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One Big School Day October 25th 2014

An afternoon of discussions, presentations and workshops dedicated to building a fighting union.

Saturday 25th October, 12:00 – 17:00

Open to members and supporters of the Industrial Workers of the World.

Lunch and refreshments provided. Any access or childcare requirements email sheffield@iww.org.uk prior to the event.

IWW Offices, SYAC, 120 Wicker, Sheffield S3 8JD

12:00 – 12:30

Introductions. Tea and Coffee.


12:30 – 13:00

  1. What did the early Wobblies think? (and what can we learn from them today)

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, “Big Bill” Haywood, Joe Hill, Mother Jones (among others) are enduring icons of the early American labour movement. The impact that they had on the social struggles of their day is undeniable, but how did their ideas inform their activity within the workers’ movement? Are there any key lessons we can draw from these labour pioneers when facing comparable conditions of fractured trade unions and a general retreat of workplace organisation?


13:00 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:00

  1. Experiences from organising charity work.

    Two of our organisers present their reflections on a recent organising drive in a local charity, the power of direct action tactics and obstacles facing union growth in high turnover workplaces.

14:00 – 14:30

  1. Gender Issues in the Workplace

    IWW Sheffield Gender Equity Committee will create a space for sharing experiences of gender issues at work as well as opportunities to get involved in anti-sexist organising campaigns.


14:30 – 15:00 Break


15:00 – 15:30

  1. Workers’ Self-Management: Strengths, Weaknesses and Limitations

    Earlier this year two IWW Sheffield members attended The Workers’ Economy Conference in the Fralib occupied factory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mGc7pZwcvI). In this presentation they will share their reflections from this event, the experiences of the workers their as well as looking more critically at the issue of workers’ self –management.


15:30 – 16:00

  1. One Big Union in a global age?

Contemporary advancements in communication technologies have provided union organisers with powerful tools of global coordination and networking power. This is while capital has become increasingly mobile and globally located with supply and distribution chains spanning continents. How will organised labour grow within this new economic context? What steps do we need to take to build a fighting union that follows capital’s flow across national boundaries?


16:00 – 17:00

  1. Industrial breakouts

    This will provide a space for organisers and local activists to talk about issues that may be facing them at work as well as campaign opportunities that exist across the branch.



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