Who We Are
The I.W.W. (Industrial Workers of the World) is a member-run union for all workers, a union dedicated to organizing on the job, in our industries and in our communities.
What We Do
I.W.W. members are organizing to win better conditions today and build a world with economic democracy tomorrow.
We want our workplaces to run for the benefit of workers and communities, rather than for a handful of bosses and executives.
Janus Workers Union
Janus Workers Union is a united group of Janus Youth employees seeking to improve the lives and working conditions of all workers.
Burgerville Workers Union
BVWU is an independent collective voice of Burgerville workers whose goal is to win better working conditions by building union power on the shop floor.
The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee are workers who stand with all human beings behind bars. They are working for both improved conditions and an end to mass incarceration.
Donate to the IWW
Donate today and help build a radical labor movement in Portland, Oregon
Calendar of Events
Organize with the Portland I.W.W.!
- Interested in joining the union?
- Have questions about issues at your job?
- If you want to organize a union in your workplace or industry, you are in the right place.
Or call us any time at 503-893-2382
We’ll put you in touch with an I.W.W. member, or “wobbly,” who can help answer your questions.
Tips to Remember
Here is some advice in the short term: You will want to keep any union talk, and general conversations about wages, benefits, hours, etc., out of the ears of management.
You will want to be a model employee because you do not want to give management any reason to fire you. Your job is worth defending and improving.
Unions are legal, just not popular with bosses.
The I.W.W. (Industrial Workers of the World) is a member-run union for all workers, a union dedicated to organizing on the job, in our industries and in our communities. Here are some I.W.W. Fun Facts:
- Founded in Chicago in 1905
- I.W.W. members are referred to as wobblies
- There are general membership branches all around the world – Australia, Germany & Austria, The United Kingdom, China… just to name a few!
We are the Industrial Workers of the World because we organize industrially. This means we organize all workers producing the same goods or providing the same services into one big union, rather than dividing workers by skill or trade, so we can pool our strength to win our demands together.
Since the I.W.W. was founded in 1905, we have made significant contributions to the labor struggles around the world and have a proud tradition of organizing across gender, ethnic, and racial lines long before such organizing was popular.
We invite you to become a member whether or not the I.W.W. happens to have representation rights in your workplace. We organize the worker, not the job, and recognize that unions are not about government certification or employer recognition but about workers coming together to address common concerns. Sometimes this means refusing to work with dangerous equipment and chemicals. Other times it means agitating around particular issues or grievances in a workplace or industry.
The Portland general membership branch (or GMB) is one of the most established and active branches in the nation. While we primarily represent the food, retail, and social service industries, our members truly come from every background – from students to self-employed, non-profit to big box workers.
The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life.
Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth.
We find that the centering of the management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the ever growing power of the employing class. The trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers.
These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry, or in all industries if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one an injury to all.
Instead of the conservative motto, "A fair day's wage for a fair day's work," we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, "Abolition of the wage system."
It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organized, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.