|Frequently Asked Questions|
What exactly is the WIIU? Is it a party or a labor union?
The WIIU is a union, an industrial union to be exact. But, instead of organizing by trade we organize workers according to the industry they work in and the end product they produce. For example, all workers whose product is automobiles will be organized in the same union with all other workers who produce the same product. All workers in that industry will be eligible for membership, from the maintenance workers to assembly line workers to administrative office workers etc. All workers in any particular plant or office will all be under the same contract.
Is the WIIU affiliated with any of the trade unions, AFL-CIO or Unite Here?
No. The WIIU rejects the trade union method of organization. We feel that trade unions keep workers divided and thus too weak to build any greater movement. Not only that, we feel that trade unions mislead workers to believe that workers and employers have a common interest. The reality is that workers and employers are constantly at odds over how to divide up the tremendous wealth produced every day by the working class. The workers of course end up on the short end of the stick. The WIIU works to change that equation and ultimately to put all the industries and services under the direct democratic control of the workers themselves. With that accomplished all the wealth produced will belong to all of those who produced it and society as a whole.
Are any workplaces organized under the WIIU?
Not at present. We have many members in different industries but no workplaces under contract as of yet. Our main goal right now is to bring as many workers into the Industrial Union movement as possible, the organizing of workplaces will logically follow after we build our numbers.
What is the difference between the WIIU and the IWW?
There are a couple of areas where we differ. The first is on the question of political action as part of a larger plan to put an end to wage slavery. The WIIU feels that political action is a vital part of any program whose aim is to end capitalism. The IWW rejects political action as unnecessary and an actual threat to the workers economic organization (the industrial union). Simply put, they don't want to be dominated by any political party. The WIIU views the political party of labor as the voice of the worker's movement. The economic and political organizations would work hand in hand and compliment each others activity, not dominate it. In fact the majority of the membership of the party would be drawn from the membership of the union, ensuring that it stays on the right track.
The other area where we differ is on the question of the general strike vs. taking and holding the means of production. The IWW feels that simply withdrawing our labor would be sufficient to make the owning classes see the light and yield to the new system. The WIIU feels that once the hour of revolution arrives workers should not leave the industries and services in the hands of the employers, but instead seize them in the name of the people and protect them for use for the good of all of society. So instead of a strike, the WIIU advocates a general lockout of the capitalist class.
Can IWW members join the WIIU?
Absolutely. In spite of the differences mentioned we welcome any IWW member who wishes to join with us. We hope they feel the same way about WIIU members.
Who can join the WIIU?
Any wage or salaried worker. This includes those workers already organized in trade unions, retired workers, unemployed workers, disabled workers and undocumented workers. The exceptions to this would be management and employers and police officers.
You spoke of "revolution" and "the new system", do you advocate overthrow of the government?
We advocate using the legal means provided us to change the system. These include organizing workers at the point of production and preparing them for the day when the industries and services will become the property of society. We will also use the ballot to voice our desire for changing the system from greed dominated capitalism to a society where all who contribute their labor in producing for the needs and wants of society will receive their full share in return.
What exactly will be the "new system" that you wish to replace capitalism with?
There has been much discussion on what the new system we advocate creating should be called. In truth we advocate genuine Socialism. The word Socialism has had its true meaning twisted and trampled by right wing pundits and even by governments, such as the old Soviet Union and its former allies. There are parties on the scene today who call themselves socialist but what they advocate is a far cry from the genuine socialism fought for by those who understand its true meaning. While we won't go into great detail here suffice it to say that genuine Socialism means democracy, both economic and political. The people, the workers, will be in full control of our society and all that society produces. All the wealth created will belong to all the people, and all the means used to create that wealth will belong to the people.
To get a full understanding go to the WIIU Documents link under Resources on the right side of the page. Under that link there are two key pamphlets that will explain fully what we mean, those are "The One Great Union" and "Road to Power". You can also go to the Suggested Reading link and read "Socialist Reconstruction of Society" by Daniel De Leon.
What is your guiding philosophy?
Our program, our outlook and our general philosophy is guided by Marxism-De Leonism. There is a wealth of information online concerning De Leonism. Some very good resources are the Marxist Internet Archive, the Socialist Labor Party website and Mike Lepore's De Leonist website. You can also click on the Suggested Reading link on the right side of this page. There you will find four key addresses delivered by De Leon which outline a major part of the philosophy of De Leonism.
Are you affiliated with any political party?
The WIIU is not affiliated with any political organization at this time. After much discussion it is felt that our best option would be to form our own political party when the membership approves or the time is right. This will ensure that our goals and philosophy are one and the same and will allow us to work in a coordinated manner toward our common aims.
How would this party be structured once it is formed?
First and foremost it would be a party dedicated to genuine Socialism and would advocate the Socialist Industrial Union program as laid out by Daniel De Leon. The party would be under the direct control of the WIIU and its membership, owing to the fact that the majority of its membership would also be WIIU members. Membership would also be open to non WIIU members of course.
The key element would be that the party would be democratic, we reject democratic centralism and any other form of top down control. All officers will be elected by the membership and subject to immediate recall should they fail in their duties. All decisions of any importance will have to receive approval of a majority of the membership. This is just a basic outline, but this is the general feeling of those involved.