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(6) General Outline

To meet this condition the Industrial Workers of the World proposes:

  • The unit of organization is the INDUSTRIAL UNION, "branched" according to the requirements of the particular industry. In some instances the Industrial Union may embrace all the workers of a given industry, while in other industries several Industrial Unions with distinct jurisdiction may be necessary to cover the situation; as, for instance, in the "Industry of Marine Transportation"--one union on the Great Lakes, one on the Atlantic and Gulf Seaboard, one on the Pacific Coast, one on the Mississippi River system--each being branched to meet the special requirements of the particular situation.
  • Industrial Unions of closely allied industries are combined into departmental organizations. For example, the Marine 'Transport Workers' Industrial Unions referred to above would be united with Railway or Steam Transportation Industrial Unions, Municipal Transportation Industrial Unions, Motor Truck Transporters, and Aviators' Unions, into the "Department of Transportation and Communication."
  • The Industrial Departments are combined into the General Organization, which in turn is to be an integral part of a like International Organization; and through the international organization establish solidarity and co-operation between the workers of all countries.

Component Parts of the Organization

Taking into consideration the technical differences that exist within the different departments of the industries and conditions existing where large numbers of workers are employed, the Industrial Union is "branched" wherever necessary, If the union includes ALL the workers in a given industry or a distinct jurisdiction within an industry, "Industrial Branches" of the Union are established in the centers most convenient for the workers.

These Industrial Branches are further subdivided into:

  • (1) Shop sections, so that the workers of each shop control the conditions that directly affect them.
  • (2) Language sections, so that the workers can conduct the affairs of the organization in the language with which they are the most familiar.
  • (3) In those large industries that are operated by departments, DEPARTMENT subdivisions are formed to systematize and simplify the business of the organization.
  • (4) When an industry covers a large local area, or is the principal industry of a city, DISTRICT subdivisions are formed, to enable the workers to attend union meetings without traveling too great a distance.
  • (5) In order that every given industrial district shall have complete industrial solidarity among the workers in all industries as well as among the workers of each industry, an INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT COUNCIL is formed by delegates elected from all the Industrial Unions and Industrial Branches operating in that district and, through this Council concerted action is maintained throughout the district.

Functions of the Local Sections and Subdivisions

Shop and language sections, and department and district subdivisions deal with the employer ONLY through the Industrial Branch or the Industrial Union. Thus, while the workers in each section determine the conditions that directly affect them, they act in concert with all the workers of the industry through the Industrial Branch and the Union.

As the knowledge of the English language becomes more general, the language branches will disappear. The development of machine production will also gradually eliminate the branches based on technical knowledge, or skill.

The constant development and concentration of the ownership and control of industry will be met by a like concentration of the number of Industrial Unions and Industrial Departments. It is meant that the organization at all times shall conform to the needs of the hour and eventually furnish the medium through which and by which the organized workers will be able to determine the amount of food, clothing, shelter, education and amusement necessary to satisfy the wants of the workers.

Next page: (7) Administration of the Organizations