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IWOC Statement Against The Felony Question On Job Applications

The IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee opposes all forms and methods of exploitation that the ruling class use to disempower and disenfranchise working people. IWOC stands in solidarity with those individuals that are released from prison only to find that they are effectively barred from obtaining employment due to the question “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”, which is found on most job applications.

The IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee recognizes that the felony question does not serve the interests of working people, nor does the question improve or fix the work, social, and economic conditions that plague our society. Therefore, IWOC opposes the employers’ practice of using the generalized felony question on job applications.

We believe that as presently practiced, mass incarceration under the guise of a war on crime or a war on drugs is actually a war on the working class. Through such a guise, an important fact is often forgotten and hidden in plain sight; the overwhelming majority of individuals who are sent to prison are members of the working class. These individuals will one day be released from prison only to find that society’s perception of them has changed. People who are released from prison are then shunned and looked at solely as “ex-cons”. In a sense, people are not being completely released from prison as the stigma of “ex-con” bars one from employment.

The IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee interprets the use of the felony question as a form of perpetual criminalization and disenfranchisement of the working class while its use furthers the mechanisms of mass incarceration and serves the interests of the employing class. IWOC is firmly rooted in the practice of “An Injury To One Is An Injury To All”! Therefore, we stand in solidarity with people released from prison who are striving to reintegrate back into society and attempting to obtain employment while trying to break through the felony question barrier and we denounce such weapons against working people.