New York: IWW Wins Half-Million Dollar Backpay Settlement

What follows is an update on the IWW campaign at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, where wobblies have waged on ongoing campaign. To hear our podcast interview with someone from the campaign, go here.

Stardust Family United, a solidarity union of the Industrial Workers of the World, has claimed a huge victory over the repressive owner of Ellen’s Stardust Diner (home of the world famous singing waitstaff), Ken Sturm. In the largest settlement received by the IWW in recent history, Sturm has succumbed to the will of his workers and started payment of almost half a million dollars in back wages.

In September, just one week before a scheduled hearing to settle allegations of 19 Unfair Labor Practices, including illegal surveillance of employees engaged in protected concerted activity, the interrogation of employees regarding union activity, and the unlawful termination of thirty-one employees for organizing, Sturm reluctantly offered reinstatement to all thirty-one employees and agreed to cease harassment and surveillance of the union. Although the employer also agreed to pay back wages, it should come as no surprise that Sturm strung his former employees along for another four months, through the holiday season, before finally bowing to the power of the workers and starting payment of the $490,000 he owes them.

Stardust Family United was formed in 2016, in an effort to fight for the underserved employees of Ellen’s Stardust Diner in their struggle against the unfair, unsafe, and unlawful labor practices of their employer. Blatant disregard for the workers’ well-being ranged from ignoring pleas to fix dangerous equipment in the shop, resulting in multiple injuries on the job, to bullying tactics designed to shut down communication between employees. Undeterred, the members of SFU waged a struggle in the shop, in the streets, and in the courtroom. By refusing unsafe or unpaid work, the singing servers have dramatically improved conditions on the job. Through protests, pickets, and walkouts, they placed pressure on the boss to re-hire the illegally terminated workers. And despite Sturm’s repeated attempts to break their spirit with shameful tactics, from hateful “anonymous” text messages to false allegations in a NY Post article, SFU has stood their ground every single time. And every single time, they’ve won.

With invaluable support from the One Big Union, SFU has been relentless in holding Sturm and his army of corrupt lawyers and dictatorial managers accountable for their actions. Now that back wages are being paid to those illegally terminated, an injustice has been righted.


Call-In to Support Incarcerated Folks at Nash CI

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An incarcerated IWOC member asks for support in the form of a call-in campaign in North Carolina.

Support incarcerated folks in Nash Correctional Institution in Nashville, North Carolina by calling-in and speaking out against the Warden and the dangerous environment being created within the prison walls.

Message from an Anonymous Incarcerated Worker:

“I do need you and the other workers to help me help these guys here at Nash Prison. This warden that’s running this place is treating the people and prisoners like slaves. He is putting the Willie Lynch down on staff and prisoners, he is making this prison unsafe for his staff and prisoners. Every day he is pushing us trying to make us go off so he can keep us locked down in our cells all day. Right now he is running this place like close custody prison, locking our cell doors while we are in the block, tell his staff to open the door every hour or so. I need all IWW to help us here…Tell the union. This will help get things back to the way it should be and stop this guy from treating his staff and prisoners like slaves.”

Numbers to call:

Secretary of Public Safety: (919) 733-2126
Adult correction chief deputy and chief of prisons: (919) 838-4000
Community Corrections: (919) 716-3010

Call-In Script:

“I’m calling because we’ve received word that the warden of Nash Correctional Institution is deliberately creating an unsafe environment for both inmates and staff. We suggest he be disciplined and his actions investigated.”

PLEASE BE AWARE that these calls will, at the very least, be aggravating to staff and will disrupt their work day which may lead to aggravated responses. Because of this, the call-in may require varying degrees of emotional labor depending on staff responses.

Montreal: IWW Action Following Wave of Abusive Firings at Heritage Coffee

The following report comes from the Montreal branch of the IWW, and details a picket action against a coffee shop who fired two wobblies for union organizing.

Wednesday February 28th, the Montreal branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (SITT-IWW) started a picket line in front of the distribution centre Heritage Coffee, situated at 5715 chemin Saint-François in Ville Saint-Laurent. This picket line follows the firing of two workers, members of the SITT-IWW, for union organizing. A lot of members called on Monday to communicate to the employer their frustration towards this decision that goes completely against the most fundamental rights of the workers.

Friday February 23rd, around the end of her shift, Tessa Mascia was asked to come in the office of the Chief Operating Officer where she was fired. “The COO handed me a letter and said I was fired. I thought he was joking. He said he was not. He said “it just wasn’t working out,” like he was some teen kid breaking up with a high school hook up.” explains Tessa. The worker was however a good employee. She had one of the highest levels of productivity among her coworkers and was just certified to operate a forklift merely weeks prior. On Monday, February 26th, Kyle Shaw-Müller, another union member, was fired without even receiving a termination letter. He was asked to come into the office of the director after he trying to convince his colleagues to ask the employer to reverse his decision to fire Tessa. “I knew I was putting myself on the line: but to be fired without warning for talking to someone about another firing? Shocking.”

After numerous calls on Monday, a picket and a meeting with negotiators from the union, the employer is still refusing to cancel his illegal and rash decision. The Industrial Workers of the World will therefore not only call upon the legal means at its disposal, but will also mobilize the strength of its membership (Canadian and International) to change the employer’s mind.

The Industrial Workers of the World has many branches around the world, including one that is based in Montreal. Its members are working towards the construction of a union model based on robust working class solidarity, known as Solidarity Unionism. This model is characterized today by a focus on direct action at the workplace, as exemplified in our campaigns at Starbucks Coffee in the United-States or at Frite-Alors! in Quebec. The Union will continue in the creation and deployment of determined flash mobilization networks directly focused at the workplace in solidarity with workers under attack.

West Virginia Teachers have Ignited a Fire, and It’s Spreading

An update from the West Virginia Industrial Workers of the World about how the spirit of the strike in West Virginia is spreading. To hear our last audio report with someone in the WV IWW, go here.

As of March 5th, the statewide teacher’s strike in West Virginia will be entering it’s 8th day over 3 school weeks. Teachers launched their statewide strike despite threats from West Virginia’s Attorney General that it would be declared illegal, and they’ve stayed on strike despite an ‘agreement’ between the Governor and the unions leaders that would have left other public-sector workers behind. The unity and solidarity of West Virginia teachers has become a strong example across West Virginia and the entire country.

Senate Reneges on the Deal

The original ‘deal’ that the governor and union leaders struck was to give a 5% raise to teachers and 3% to all other state workers, in return for the teachers returning to work. However this ‘deal’ still hadn’t gone through the legislature, and the teachers voted with their feet to remain on strike. For many teachers, it seems that the biggest issue was not about a raise, it was about the public employee’s insurance program, and they felt that returning to work would be selling out other state employees. They also wisely acknowledged that the legislature hadn’t even agreed to the Governor’s deal, and might not.

In fact, on Saturday, the West Virginia Senate rejected the proposed 5% pay raise and dropped it to 4%, which the House rejected. The teacher’s aren’t accepting that, and are planning to remain on strike.

Communication Workers Strike Across West Virginia

As of March 4th, workers at Frontier Communication have gone on strike across all of West Virginia. It seems undeniable that the example of the teachers has given them a huge example of the power of a mass strike. Teachers are definitely seeing the Frontier Strike as related to their own and trying to figure out how to build solidarity between striking teachers and striking education workers. We are hoping that education workers are just the start towards a general strike of all workers in West Virginia.

Teachers in Oklahoma and Other States Begin Discussing Statewide Strikes

Over the weekend it also came out that there was significant talk about a statewide strike from teachers in Oklahoma. At least 25,000 teachers have joined a secret Facebook group calling for a statewide walkout. This would be a huge for West Virginia, Oklahoma, and the entire country. Teachers in West Virginia and elsewhere have been very excited about this, immediately linking up the #55Strong hashtag with #77Strong (referring to the number of counties in West Virginia and Oklahoma respectively).

What’s Next?

The West Virginia Teacher’s Strike has already turned itself into a model for teachers across the US and the world. There are real possibilities for this strike to continue to spread, across West Virginia as well as along teachers across the country. For people from outside West Virginia, we think the most important thing to do now would be to make contacts with education workers in your states and help them figure out how to support the strike in West Virginia, as well as spread it to other states.

How To Support and Spread the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike

What follows is a list of resources about how to spread and build the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike.

The teachers strike in West Virginia is continuing to evolve, several days after the union bureaucrats tried to call it off. Teachers voted today to occupy the capitol, although that did not end up happening. We are seeing the teachers continuing to run their own strike and give an example of what real #resistance looks like to the rest of the country and the world! The working class solidarity we are seeing as people run food distribution, take care of children, and spread the strike will be an inspiration for years. The spirit of Blair Mountain lives!

Come Out!

For people within driving distance of West Virginia, we warmly invite you to come here and talk with teachers and other people in the community wherever you can, and bring agitational materials with you. There will be a lot happening in Charleston, but it will also be valuable to go to other parts of the state if you can. Now is an important time to talk with other working-class people across this state about how they can support the teachers strike, and how they can unite their own struggles with the teachers strike. If you’re able to go but need help with gas or printing costs, let us know. Let’s figure out how to spread the strike to teacher’s 2nd jobs!


For people further from West Virginia, we strongly encourage you to begin talking in your communities about how you can support this strike and learn from it, education workers in particular. If possible, organize mass meetings of education workers to talk about next steps in your area. We’ve already heard of this happening in other states! If you want to do this and aren’t sure how, contact us or your local IWW group. The efforts of the rich to destroy public education are not limited to West Virginia. Don’t let WV Strike alone – now more than ever we need a coast-to-coast strike of education workers!


The official IWW West Virginia fund is located here.

Strike fund for West Virginia teachers is here.


You can also follow us at: or

Contact us at:


Spread the following memes on social media. Also, print out and put up this poster in support of the strike!


Audio Report: Teachers’ Strike Enters Second Week


In this audio report, we again catch up with Michael, a striking teacher in West Virginia, who is also a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). We pick up where we left off the last time we talked, and broadly discuss what has happened with the evolving strike involving tens of thousands of public education employees.

We start by discussing the organic rank-n-file rejection of the original Tuesday sell-out, which attempted to get workers to go back to work and stop the strike. Michael discusses the process in which this was rejected, and how people continued the strike. We then discuss the moving of power and agency within the strike out of the hands of bureaucrats and into those of the rank-n-file, as well as the continued mutual aid and food distribution projects which are happening all over the state. We also talk about calls from the State to ramp up repression, and what this might look like.

Our guest also explains that this weekend will be pivotal for the strike, and workers are calling on all supporters to converge at the West Virginia state capital for a rally on March 3rd, at 9:30 AM. Teachers are predicting that either the State will begin the process of attempting to repress the strike and issue an injunction to go back to work, or that the more concessions will be made, which in turn, will have to be ratified by the rank-n-file.

Whatever happens, history is in the making, and there remains massive possibilities for the struggle to not only continue, but to also grow into new sectors and workplaces under one banner. Moreover, as Michael discusses, many people’s perceptions and politics are changing through the strike, and there is growing support for grassroots, anti-capitalist direct action and organizing.

As we speak, there is also growing militancy among strikers and protesters. Jim Justice, a millionaire coal mine owner himself, recently referred to the strikers as “rednecks,” causing many to begin to rock red bandanas around their necks, a reference to the 1921, “Battle of Blair Mountain.” This reality points to a growing sense of confidence in the strikers, as well as an open embrace of insurrectionary West Virginia history.

More Info: How to Donate, Help, and Spread the Strike

Clydeside IWW member on trial for Glasgow Pride protests: New court date!

Reposted from LibCom
Clydeside IWW member on trial for Glasgow Pride protests: New court date!

Following the arrests of five protesters at last year’s Glasgow Pride, one of the arrested, a member of the Clydeside IWW branch, after a postponement of their original court date, is now facing trial on the 8th of March. Clydeside IWW have organised a solidarity protest and published a call for solidarity, reproduced here.

Clydeside Industrial Workers of the World call on all political organisations, groups and individuals sharing an emancipatory, anti-capitalist vision to support and attend the demonstration outside Glasgow Sherriff Courts on the 8th of March 2018, in solidarity with the IWW member arrested with the Red and Black bloc in last year’s Glasgow Pride.

Panos Theodoropoulos of the IWW was arrested while attempting to prevent the harassment and unjust arrest of a 16 year old during the Glasgow Pride march. The 16 year old had been targeted for holding a sign with the slogan ‘This Faggot Fights Fascists’. The police used extensive physical force on Panos, tackled him to the ground, and subsequently held him in custody for over 30 hours. Thankfully, the police dropped all charges on the 16-year-old, though they still see the need to drag Panos through the courts, for attempting to prevent what they basically admitted was a wrongful arrest!

The arrested comrades were participating in the ‘Red and Black Bloc’, organised by queer members of the IWW as an anti-capitalist, anti-fascist presence in an increasingly commercialised and depoliticized Pride.

In the same Pride march the police arrested 3 trans activists protesting Pride’s decision to have police lead. These arrestees have not been issued court dates as the police continue to ‘search for evidence’. We know from experience that the police don’t like attempts to undermine them or their attempts at ‘community outreach’. We are committed to ongoing solidarity with these arrestees, along with all those in the trans community who face harassment from the police.

At the same time, the fact that Panos’s court date is set for International Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to highlight how seemingly different struggles are intimately connected. Patriarchy, racism and heteronormativity are crucial elements of the system of repression we are living in. As imprisonment and social control increasingly penetrate our precarious lives, we extend our solidarity to the increasing number of women prisoners in the UK and to the members of the trans community who are not only imprisoned but also suffer from being misgendered by the authorities and disproportionately experience violence and harassment. We therefore encourage everyone to participate in the various events organised around Glasgow for IWD (provided below).

When activists are targeted simply for protesting, court solidarity becomes a crucial part of the fight to defend our fundamental rights to protest. Let it be shown that the movement refuses to accept the criminalisation of protesters, whether now or in the future. Let us lay the foundations, in our budding movements, for lasting, practical political solidarity.

As the IWW slogan goes, ‘an injury to one is an injury to us all’.



More information:
Original statement released by Clydeside IWW following the arrests:

Original Statement by Anti-Capitalist Queers following the arrests:

Anti-Capitalist Queers/ Pride 5 Solidarity page:

Facebook Solidarity Demo event page:

Other events for International Women’s Day in Glasgow:

Feminist and anti-capitalist rally at the La Pasionaria statue on the Clyde (assembling at 4.30 pm).

Solidarity4Repeal demonstration at George Square @ 18.00, in solidarity with women and pregnant people across the island of Ireland. Event Page:

Unite Community Event for IWD @ 18.00 in George Smith House:

Please spread the word. Guest list is private.