24 November 2013


Wobblies, and Community members!! 

The IWW in Vancouver is starting a poster drive to remind workers they can organize with the IWW. This is a call out for new IWW material to spread around the city. We are accepting submissions for the next weeks. We will compensate the chosen contributors, with a small token of our appreciation. 

Posters must contain the following information 

IWW Vancouver 
Industrial workers of the world 

Please feel free to explore and find material relevant to the IWW.


19 August 2013

Shout Back Festival: August 22-25

Some Wobblies from Vancouver are involved in organizing the 2nd annual anarcha-feminist summer festival, Shout Back Fest. The festival runs for 4 days, from August 22nd to August 25th, at venues throughout Vancouver. There will be music, workshops, skate gatherings and more at all the least offensive venues in the city. This festival focuses on marginalized and non-mainstream folks and their day-to-day realities. The material experiences of folks struggling to pay rent, or find work they can live on are part of this relationship. The fact that we are underpaid at our jobs, often have to have more than one job, and often still struggle to cover our base expenses absolutely affects every aspect of our lives. These realities are directly connected to how we contribute to our music scenes, and what that looks like. Many of us don't have expensive equipment, or the luxury to play music all the time, build promoter connections, or pay for jam spaces outside of our homes. It is no coincidence that access to these aspects of the music community also coincides with our access to the mainstream venues and opportunities in this city. SBF Organizer Nikki elaborates on this connection: "Making these connections between our work lives and our music lives is key in terms of making the choice to take up more space in these areas."

We say the festival is very much about refusal. In music, refusing to participate in a scene that doesn't include or recognize some folks, and at work, a refusal to be walked over by our bosses, to expect and take what we deserve from our labour. Vancouver Wobblies and other local organizers will be presenting "Direct Unionism" at one of the featured workshops taking place at this year’s festival. What does "Direct Unionism" have to do with a festival like Shout Back? Simply put, Direct Unionism, or Solidarity Unionism is when a group of people get together and recognize themselves as a union. The workshop offers a perspective on unionism that is a little different from what one might expect. Presenting unionism as a practice, from the perspective of the IWW, and established Solidarity networks, we will be discussing tactics on how to work with our peers to build resistance against boss and landlord exploitation. We will be discussing our work experiences, and what worker solidarity looks like in a service industry setting. One of the main goals of the workshop is for us to look at ways folks are already practicing solidarity in the workplace, to celebrate that and call it what it is: unionism.

shoutbackfest.tumblr.com - An all-ages anarcha-feminist, queer, anti-capitalist DIY music festival for anyone who wants it or thinks they might want it. A celebration in smashing patriarchy, and showcasing artists who are underrepresented.

Direct Unionism workshop will take place on Friday, August 23rd @ 7 PM at Rainbow Connection (see Festival Pass). Pamphlets and other materials will be provided.

14 August 2013

IWW Reference Library at Spartacus Books

There is now a small IWW Reference Library located at Spartacus Books (684 E Hastings). The library is full of donated texts from a local worker-sided lawyer's office. The books are not to lend out, and are for reference only. They are also not for sale. The library can be located at the top left of the fiction section at the back of the store. The collection includes the following:
  • Constitutional Law (Canada 2002)
  • The Law of Evidence (Canada 2008)
  • Labour Law (UK 1981)
  • Labour Relations and the Collective Bargaining Cycle (Canada 1981)
  • Evidence: A Canadian Casebook (2006)
  • Consolidated BC Labour & Employment Law (2010)
  • Consolidated Federal Employment & Labour Statutes (Canada 2011)
  • 2010 Annotated Canada Labour Code
  • Canadian Labour Arbitration (2006)
The IWW Reference Library is accepting donations of money and more legal books at Spartacus Books.

2 May 2013

May Day 2013 in Vancouver

To commemorate International Worker's Day (commonly known as "May Day"), over 100 people took part in an anti-capitalist march in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday, May 1st. The march began with a rally at Victory Square, then coursed its way through the Downtown Eastside, led by a boisterous black bloc that handed out flaming torches to whoever would carry them. The march paused for several minutes of chanting in front of Pidgin, an upscale restaurant that's been picketed for weeks by anti-gentrification campaigners, before continuing on to its conclusion at Thornton Park.

The Vancouver Police Department deployed large numbers of officers on bicycles and motorcycles around both Victory Square and Pidgin restaurant, while the PSU (riot police) shadowed the march from start to finish, filming protesters along the way.

Organizer Training 101 Report

On April 27th, the Vancouver and Vancouver Island IWW branches co-hosted an 'Organizer Training 101' education session. A fellow worker from the Edmonton branch flew out to deliver a packed day of organizer training.

The morning started with a quick round of personal introductions. We had a solid turn-out of Wobblies and allies from diverse backgrounds. The training material outlines the basic stages of a workplace organizing campaign, starting with gathering basic information about co-workers, discussing grievances, and culminating in the establishment of a strong union that protects the rights of workers. Throughout the training session, we had several opportunities to share our own personal workplace experiences and discuss the challenge of organizing.

The training session offered experiences that cannot be found in any book, pamphlet or website. For instance, we used role-playing to practice how we might approach a fellow worker to find out if they've been having issues at the workplace that they need help resolving, and how open they are to the idea of forming a worker-led union.

27 March 2013

Organizer Training 101! [UPDATED]

Vancouver IWW is pleased to announce an Organizer Training 101 (OT101) course for Spring 2013! OT101 is a two-day crash course on grassroots, direct action-driven solidarity unionism that will teach skills to help workers build power in their workplaces from the bottom up. It focuses on techniques for building a committee of workers who are confident and capable of addressing issues in the workplace, and for overcoming obstacles like worker apathy, anxiety, and the bosses’ counter-organizing efforts. The course is free (though a donation of $5/day is requested), and is open to everyone (not just IWW members) – so please forward this event to anyone who might be interested! We have established a Facebook page for this event here.

UPDATE: The training session has been condensed into a 1-day program to make it easier for people to schedule their affairs around it. The training session will now be held in its entirety on Saturday, April 27th, and there will no longer be a second day on Sunday, April 28th. Please see the full event time and location information below.

Full Event Details
Saturday, April 27th 8:30AM-5PM
SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings St.)
Lecture Room #1315

Registration is mandatory; please email contact (at) vancouveriww.com to confirm your attendance, as well as which dates you plan to attend.

1 February 2013

Bill C-377 Takes Aim at Unions' Financial Info

In mid-December, the House of Commons passed the third reading of Bill C-377. The bill, sponsored by MP Russ Hiebert (Conservative, Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale), requires labour organizations to disclose detailed financial reports to the federal government. Hiebert states that the goal of the bill is "to increase transparency and accountability in another group of public institutions – labour unions."

In the IWW, we disclose our financial details to our members at monthly general membership branch meetings. In the interest of solidarity, transparency and self-management we believe that our rank-and-file members have a right to know how their dues are spent, and to have a say in the management of our union.

Various trade unions have similar rules on delivering financial reports to their membership, though they do not emphasize self-management of the union by their rank-and-file. The way towards improving the structure of those unions is by agitation for greater democracy from within, not by mandating that financial details be reported to the federal government.

The latest developments on Bill C-377 can be found on the Open Parliament website.