You are here


Socialize the Railways!

By Tom Wetzel - East Bay Syndicalists, November 13, 2023

The downward slide of the major (Class 1) American freight railroads in recent years shows how capitalist ownership of the railway system is dangerous and inefficient — and fails to make use of the potential of the railways as a solution to the global warming crisis.

Downward slide has been accelerated over the past decade due to the adoption of “Precision Scheduled Railroading” (PSR). This has no precise definition but the aim is to reduce costs. As in “lean production” management theory, any expense not directly needed for profit is regarded as “waste.” PSR is a cost-cutting strategy that puts short-term profits for stockholders as the controlling priority. To maximize the rate of return, the railroads cut corners on maintenance, constantly work to reduce the number of railroad employees, and actively discourage shipments that are less profitable for them to haul. To keep Wall Street investors happy, they work to maximize short term profit. To enrich stockholders, the rail companies have poured billions of dollars into stock buybacks rather than invest in system improvements.

The UAW Strike with Jane Slaughter

Class Struggle & The UAW 2023 Auto Fight With UAW Members Frank Hammer & Sean Crawford

Storytelling on the Road to Socialism: Episode 8: A Spinner and Weaver Speaks

Remember the History of May Day

Storytelling on the Road to Socialism: Episode 4: A Coal Miner Speaks

Here’s How We Escape Climate Apocalypse

China, Southern Africa, Capitalism, Climate & Labor

Ukrainian trade unionist speaks

By Yuri Samoilov - Workers Voice, February 28, 2023

Yuri Samoilov, president of the Independent Trade Union of Miners and the Kryvyi Rih regional sector of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU), is taking part in a series of meetings in eight European cities, at the invitation of the International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggle. His first presentation took place on Feb. 21 in Warsaw and was organized by the Polish trade union Inicjatywa Pracownicza. Check the report here. Major excerpts from his speech follow below.

This talk took place on the same day that President Joe Biden attended a meeting with leaders of NATO countries in Warsaw. Despite many words of support, Biden failed to deliver the tanks and the Patriot anti-aircraft batteries promised in December. In Moscow, Putin played the victim and said he would continue the war to annex the Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in addition to Crimea, annexed in 2014. Faced with these facts, it is urgent and necessary to strengthen the international workers’ solidarity.

The Workers’ Aid campaign for Ukraine was launched at the fourth meeting of the International Labour Network for Solidarity and Struggles in the French city of Dijon in April 2022:

In the same month, the first workers’ aid convoy was sent to Ukraine, where the “Dimensions of War” Conference was held on May 1 together with the Ukrainian organization Sotsyalnyi Ruh. The 800 kilograms of food, first aid kits and generators were handed over to the Kryvyi Rih Miners and Metalworkers Union:

At the end of September, the Labour Network sent the second workers’ aid convoy with a ton of first aid kits and power generators to the town of Kryvyi Rih where they met with local unionists and activists. See the photo report: On December 17, the International Conference of the Workers’ Aid to Ukraine Campaign was held, with the participation of more than 200 activists from 23 countries. On this occasion, an international crowd-funding campaign was launched to help workers during the winter. Watch the video about the activity here:

Here are major portions of Yuri Samoilov’s speech at the meeting in Warsaw:

Overcoming Capitalism: Strategy for the Working Class in the 21st Century: Reviewed

By Steve Ongerth - IWW Environmental Union Caucus, February 8, 2023

While the IWW is not an explicitely anarcho-syndicalist organization, much of its praxis fits comfortably within the anarcho-syndicalist tradition. It's not the only revolutionary organization or union that does, either, and it's evident that anarcho-syndicalism as a living, breathing revolutionary practice is alive and well in the first couple of decades of the 21st Century. It's therefore somewhat puzzling that nobody has bothered to write a book that provides an updated overview of anarcho-syndicalism for a modern audience in well over seven or eight decades.

While there have been no shortage of books that have updated the history of anarcho-syndicalism, including the much covered (but contentiously debated) Spanish Revolution of 1936, as well as numerous revolutionary union organizing efforts throughout the last century; and there have been many books detailing the history, workplace and industrial organizing campaigns, methods, and praxis of syndicalist and/or syndicalist-adjacent unions, such as (but not limited to) the IWW, the IWA-AIT, and many others, there hasn't been an English Language book laying out the basic ideas of anarcho-syndicalism since Sam Dolgoff's and Rudolph Rocker's works of the mid-20th Century.

Fortunately, Overcoming Capitalism: Strategy for the Working Class in the 21st Century, by Tom Wetzel, AK Press, 2022 finally attempts to fill that void.


The Fine Print I:

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) unless otherwise indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s, nor should it be assumed that any of these authors automatically support the IWW or endorse any of its positions.

Further: the inclusion of a link on our site (other than the link to the main IWW site) does not imply endorsement by or an alliance with the IWW. These sites have been chosen by our members due to their perceived relevance to the IWW EUC and are included here for informational purposes only. If you have any suggestions or comments on any of the links included (or not included) above, please contact us.

The Fine Print II:

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc.

It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.