizing Committees on union-wide referenda may be counted by a Regional Organizing Committee ballot committee. The ROC ballot committee must then communicate the results via secured correspondence to the union-wide ballot committee at the General Headquarters. The ROC results shall be opened at the same time as all individual ballots. The tallies of individual ROCs may not be announced before the union-wide tally.
- The returns of the referendum shall remain in General Headquarters in sealed envelopes until the ballot committee meets. The ballot committee shall meet immediately on expiration of the time set for the return of ballots. The General Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the body initiating referendum of the date set for count of ballots.
- The ballot committee to count the votes on the referendum shall be composed as follows: Three members in good standing for 1 year prior to their election to the committee shall be elected by the chartered branch in the city in which Headquarters is located no later than ten (10) days before the ballots are to be counted. The chartered branch shall also elect an alternate. If no ballot committee is elected by this time, or if GHQ is located in a city without a chartered branch, then the GEB shall appoint the ballot committee to be composed of three members and an alternate from the chartered branch nearest to GHQ. The ballot committee may appoint other members to assist in the ballot count. In reporting through email and the monthly bulletin the returns of referenda and elections, the General Secretary‐Treasurer shall give the names of the ballot committee together with their card numbers and the branch and Industrial Union of which they are members.
- The Industrial Union or body initiating a referendum shall pay the expenses of its own delegates on the ballot committee unless the referendum is carried, in which event the expenses shall be borne by the general organization.
- Chartered branches, industrial unions or groups of branches or industrial unions not affiliated with a Regional Organizing Committee but outside of the country where Headquarters resides, but within the jurisdiction of the North American Regional Administration, may elect a ballot committee with prior approval of the GEB, in order to ensure no member in good standing is disenfranchised due to delayed ballots, customs or other significant barriers to referendum participation. Such a ballot committee may print and distribute individually numbered ballots to members in good standing as required by circumstances. Ballots must be opened, counted and the results reported no later than midnight December 1. The tallies may not be released before the union-wide results are announced.
- Ballots shall be prepared in such a way as to assure complete secrecy in voting and shall be in duplicate form to allow the member to retain a record of their vote. Ballots shall contain no information identifying the ballot with the member who sent it. All information pertaining to the member’s name and standing will be entered onto the voucher envelope. Once the ballot is approved by the ballot committee, it will be secured separately from the member’s identifying information. All ballots must be numbered. Ballots not numbered or from members in bad standing will not be considered valid ballots. Any members whose ballots have been invalidated shall be notified by first class mail within seven (7) days of the decision by the Ballot Committee, explaining the reason their ballot was invalidated.
- All constitutional changes ratified by a general referendum ballot shall take effect January 1, unless otherwise decided by the General Convention.
- Any part of this General Constitution may be suspended or set aside for 1 year if so approved by a general referendum, initiated as provided for in Section 2(a) of this Article.
- All proposed constitutional amendments which remove constitutional language to a section or sections of the Constitution shall list the section or sections to be revised in addition to separately listing the proposed changes. The referendum ballot shall list and clearly label the section or sections to be revised as well as the proposed changes.
- Electronic Balloting (available via phone & computer) can be used for conducting Referendum as long as a member’s secret ballot cannot be compromised and a ballot cannot be traced back to an individual member, and the service used for electronic balloting has integrity of security. Electronic balloting instructions and ballot number will be mailed to members along with the Referendum GOB and Supplement in compliance with the timeline in Article IX of the IWW Constitution with all sections of Article IX of the IWW Constitution in place. All members retain the ability to opt out of electronic balloting and may then receive paper ballots.
The General Administration Officials shall be subject to recall upon a referendum, initiated as provided for in Section 2(a), Article IX. No later than three days following a receipt of a petition or motion for recall, the General Administration shall notify all chartered Administrations and Branches of same, and specify the date by which members can submit arguments concerning the question for publication in the GOB accompanying the ballot on recall. Ballots shall be issued no later than 30 days following receipt, and shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of Article IX, Sec. 2 Officers shall continue in office during the recall referendum.
Transfers, Craft Cards, Etc.
There shall be a free interchange of cards between all organizations subordinate to the Industrial Workers of the World, and any Industrial Union shall accept, in lieu of initiation fee, the paid up membership card of any recognized labor union.
- Members of an Industrial Union who cease work in that industry and are working in another industry for 30 days or more, must transfer to the proper Industrial Union. No member is allowed to transfer unless actually working in the industry they wish to transfer to.
- Any member of chartered unions when working in another Industrial Union over 30 days and who fails to transfer shall be considered a member in bad standing. Sec. 3. Members in arrears in dues and assessments cannot transfer from one Industrial Union to another. Delinquent delegates cannot transfer.
- All delegates upon transferring a member from one Industrial Union to another shall immediately send the record of transfer to the Clearinghouse.
- Any member of the IWW who has attended any Industrial Union Conference or Convention, with voice and vote 90 days prior to the convening of the General Convention, at which action was taken on resolutions to be presented to the General Convention, or at which delegates to the General Convention were elected, shall not have voice and vote at any other I.U. Convention or Conference prior to the General Convention.
Withdrawal of Cards
On application, members who cease to be wage workers shall send their cards to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Clearinghouse who shall enter date of withdrawal on transfer page of membership book, together with their official signature, and return same to the withdrawing member.
Any member in continuous good standing for 10 years, and found, after proper investigation by the Branch of the Industrial Union to which they belong, to be incapacitated for life, the Industrial Union shall issue them a special membership card carrying the privilege of having a voice under “Good and Welfare,” but with no voice on the business of the Branch.
The number of signers required on an application for a Charter shall not be less than 10 members in good standing.
All branches are required to enact comprehensive bylaws consistent with the Constitution and General Bylaws of the Industrial Workers of the World, and make the same available to branch members upon request. Any branch that amends its bylaws shall transmit a copy of its amended bylaws to General Headquarters within 60 days for review by the General Executive Board (GEB).
The GEB shall not issue any branch charter to a prospective branch until it has adopted bylaws approved by the General Executive Board including a defined geographical area, elected a Secretary-Treasurer and one or more delegates, submitted a Letter of Intent, and submitted the minutes from the group’s meeting(s) where officers are elected and the bylaws adopted.
The charter of a union or branch shall be surrendered when membership falls below 5, no meeting has been held or met quorum for more than 6 consecutive months, or fails to have the minimum number of officers for more than 6 consecutive months, or fails to submit monthly reports and remit dues for more than 6 consecutive months.
Upon a union or branch surrendering its charter, the ROC (or GEB where no ROC exists) shall appoint a representative of the Industrial Workers of the World to take charge of the charter, supplies and property and funds of said union. No supplies, property, or union funds may be transferred to a third party. Members or officers of said union or branch refusing to deliver charter, supplies, property or funds of the union surrendering its charter to the authorised representatives of the Industrial Workers of the World shall be expelled from the organization.
Except where Industrial Unions provide otherwise, any member whose income for the preceding month has been less than $1000 shall be entitled to pay dues for that month at the sub-minimum rate of six dollars per month, this to include students working part-time. If a member pays more than one month in advance and later the member’s income changes to above $1000, that member must pay the difference in dues with respect to the new income beginning with the month that it changed. Special sub-minimum income dues stamps shall be issued by the Clearinghouse, and shall be entered separately in all accounts.
Members with sub-minimum income dues stamps are entitled to full rights and privileges; representation at Assemblies shall in no way discriminate between the two types of dues; except as otherwise provided those paying sub-minimum income dues shall be required to pay all assessments due from employed members
The Organizing Department (OD) shall be composed of the Organizing Department Board (ODB), the Survey and Research Committee (SRC), and the Organizer Training Committee (OTC).
- The ODB shall consist of seven (7) members with at least 12 months in continuous good standing. All members serving on the ODB must remain in continuous good standing.
- The eleven candidates receiving the highest number of nominations for ODB at General Convention will have their names placed on the ballot. Candidates require a minimum of two (2) nominations in order to be placed on the ballot. The six highest vote getters by referendum shall be elected to the ODB. Additionally, one member from the SRC will be appointed to serve on the ODB as outlined in sections 4 and 5 below. Elected board members shall serve two-year terms and appointed board members will also serve two-year terms provided that they remain members of their respective committees.
- Elected Board members are subject to the same nomination procedures as any other IWW officer. All ODB members are subject to the same installation and recall procedures as any other IWW officer. Board members may also be removed by an absolute majority vote of the entire Organizing Department eligible to vote.
- Alternates to the elected positions of the ODB shall be the remaining nominees in the order of votes received. Should a vacancy exist and no alternate be available, the GEB shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy for the remaining term.
- The role of the ODB will be to give overall oversight to the operations, finances, and activity of the Organizing Department; directly facilitate the tasks and projects adopted by the ODB except those under the purview of the SRC and the OTC; and evaluate and hold accountable all campaigns that receive funding.
- For all major funding requests the ODB will make a recommendation to the GEB for final approval. A major request is defined as any request that requires the use of more than 25 percent of the Organizing Department’s budget for organizing or $750.00, whichever amount is more.
- The decision-making power of the ODB shall be limited to the decisions that need to be made to carry out the tasks of its programs and the tasks assigned to it by the GEB.
The role of the SRC will be to develop analyses of organizing strategies and tactics and support local campaigns in their research needs. The SRC will consist of five members appointed by the GEB. The SRC will elect one of its members to serve as a board member of the ODB. Terms will be for two years.
The role of the OTC will be to develop and facilitate trainings on organizing techniques and strategies. The OTC will consist of five members appointed by the GEB. The OTC will elect one of its members to serve as a liaison to the ODB. Terms will be for two years. The OTC liaison shall be responsible for reporting to the ODB and communicating between the two bodies.
- The ODB member who receives the most votes from the general membership shall be the chair. The duties of the chair shall be to submit a proposed annual budget to the GEB in time for the winter GEB meeting. They will provide to the GEB a general report monthly and a quarterly report on the activities of all campaigns.
- A member of the ODB will be assigned to follow up with members involved in organizing campaigns and will report on this organizing to the GEB.
The Education Department (ED) shall be composed of the Education Department Board (EDB) members.
The EDB shall consist of four (4) members with at least 12 months in continuous good standing. All members serving on the EDB must remain in continuous good standing. Candidates require a minimum of two (2) nominations in order to be placed on the ballot. Elected EDB members are subject to the same nomination, installation, and recall procedures as any other IWW officer. EDB members may also be removed by an absolute majority vote of the EDB if found to have not submitted reports for 3 consecutive months. Alternates to the elected positions of the EDB shall be the remaining nominees in the order of votes received. Should a vacancy exist and no alternate be available, the General Executive Board (GEB) shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy for the remaining term.
- The role of the EDB will be to give overall oversight to the operations, finances, and activity of the Education Department, and directly facilitate the tasks and projects adopted by the EDB except those under the purview of the OTC. For all major funding requests the EDB will make a recommendation to the GEB for final approval. A major request is defined as any request that requires the use of more than 25 percent of the Education Department’s budget for organizing or $1500.00, whichever amount is more. The decision-making power of the EDB shall be limited to the decisions that need to be made to carry out the tasks of its programs and the tasks assigned to it by the GEB.
Each Position on the EDB will have a file that is their responsibility: EDB Chair. The duties of the EDB Chair will be to submit the monthly reports to the General Organizing Bulletin, prepare reports for convention, attend any GEB meeting on the request of the GEB, act as the point of contact with other bodies of the union such as the ODB, and call meetings and track motions for the EDB. Curriculum Development Committee Coordinator. The duties of the Curriculum Development Committee Coordinator are to conduct a full review of all curricula in the union once per term. This will be conducted with the aid of a committee appointed by the EDB. Curriculum Library Coordinator. The duties of this position will be to maintain the curriculum Library and work with other bodies of the union to gather and distribute course notes and workshops. They will also have the responsibility of mentoring members who want to set up Education Programs with priority given to programs identified as being strategically important to the IWW by the GEB. Member at Large. The Member at Large is first alternate for any other position on the EDB that is vacated. They can also support the work of other EDB members, be appointed to any Education Program or serve on any EDB committee as required.
Organizer Training Committee. The role of the OTC will be to coordinate the Organizer Training Program, which consists of the Organizer Training 101 and Organizer Training 102, as well as any other training program the GEB and the OTC agree on, and will continue to develop these trainings as needed. The OTC will consist of five members appointed by the GEB. The OTC liaison shall be responsible for reporting to the EDB and communicating between the two bodies. Terms will be for two years. Other training programs are to be either managed directly by the EDB or by committees appointed by the EDB.
- The Communications Department (CD) will be composed of the Communications Department Board (CDB) members, subcommittees, and volunteer members.
- Subcommittees and projects of the Communications Department and their functions are as follows:
- Social Media Committee (SMC)
- The SMC will plan and curate the IWW’s social media content in order to promote the goals of the NARA departments and committees, while being flexible enough to respond ad hoc to current events as necessary.
- SMC members should have adequate experience shared amongst them in graphic design, video creation, and relevant disciplines for social media content. Further experience requirements to be stipulated by the Communications Department in its working rules upon creation.
- The SMC is responsible for:
- Creating and executing a social media strategy with goals and metrics that is in alignment with the CDB’s messaging strategy;
- Creating and executing social media campaigns, including coordination with IWW branch accounts and labor movement allies; c. Maintaining a social media editorial calendar;
- Creating content for the official IWW social media channels;
- Creating and executing paid social media content and promoted campaigns.
- Design Committee
- The Design Committee functions as the decision-maker on design questions within the union, such as developing a style guide and standard document layouts, and may offer design services and support to other areas of the union.
- The Design Committee is where graphic designers in the union can volunteer their creative skills.
- Publications Committee
- The Publications Committee is responsible for official external publishing for the union. ‘Publications’ are defined as periodical media produced by the general administration as outreach and news to the general public.
- The Publications Committee can recommend the creation of additional official union publications to the CDB as needed, with final approval from the General Executive board.
- The CDB may create further subcommittees as needed, pending final approval from the General Executive Board.
- Each subcommittee of the Communications Department can make decisions pertaining to its described purpose and discipline, unless specified otherwise in the Constitution or the CD’s working rules, but are ultimately accountable to the CDB, and likewise any decisions made by any CD subcommittee can be overruled by the CDB. Each subcommittee’s Chair must report its activities regularly to the full CDB. Each subcommittee must form working rules that ensure accountability, democratic process, and transparency to the General Membership, and must report to the CDB, which in turn must report to the General Executive Board.
- The CDB shall consist of the Communications Officer, Social Media Committee Chair, Design Committee Chair, and Publications Committee Chair.
- The Communications Officer (CO) is elected by the annual referendum.
- The CO replaces the former position of the elected Press Officer in favor of a long-term position filled by someone with industry experience.
- The CO oversees the execution of the messaging strategy across all internal and external communications platforms, and coordinates work across the various CDB subcommittees.
- The CO is responsible for training volunteers on media relations and social media use.
- The Social Media Committee Chair coordinates the Social Media subcommittee of the CD and is elected by referendum.
- The Design Committee Chair coordinates the Design subcommittee of the CD and is elected by referendum.
- The Publications Committee Chair is elected by the annual referendum to coordinate external publishing for the union.
- The editors of IWW publications will be elected by referendum for two (2) year terms. The Industrial Worker Editor is elected by referendum.
- The Solidaridad Editor is elected by referendum.
- Members of the CDB who are also employed by the union are given both a voice and a vote on the Board as a mechanism of workplace democracy while still remaining accountable to the union as their employer. Employed members of the CDB must be members of the IWW in good standing, unless otherwise stipulated in a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
- Candidates elected by referendum require a minimum of two (2) nominations in order to be placed on the ballot.
- Elected CDB members are subject to the same nomination, installation, and recall procedures as any other IWW officer.
- Employed members of the CDB are accountable to and may be terminated by the General Executive Board.
- Alternates to the elected positions of the CDB will be the remaining nominees in the order of votes received. Should a vacancy exist and no alternate be available, the General Executive Board (GEB) will appoint a member to fill the vacancy for the remaining term.
- The role of the Communications Department Board (CDB) is to create a messaging strategy that embodies the goals of the various NARA departments and committees and ensures that the content of all of our internal and external communications platforms is in alignment with that messaging strategy and goals.
- The CDB will elect from its members a liaison to the union’s Organizing Department. This liaison will ensure the activities and goals of the Communications Department are aligned with the organizing interests of the union and its campaigns by regularly attending Organizing Department meetings, and reporting to and from the Organizing Department. Developing strategies around popular mobilization, engagement, and publicity around the organizing interests of the union are the objectives of the liaison.
- The CDB has oversight over the operations, activities, and finances of the Communications Departments, its subcommittees, and its projects.
- For all major funding requests, the CDB will make a recommendation to the GEB for final approval. A major request is defined as any request that requires the use of more than 25 percent of the Communications Department’s budget for organizing or $2500.00, whichever amount is more.
- The decision-making power of the CDB shall be limited to the decisions that need to be made to carry out the tasks of its programs and the tasks assigned to it by the GEB.
- The CDB will submit a communications strategy to be approved for the year at the annual General Convention.
- The CDB will elect its own Chair by a simple majority. Only members of the CDB elected by referendum may serve as its Chair.
Unions shall have the power to enact such laws for their government as they may deem necessary, providing they do not conflict with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Industrial Workers of the World.
A majority vote cast shall rule in the general organization and its subordinate parts.
The General Defense Committee (GDC) is composed of GDC locals, GDC Regional Groups, and GDC Central.
The GDC is open to members of the IWW and non-members of the IWW who subscribe to the general principles and aims of the IWW and GDC, provided that they otherwise meet the membership qualifications listed in Article II of the Membership of the North America Regional Administration Constitution. Chartered GDC locals may choose to vote to admit members who are ineligible (with the exception of law enforcement officers, as specified in Article II Sec. 1d of the Constitution, and those who have been expelled from the IWW) on a case-by-case basis.
- The General Defense Steering Committee constitutes the officers of the General Defense Committee. No expelled member of the IWW shall be eligible for membership in the GDC.
- The General Defense Steering Committee is composed of members of the GDC. The number of Steering Committee seats shall be determined by the GDC Bylaws.
- The elected members of the GDC on the General Defense Steering Committee are elected by the membership of the GDC as outlined in the GDC Bylaws.
- The Central Secretary-Treasurer is the custodian of GDC Central, and is responsible for the administration and finances of the GDC.
- The Central Secretary-Treasurer must report quarterly to the General Administration.
- The GDC Steering Committee shall have power to appoint the Central Secretary-Treasurer of the General Defense Committee if the office becomes vacant.
- The Steering Committee is responsible for seeing to the dispersal of GDC funds.
- The Steering Committee has the authority to send items to Convention which pertain to defense.
- The Steering Committee has the authority to charter and decharter bodies of the GDC.
Three funds will be maintained by the GDC Central. The Central Fund is the operating fund for the GDC, for the purpose of administrative expenses. The Defense Fund is for issuing grants and loans to members of the GDC and IWW facing persecution. The Organizing Fund shall exist for organizing purposes for supporting GDC Locals and GDC campaigns.
The GDC is governed by an additional set of bylaws. The bylaws of the GDC may only be revised by referendum of the GDC membership. Sec. 7. The GDC shall seek at all times to defend the entire working class on many fronts as well as to provide support to any member of the working class who finds themselves in legal trouble due to their involvement in the class war. Locals may engage in community self defense work which shall complement the workplace organizing of the IWW, strike support, and other activities consistent with the aims and principles of the IWW.
Complaints Against Members and Conflict Resolution
- A complaint by a member of one IWW branch against any other IWW member shall be in writing, or a verbal complaint to an officer, who would then be required to put the complaint in writing within 24 hours giving a full account of the incident or incidents concerned, together with the names of any witnesses and their statements regarding the offenses of which the defendant is accused. The plaintiff must be a member in good standing to make a complaint.
- Mediation, as outlined in Bylaws, Article XIV, is the preferred means of conflict resolution in the IWW, followed by the Complaint Procedure (Sections 3, 5 and 6 of this Article).
- In the event that a complaint alleges harassment, violence, discrimination, or other unwanted actions of a sexual nature, or where the sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, gender presentation, etc. of one or more of the involved parties acts as a locus of oppression or is otherwise central to the complaint, the complainant may opt to access the Conflict Resolution Committee For Matters of Gender, as outlined in the MPP. Offenses
- Among the offenses for which remedial actions, discipline and penalties may be imposed against any member, or branch, or industrial union or other grouping:
- Willfully failing to comply with the Preamble, Constitution, or laws of the IWW, or the grouping to which they belong.
- Engaging in corruption, financial malpractice in respect of the funds or property of the organization.
- Attempting to secede, merge, dissolve or destroy any local or group of the IWW contrary to the provisions in the Constitution.
- Bringing false charges with malicious intent against a member, officer, or grouping of the Union.
- Harassment and discrimination.
- Unilateral publication of accusations identifying a person as an IWW member, outside of IWW-controlled media, is a violation of confidentiality clauses (Bylaws Article III Sec. 7(e)). The remedial actions, discipline or penalties which may be imposed can include censure, temporary suspension, disqualification or removal from office or official position, expulsion, or any combination thereof. Harassment and Discrimination
- The focus of action against discrimination and harassment is protecting and supporting the complainant, to make the accused gain insight into the effects of their behavior, to prevent future incidents, and to improve awareness of harassment and discrimination and further a culture of solidarity and equality in the IWW.
- In the case of harassment or discrimination there is no need to show that harassment was the intended effect. A person can commit harassment without intending to do so. The deciding factor in initiating the complaint or mediation process is that the complainant perceives harassment to be taking place.
- If a member is behaving inappropriately they should be told their behavior is unwelcome and asked to stop. If the complainant does not feel comfortable speaking to the member in question, they should report the incident to a branch secretary, or other officer as soon as possible. The officer will facilitate the completion of a written statement as per Sec. 1.(a).
- Within 24 hours of receiving a complaint, the officer will arrange a confidential meeting with the complainant to take place as soon as possible, but no later than 6 days after the incident was reported, in which the complainant will decide whether or not to pursue mediation under Bylaws Article XIV or the Complaint Procedure (Sections 3, 5, and 6 of this Article). The officer will also provide information on Victims Services. If mediation is chosen, and the complainant desires anonymity, the mediator shall meet with the accused without identifying the complainant.
- Depending on the severity of the harassment or discrimination taking place remedial action can lead to action up to expulsion. A written report, including a minute of any mediation or complaints proceedings that have already been pursued, shall be provided to the committee or any other body charged with recommending further action.
- Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- Contacting a fellow worker’s family/personal acquaintances without their consent.
- Spreading information about peoples’ sexual history without their consent o Publicizing contact information without consent
- Violating the Safer Spaces Policy after being requested to stop
- Attempting to harm or intimidate a fellow worker in their personal life (stalking, trying to get someone fired, etc.)
Complaints shall be submitted in writing to the secretary of the branch or to an alternate officer, if the secretary has a conflict of interest regarding the complaint.
- If complaints are against a member who is not part of the same branch, complaints shall be submitted to the secretary of the defendant’s branch.
- If the defendant does not belong to any branch, or if no agreement can be reached as to which branch or which individuals in a branch are to form a complaints committee, complaints shall be submitted to the General Executive Board. The GEB shall appoint a neutral branch that agrees to hear the complaint no later than two weeks after the complaint was submitted. The GEB shall appoint the branch by a majority vote.
- Any GEB member with a conflict of interest in the complaint shall abstain from participating in this selection process.
Terms of Immediate Relief
The complainant may request immediate relief at any point before or during the mediation or complaints procedure.
- The complainant sends a written request to a branch officer, or gives a verbal complaint to an officer, who must then put it in writing within 24 hours. The request can include: -that the accused refrain from contacting the complainant; -that the accused alternate attending events with the complainant, using a neutral; third-party to communicate; -that the accused refrain from attending union functions; -any other remedial action to be taken by the accused.
- The officer has 24 hours to submit the request to the accused.
- Upon receipt of the request, the accused has 24 hours to respond to the officer. The accused can accept or reject any or all of the requests. The accused can also add suggestions on steps they will take to provide immediate relief. This is submitted to the officer in the form of a written response. Failure of the accused to respond within 24 hours will lead to the branch voting on the request (see below).
- The officer has 24 hours to submit the written response of the accused to the complainant.
- If the complainant accepts the written response of immediate relief then both the accused and complainant are in agreement on the terms of immediate relief. The complainant has 24 hours to notify the branch officer that they accept the response and all branch officers are responsible for enforcing the agreement. The agreement is only valid until the date of conflict mediation or the date that the branch votes on the findings of the charges committee.
- If the complainant and accused cannot agree on the terms of immediate relief, the branch holds an emergency vote in which they vote on each of the complainant’s requests. The branch officer must call for the vote within 24 hours of the complainant contacting them that there is no agreement, and the vote must take place within 72 hours. The vote can take place at a special meeting called by the branch officer. Any members in good standing who cannot attend the meeting can submit their vote to the branch officer prior to the meeting. To call for the meeting, the officer sends out a proposed meeting date and requests responses within 5 hours. If a quorum is not able to attend, the vote takes place over the listserv, with written responses from the complainant and accused being submitted to the list. Members not present on the listserv may be communicated with by phone. Members wishing to keep their vote private may email their vote to a branch officer. The duration of the vote will be 72 hours to give members ample time to read and consider the request and cast their vote. All branch officers are responsible for enforcing the agreement that the members vote on. The agreement is only valid until the date of conflict mediation or the date that the branch votes on the findings of the charges committee.
Complaint Committee Election
- The complaints shall be read during the next regular branch meeting, at which time no less than three and no more than five members shall be elected from the floor of the meeting to act as a complaint committee. This meeting must be called no later than two weeks after the complaint was received. The complainant and the accused shall have neither voice nor vote in the election of the complaint committee nor can either party act on same. No member with a conflict of interest may be elected to the committee.
- In the event a complaint is sent to General Convention, its delegates shall elect a Complaint Committee of at least three and no more than five IWW members in good standing, who have accepted their nomination and have no conflict of interest. Convention delegates shall set a timeline of no more than 60 days from the end of Convention to conduct an investigation and hearing, at the end of which the committee shall submit its report, ruling and recommendations to the GEB and the parties to the complaint.
- Should a committee member resign, the GEB may appoint a replacement at the request of the committee.
- Convention delegates have the discretion to elect as many committees as are necessary to ensure each complaint is heard. Convention delegates also may designate the Complaint Committee as a standing committee to hear other complaints up to the start of the next Convention, in the event that no branch can be found to hear a complaint or the GEB finds itself unable to hear a complaint due to conflict of interest.
- Election of a Standing Complaint and Appeal Committee must be specified in the original motion to strike a Complaint Committee. Alternatively, a standing committee can be separately elected by the General Convention. Committee Procedures
- The committee shall furnish the accused with a true copy of the complaints by mail, e-mail with receipt acknowledged or by personal delivery in the presence of a witness.
- The complaints committee shall set a date for a hearing within one week of its election and shall collect all evidence both supporting and refuting the complaint.
- Complaints shall be related to matters that impact the union. A defendant is innocent until proven guilty. The onus of proof is on the plaintiff to provide sufficient oral, written or otherwise relevant evidence to the committee that:
- The complaint is directly related to the union’s affairs and the rights of its members, and
- The complaint has a basis in fact. Complaints that do not meet these two conditions can be dismissed by the committee. No complaint shall be heard by any IWW body without first fulfilling these requirements.
- The committee shall not allow amendments to complaints under their consideration, and shall restrict their activities to items directly related to the original written complaint. Additional complaints shall be submitted separately, and shall follow the same procedures.
- Within 30 days of its election, the committee shall conduct its hearing and submit its findings together with the complaints and evidence to the next regular meeting of the branch or related body, at which time the membership will accept or reject the recommendation of the committee.
- The committee may recommend suspension, expulsion, restitution or other remedy.
- If the findings are accepted by the branch, the decision shall at once be sent by mail to General Headquarters.
Rights of Members
- All members are equal under the IWW Constitution and shall not be discriminated against or denigrated on the basis of their race, national or ethnic origin, colour, family status, veteran status, immigration status, former or current incarcerated status, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or mental or physical disability.
- No member’s card shall be taken up without the action of a regular business meeting, conference or convention.
- No member of the IWW shall be suspended for more than 90 days.
- No publicity in union media shall be given on any suspension or expulsion until pending appeals are exhausted and the IU Convention, ROC or General Convention has acted on it. The relevant body shall order whatever publicity is necessary on the case.
- Confidentiality: All parties involved in a conflict can consult up to two members of their choice and invite them to participate in any meetings about the issue. Details of events under investigation and related information are not to be disclosed to third parties not involved in the proceedings. However, if one of the parties involved wants information to be published, results are to be made public within the IWW (with any personal information on individuals involved redacted) by the complaints committee, branch secretary or mediator, depending on the process pursued. Any publication outside the IWW is at the discretion of all concerned, including both complainant and defendant and any other individuals involved in the incident, or subsequent mediation or complaints procedure, and must be endorsed through a formal motion by the General Executive Board.
- Risk of Non-Disclosure: In the case of harassment, if those involved in the incidents leading to the complaint or mediation process believe that there is a serious risk that the accused will harass other individuals (within or outside the IWW), they must consider making their concerns public following discussion with the accused or their representatives. For this purpose the accused can choose one or two members in good standing with no conflict of interest to serve as their representatives. Any publication must consider potential impacts on the accused against the benefits of disclosure. A report on the issues, including an assessment of such risk of disclosure to the accused must be sent to the General Executive Board contact of the branch or Industrial Union concerned prior to disclosure being pursued. Appeals
- An appeal by either party must be submitted within 30 days of the decision, in writing to the Secretary of the Industrial Union or ROC with jurisdiction, or to the Chair of the GEB for branches affiliated with the General Administration. The appeal shall detail the decision being appealed and reasons why the decision should be reversed. The officer receiving the appeal shall provide copies of the appeal to all parties of the complaint being appealed, including the secretary or alternate of the body whose decision is being appealed.
- The appeal body shall be elected from the membership of the organization with jurisdiction and conduct its business in accordance with the procedures outlined in Bylaws Article III, Sections 5 and 6, and in accordance to the complaints and appeals procedures of the body with jurisdiction.
- The appeal body has 30 days from its election to issue a decision. It may confirm, modify or reverse the decision being appealed and remedy prescribed.
- The GEB Chair shall notify the GEB upon receipt of an appeal and has 45 days to identify a GMB to hear the appeal. The GEB chair shall work with the GST to identify a list of branches that would be able to elect an appeals committee and have no conflict of interest. Either party may request a branch be removed from the list by providing a substantial reason that it has a conflict of interest. If either party refuses or neglects to participate in the selection of a branch to hear the appeal, that party has waived this right. The GEB shall appoint the branch to hear the appeal by a majority vote.
- In the circumstance that no branch will hear an appeal filed with the GEB Chair, the GEB Chair shall move to strike an appeal committee of at least three, but no more than five GEB members, which will follow the procedures outlined in Bylaws Article III, Sections 5 and 6.
- In the circumstance that a majority of the GEB members have a conflict of interest, the GEB shall defer the appeal to the next Delegate Convention. All parties shall be notified of this decision and all related information shall be made available to the appeal committee convened at the Convention.
- The appeal body may confirm, modify or reverse the decision being appealed and remedy prescribed.
- A final appeal, filed in writing within 30 days of the decision, can be brought to the referendum ballot of the relevant Industrial Union, ROC or the annual referendum of the union as a whole on the recommendation of an IU Convention, General Convention or ROC annual meeting.
- In the event an appeal is sent to General Convention, its delegates shall elect an Appeal Committee of at least three and no more than five IWW members in good standing, who have accepted their nomination and have no conflict of interest. Convention delegates shall set a timeline of no more than 60 days from the end of Convention to conduct an investigation and hearing, at the end of which the committee shall submit its report, ruling and recommendations to the GEB and the parties to the complaint.
- Should a committee member resign, the GEB may appoint a replacement at the request of the committee.
- Convention delegates have the discretion to elect as many committees as are necessary to ensure each appeal is heard. The Convention Delegates also may designate the Appeal Committee as a standing committee to hear other appeals up to the start of the next Convention, in the event that no branch can be found to hear a complaint or appeal and the GEB finds itself unable to hear a complaint due to conflict of interest.
- Election of a Standing Complaint and Appeal Committee must be specified in the original motion to strike an appeal committee. Alternatively, a standing committee can be separately elected by the General Convention.
All bodies of the IWW who conduct a complaint or mediation procedure must provide a written report (respecting the provisions of Sec. 7(e), reviewing their experience with and any recommendations for improving the processes used, no later than six months after the beginning of the process to General Headquarter and, if applicable, their General Executive Board contact. The report must include an explanation for the complainant’s choice of conflict resolution process, i.e. why the complaints procedure or mediation was chosen.
Political Alliances Prohibited
To the end of promoting industrial unity and of securing necessary discipline within the organization, 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.
All employees hired by the IWW shall be members of the IWW when possible. Expelled Members
The general organization and Industrial Unions shall be prohibited from employing expelled members until such members have been reinstated and placed in good standing by the union or unions from which they were expelled.
Dues are paid on a monthly basis. A dues payment covers an entire month regardless of the day on which it was paid. A member who has not paid dues for the two-month period prior to the current month is considered in Bad Standing and is not entitled to any rights or benefits in the IWW until they have been paid. A branch may vote to allow a member in Bad Standing to participate in branch business meetings with voice, but no vote. After 3 months in bad standing, a 5 month period of unpaid dues prior to the current month, members are considered to be in inactive standing and cannot take part in business meetings
Delinquent delegates are members in bad standing. Delinquency of delegates shall be defined by the Industrial Union to which the delegate belongs
All General Organizing Committee traveling delegates and branch secretaries when issuing credentials shall mark in delegate’s membership card the number of the credentials issued with the date, and by whom issued. When a delegate’s account is cleared, the Clearinghouse shall issue them a clearance stamp to be affixed on their membership card. ARTICLE VII Supplies, Etc. All subordinate organizations of the Industrial Workers of the World (where there is no local ROC) shall procure and use such supplies as dues books, dues stamps, official buttons, labels and badges from the General Secretary-Treasurer. All such supplies are to be of a uniform design.
Speakers and Organizers
No members of the IWW shall represent the organization before a body of wage earners without first having been authorized by the General Executive Board or a subordinate part of the IWW.
No organizer for the IWW while on the platform for this organization shall advocate any political party platform.
The IWW shall seek to avoid using paid organizing staff as much as possible.
The IWW shall not hire any permanent salaried organizing staff.
In the event that the IWW does make use of paid organizing staff, paid organizers shall be selected from the IWW membership.
Any paid organizing positions in the IWW shall be for temporary and fixed terms tied to the campaign on which they are working.
Upon completion of their term, any paid organizers shall be expected to remain IWW members and to return to regular work.
Any member who accepts nomination for an official position and declines after their name has been placed on the ballot, shall not be eligible for any office for 2 years, unless good cause is given such as sickness or being in jail.
Any publication controlled by the IWW may accept advertising only from IWW Branches and Committees, members in good standing, IWW recognized Co-operatives, and union organized shops, at the discretion of and at rates to be set by the editor and/or publisher of the publication involved.
Each Industrial Union shall have the power to make rules relating to agreements between its job branches and the employers.
No agreement made by any component part of the IWW shall provide for a checkoff of union dues by the employer, or obligate the members of the union to do work that would aid in breaking any strike.
Effective January 1, 2013, no agreement by any component part of the IWW shall provide for a prohibition barring members from taking any action against the interests of the employer, nor shall any prior agreements add new prohibitive language. Agreements containing previously negotiated prohibitive language, and the renewal of such agreements, shall be exempt from this amendment.
No clause of the General Bylaws in the General Constitution shall be considered valid unless carried by referendum vote and inserted in the General Constitution and Bylaws.
No officer or member of the union may seek a private interview with an employer in the event of a strike or during contract negotiations.
Branches of the IWW should aim to use mediation to resolve conflicts between members of the union that do not present an imminent danger to the union’s interests or the parties involved.
Mediation is a constructive dialogue facilitated by a mutually agreed third party, with the goal of finding a resolution to the conflict that is suitable to both parties. (a) Mediation is by necessity a voluntary process. The precondition of successful mediation is the willingness of both parties to resolve the conflict by mediation. (b) If both parties say they are willing to mediate, the branch or branches to which both parties belong shall assist the parties in selecting a mediator acceptable to both parties from their membership. (c) The branch or branches can seek assistance from their General Executive Board Contact if they feel unable to do so. If the members involved are not in a branch, they should contact the General Executive Board to help identify a mediator. (d) A mediator should be identified no later than two weeks after any incident was reported. (e) Participation in mediation does not affect the plaintiff’s right to lay a formal complaint against the defendant, should mediation fail to resolve the conflict. (f) The branch shall reimburse the mediator for any reasonable expenses incurred in the process of conflict mediation.
- The role of the mediator is to listen to both parties, gain a better understanding of the conflict, identify whether it is related to the IWW, search for alternative ways to view the conflict, and assist the parties in identifying ways to resolve the conflict.
- The mediator and parties shall take no more than 30 days to conduct the mediation and report results to the next regular meeting of the branch or branches involved.
- The mediator shall first meet separately or speak by telephone with each party to listen to each member’s concerns. During these conversations, the mediator shall ask each party what they see would resolve the conflict and whether each party would be willing to meet with the other party in the presence of the mediator.
- Based on these conversations, the mediator will identify the next step, which could include, but is not limited to, the following: a second round of mediator-party conversations, a planned meeting of the two parties with the mediator, or the closure of mediation.
- If either party refuses to attend the meeting, or conciliation is not reached, this process can move to the Complaint Procedure outlined in Bylaws Article III.
- At the conclusion of mediation, and no later than six months after the beginning of mediation, whether successful or not, the mediator shall provide a written report to the branch or branches involved, as well as to their General Executive Board contact and General Headquarters. This report shall describe briefly the mediator’s efforts, a summary of what the mediator learned in discussions (while respecting each party’s privacy), the result of the mediation and, if necessary and at the mediator’s discretion, any recommendations for action.
Jurisdiction, Terms of Immediate Relief, Rights of Members, Confidentiality, Appeals, and Offenses apply as stated in Bylaws, Article III.
Resolved, the General Convention of the IWW shall nominate a standing Finance Committee. The Finance Committee shall be elected by referendum. It shall include:
- Up to five members, who must be IWW members in good standing, elected by the General Convention.
- The GST (ex-officio)
- The GEB chair (ex-officio)
The Finance Committee will:
- Advise the General Executive Board on financial matters
- Assist in preparing an operating budget
- Advise General Headquarters on bookkeeping and accounting procedures
- Make a report to the membership at least once per fiscal year.
The Literature Department is an organization of the General Administration, responsible for producing, acquiring and selling working-class literature and merchandise in order to further the union’s educational mission.
The Literature Department is operated as part of headquarters.
The GEB has full oversight of the Literature Department and its policies. The daily operation of the Literature Department is under the control of the Literature Department Coordinator and overseen by the GST.
The GST shall be the Literature Department liaison with the GEB
The Literature Department Coordinator shall establish a liaison with the Literature Committee and other appropriate bodies of the IWW.
The Literature Committee consists of five members in good standing elected in the general referendum.
The purpose of the Literature Committee is to propose, and as necessary provide material to be published as Official Literature by the GEB. Official Literature is defined as material approved by the General Executive Board for production and distribution by the General Administration. Industrial Worker, Solidaridad, the General Organization Bulletin, and any other periodicals produced by the General Administration are outside the purview of the Literature Committee.
Such literature will be submitted to the General Executive Board for consideration as official union literature, under NARA Constitution Article III Sec. 5(d).
Industrial Workers of the World Safer Space Policy
The Industrial Workers of the World is a union committed to the emancipation of the working class. The working class is diverse and as a union we recognize that oppression is many layered. As such, we strive to keep our common places free from oppressive action, behavior, and language.
These oppressive actions and words include but are not limited to: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and any expression of disrespect and/or intolerance of size, gender identity, sexual identity/ expression, (dis)ability, age, educational level, and cultural background. Because we want to learn from and educate each other, we will each be responsible for addressing these issues in ourselves and others. This policy is not about censorship, but rather opening a dialog in a respectful way that can result in all members feeling safe and free to fully participate in their union’s activities. If a member feels this policy is being / has been violated, the following steps should be taken:
- Reference the policy to the whole group: for example, “In the IWW, we have a ‘Safer Space Policy’ that all members are mutually responsible to uphold. I feel this policy has been violated by talk of ‘[comments made].’ Please keep the Safer Space Policy in mind.”
- If the policy is still being violated, the issue should be brought up to the person in violation directly and/or the chair, an officer, a delegate, or a member whom you would like to act as an advocate on your behalf so that an effective plan of action can be instituted.
- If you have no allies locally and invoking the ‘Safer Space Policy’ fails, reach out to the Gender Equity Committee for assistance at GEC@IWW.org.
If a member feels like this policy is being violated and is uncomfortable bringing this up personally, they are encouraged to seek an ally of their choosing to advocate for them. In a meeting, a person can ask for a point of personal privilege to take a break and discuss this with the necessary parties. Meeting chairs, officers, delegates, and members should be conscious of this policy and address issues as they arise.
Further, space shall be defined as any office, meeting, event (including trainings, celebrations, social- gatherings, etc.), internet platform (including listservs, facebook, we.riseup, twitter, etc.) that is IWW sponsored, which includes any body formally recognized by the IWW, such as General Membership Branches, Regional Organizing Committees and Regional Administrations, Industrial Union Branches, other committees, and any accountable sub-formation of the aforementioned bodies.
Statement on Prison Abolition
As a revolutionary organization, the Industrial Workers of the World seeks a total transformation of society, including the abolition of prisons by any means necessary. Prisons are an integral part of capital- ism and function as a form of racial and class based social control beyond mere profit making. It is the responsibility of social movements to support individual prisoners incarcerated for their contributions to the cause and targeted for their ongoing efforts and also to focus support on the collective struggle of all prisoners. We regard all prisoners as political prisoners and targets of class war. We regard all prisons as tools of class war.
We support prisoners who use solidarity to struggle against the prison system. Whether a person is in for violent or nonviolent offenses, whether guilty or innocent, whether they are locked up for righteous acts of revolutionary struggle, crimes of survival, or acts of selfishness or intimate interpersonal harm, prisons bring harm to the people and communities they target as well as those they claim to protect. Re- gardless of political, religious, or organizational affiliation, so long as prisoners are engaged in resistance against their jailers, and are not snitching or acting with the authorities, the Industrial Workers of the World will do what we can to back them up.
We recognize white supremacy as foundational to the prison system. Rooted in power structures repro- duced by the state and collective in nature, racism influences the daily realities and material conditions of people of color and Indigenous people in North America. While prisons have not always been used as tools of racial domination, the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution shifted slavery from plantations to prisons, from colonial masters to the capitalist state. The prison-industrial complex mushroomed to the massive proportions our communities experience today- with millions of people behind bars- due to the racist War on Drugs, state repression against the revolutionary movements of the 1970s, particularly Black Power, and neoliberal austerity measures/economic restructuring such as deindustrialization, deinstitutionalization, and the gutting of social welfare programs.
Prisons cage poor people. Due to the history of Black enslavement and Indigenous genocide and the ongoing realities of white supremacy, class war in North America is and always has been colonial and racialized. As abolitionists and anti-capitalist revolutionaries, we recognize the fundamental need for a massive redis- tribution of wealth to the entire working class that recognizes historical crimes- which includes prisoners, people on welfare, people with disabilities, people working in criminalized economies, homeless people, etc. We recognize the necessity for a multi-racial/multi-national working class revolution to achieve such aims. In the world we envision, no one will struggle to survive day to day. No one will be forced to partici- pate in criminalized economies. All will have access to healthy food, clean water, stable housing, empow- ering schools, comprehensive health care, etc. Resources spent on prisons and police will be reallocated to create healthy and vibrant communities.
White supremacy as a foundation of the prison system is clear to us, but we also understand and do not shrink from the more difficult implications and aspects of abolition and prisoner organizing. Sexual violence is inseparable from the prisons we wish to abolish. Sexual violence and patriarchy are weaponized in prisons and spill out into the streets. Victims of this sort of violence rarely get any help or opportunity to heal. For those who have intimately harmed and traumatized others, we believe in accountability and transformative justice models. Moreover, an abolitionist framework requires a restructuring of social relations, undoing the harms caused by patriarchy, misogyny, and transmisogyny, recognizing how the prison system perpetuates these harms, and creating a world free of gendered and sexualized violence. Prison hampers processes of transformation and reproduces cycles of trauma. Resources spent on prisons and police could easily be reallocated to create healthy working-class communities. Ultimately, abolition requires a fundamental shift in the distribution of wealth so those living in working-class communities and communities of color are no longer struggling for survival day to day.
We pursue abolition with the core understanding that inside members drive the struggle and will determine their own path to liberation. As a revolutionary social force, prisoners have the power to make the system untenable. Through collective action inside members have and will continue to shut entire facilities down to advance their demands and build power among prisoners. Outside chapters exist to provide critical support for the self organization of prisoners and to build an outside mass movement for freedom and community control. Our struggles, inside and out, are interconnected. Victory means building meaningful class solidarity on both sides of the prison walls. Our goals are collective liberation from white supremacy, gendered oppression, sexual violence, and capitalism and moving towards prosperity, freedom, and a world that does not want or need prisons.
Resolution Regarding Anti-Fascism and Revolutionary Unionism
Whereas, the Industrial Workers of the World is a revolutionary industrial union that places class struggle at the heart of its organizing and aims ultimately to abolish class society, and
Whereas, since its inception as a union for all workers, it has stood against all oppression, prejudice, and discrimination, and
Whereas, the IWW has historically stood against enemies of the working class and proponents of oppres- sion and discrimination, such as the Ku Klux Klan, and
Whereas, political movements that center around the idea of unity of one race, ethnicity, or cultural group while disparaging, oppressing, and/or casting out perceived others, whether such movements call themselves fascist, white nationalist, white supremacist, ethno-nationalist, racial separatists, Christian Dominionist, Christian Supremacist, or otherwise, are antithetical to the mission and vision of the IWW, both through their oppression and discrimination of fellow members of the working class that are grouped into whatever category they deem as other, as well as in their ideal of collaboration with the ruling classes and suppression of class conflict within the centered group, and
Whereas, the success and capacity for recruitment of these political movements is heavily rooted in their ability to maintain a public presence and operate openly within the society they seek to destroy, and
Therefore be it Resolved, that the Industrial Workers of the World stands against these political ideations as a whole and will take action to oppose their growth and open operation through a strategy of mass anti-fascism and community self defense that is consistent with the aims and principles of the IWW.
Resolution on Biology and Gender
WHEREAS biology is not destiny and gender is culturally constructed and complex,
WHEREAS all bodies of the IWW should ensure the safety and inclusion of their members regardless of their gender identity or status or sexual orientation.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that any and all spaces within the IWW (including, but not limited to, gen- der-based committees, caucuses and events) should respect the right of individual members to self identi- fy and participate in all union activities according to that self identification.
Resolution on Delegates
WHEREAS elected delegates of the IWW are charged with taking dues, signing up members, and building the IWW, and
WHEREAS elected delegates hold no authority over the membership, but are elected servants of this body, and
WHEREAS a Delegate who refuses to take dues from an IWW member effectively denies that IWW member the ability to remain in good standing, and the ability to participate in our democratic processes.
RESOLVED Delegates shall not have discretion over taking dues from IWW members who have not been suspended or expelled.
RESOLVED It shall be a chargeable offense for any delegate to refuse to take dues or sign up any eligible fellow worker.
Resolution on Use of Union Label on IWW printing
WHEREAS the union label is a universally accepted indicator in the labor movement that work was done by union members, working under union conditions;
WHEREAS the publication of IWW materials without the union label, or an indication that the labor in question was donated, tends to cast doubt among our fellow workers on the integrity and solidarity of this union;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that all printed materials issued by the General Headquarters of this union shall either bear the union label or, if appropriate, a note indicating that the labor to produce them was donated.
The GST may authorise the expenditure of organizing funds necessary to translate and reproduce IWW literature for organizing purposes into any language requested by a GMB, Job Shop, IWW Group, or Delegate. Expenditures Non-budgetary expenditures in excess of $20,000 USD may only be authorized by member referendum.
Resolved: That the following policy be adopted on organizing campaigns:
- Delegates attached to General Membership Branches shall obtain the approval of the Branch before beginning an organizing campaign. The Branch will be held responsible for seeing that the campaign is carried through as effectively as possible.
- Delegates not attached to a GMB shall obtain the approval of the appropriate Regional Organizing Committee, or the General Executive Board, before beginning an organizing campaign. They will be expected to:
- Have knowledge of the job and industry in which they plan to organise;
- Be able to guarantee, beyond a reasonable doubt, that they will be able to remain in the area until the campaign is concluded;
- Have a workable plan for financing the expenses of the campaign;
- Report regularly to the ROC or the GEB on the progress of the campaign.
Funding for Organizing
- Any IWW Branch, Job Shop, Group, or Delegate may request funds for organizing by submitting a clearly written proposal to the Clearinghouse. This proposal shall include, but will not necessarily be limited to, the following information: person or group requesting funds; budget request (including stipends, phone costs, supplies, travel, etc.). This budget request shall also include a proposed monthly disbursement schedule; description of organizing drive; timetable for organizing drive.
- The Clearinghouse, upon receipt of the proposal, will send copies of the proposal to General Executive Board members immediately.
- The GEB shall have a maximum of 45 days (from the postmark on the proposal) to vote on the proposal. If the person(s) submitting the proposal requests a phone vote for expediency, the GEB must vote by phone. A proposal can only be accepted by a majority vote of the GEB. 2
- Immediately after a proposal is approved, funds will be distributed on a monthly basis to the delegate, group, job shop, or branch requesting the funds.
- Monthly reports shall be sent to the Clearinghouse explaining the progress of the organizing drive. These reports shall include a financial report and appropriate receipts. Funds will not be disbursed with- out monthly reports.
- Funds can be suspended at any time by a majority vote of the GEB. If this occurs, the balance of funds not yet spent must be returned to the Clearinghouse promptly.
- Any GEB decision can be appealed to the general membership via a referendum (see Article IX of the Constitution).
Special Rules During Convention
- Only Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR) are to be used.
- Any reference to Robert’s Rules is required to be substantiated with Chapter, Section, and Line.
- Extending the time allotted to each question, as specified by the General Executive Board, requires a vote and approval of delegates.
- No delegate or member in good standing may speak for more than three minutes on any question per turn.
- No delegate or member in good standing may speak more than twice on the same question without permission of the assembly.
- All speakers are to speak only to the issue, pending resolution, or amendment.
- No friendly amendments.
- Delegates that carry a proxy have the right to speak for both their own and the branch that they carry a proxy for.
- Approval of entire Convention Minutes will be made by the GEB following Convention.
Resolution on Renting from Officer Landlords
WHEREAS, landlord IWW members in positions of power renting space to IWW bodies raises the possibility of conflicts of interest,
BE IT RESOLVED that the IWW prohibit all rental agreements between IWW bodies and IWW officers who: are landlords in their personal capacities, or function as landlords in their capacities as members of an organization other than the IWW, or are key decision makers in a group which leases to the IWW body.