Industrial Workers of the World

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The Industrial Workers of the World a.k.a. the IWW or the Wobblies is a famous international union currently headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA and founded in 1905. A radical labor union most active in the 1920s, it has made somewhat of a comeback in recent years in organizing the food service sector, particularly Starbucks baristas in New York City, but various (small) IWW unions exist throughout many industries.

At its peak in 1923 the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. Its membership declined dramatically after a 1924 split brought on by internal conflict and government repression. Today, it is actively organizing and numbers about 2000 members worldwide.

The IWW is somewhat unique in that students can become members, as can the unemployed and retired. While the IWW is primarily based in the United States, it has significant branches in Great Britain and Australia.

External Links

  • Industrial Workers of the World (Official Webpage)
  • IWW Starbucks Workers Union
  • Encyclopedic Entry from Spartacus (U.K.)
  • Encyclopedic Entry from The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.
  • Encyclopedic Entry from
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