MMA Fighter Jeff Monson
In the third installment of our series “Politics on the Field” we bring the story of three IWW athletes. This piece of history is written by IWW Neil Parthun, a sports show host, who offers a glimpse into the lives and trajectories of the IWW members who played sports as a career, and ends with his reflections on labor in professional sports.
A Goal / Image by Monica Kostas
Last week we began our series Politics on the Field featuring pieces about where sports, life, and politics intersect. The second contribution comes to us from Monica Kostas, who also has done the artwork for our series as well many Recomposition works. She describes soccer in the life of her hometown while giving background on the sport’s history and radical roots, and reflections on playing in a militant life. In an era of unprecedented money driving the clubs and leagues, soccer gets lost in the ruckus of what capitalism does to it. With her piece, Monica reminds us of the beauty and joy that’s at stake to fight for a match worth playing.
What’s Your 5 Year Plan?
Today we post “What’s Your 5 Year Plan?” by Lifelong Wobbly which first appeared on his blog on December 3rd, 2014. The piece presents important challenges for the potential growth of the IWW over the next few years, and proposes a model for putting ideas to work. Regardless of whether the suggestions are ambitious or not, they’re specific milestones that can allow us to track progress. We think it’s important to visualize our desires for the union, but even more important to put them down in writing, and start working through measured goals to materialize that vision. We hope that you join the discussion not only with us but also with your branch members and people you know in the union to emphasize how we can direct our efforts toward improving the OBU.
USW strikers on picket duty.
Today’s post comes to us from fellow IWW’s in Houston giving us a brief overview on their recent work around the USW strikes on the oil refineries.
Click here and you can also listen to an interview with two of the Houston wobs talking about the work their branch is doing, and also their perspectives on the IWW’s projects at large.
A Houston Wobb’s Reflection on the USW Strike
Unions’ power is in decay and lately have been resorting to more creative methods in order to remain relevant. We’ve seen the Democrats putting their money behind the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) Fight For $15 in Houston at the same time attempting to “turn Texas blue.” But this dependency of unions like SEIU and the United Steel Workers (USW) on the Democratic Party means they are severely limited in what they are willing to do in the realm of tactics. This along with union density being sharply in decline, as well as union power being undermined by Right-to-Work spreading to states like Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, means the unions are not up for waging anything close to a class struggle. Instead unions like the USW maintain their position as representing only certain interests and timidly bargaining around them.