Monthly Archives: September 2014

*CN – Violence against Women* Solidarity with FW Rory MacKinnon and Survivors of Domestic Violence

morningn-star-17-12-2013Liverpool IWW wholeheartedly welcomes the statement made this week by Clydeside wobblies, and supports their call for a boycott of the Morning Star. We stand in full solidarity with FW Rory MacKinnon, who was suspended (and effectively forced to resign) by the paper, for investigating the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union bureaucracy’s suppression of domestic violence allegations against their assistant general secretary, Steve Hedley.

We agree with FW MacKinnon that:

“[..] the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union’s members do have a right to know about their leaders’ decision not to hold a formal investigation into reports of violence against a female member, and I think the Morning Star’s readers and supporters also have a right to know that the paper’s senior staff have an explicit policy of suppressing such allegations.”

We are also in full agreement with the recent call by our union’s Gender Equity Committee, for:

“EVERY branch of the Industrial Workers of the World [to] make the active resistance of patriarchy, sexual violence and other forms of oppression a priority for their branch and the members within. We encourage our fellow workers to diligently develop and effectively implement official practices and policies that address incidents of injury where terms of immediate relief, punitive action, and transformative justice prioritize the needs of the survivor(s).”

While survivors on the radical and trade union left are frequently told that they are ‘dividing the class’ when they call out men for their abuses, we maintain that in reality, patriarchy is one of many tools which serves to divide the working class. It must be actively resisted wherever it manifests, so that we can progress towards creating a mass working class movement, inclusive of all genders. We therefore see the disciplining of FW MacKinnon as completely against the interests of the working class, and will play our part in supporting and publicising this boycott.

Freshii Union Busting Continues; Workers Picket

More news from Chicago, where Freshii food workers continue their fight for an end to union victimisation.


Freshii Workers’ Union members and supporters staged a picket today to demand an end to abuses by Freshii franchise owner Peter Irie.

The assembled group demanded that Irie re-hire illegally fired workers, cease union-busting tactics and attacks on union supporters, and officially recognize the Freshii Workers’ Union (FWU).

Peter thinks that he can continue to abuse and disrespect his workers with no repercussions,” former Freshii employee Heather Sprigler said.

With Sprigler’s help, the FWU recently won back nearly $2,000 in unpaid back wages for store employees. Sprigler was subsequently fired for concerted activity. Irie officially cited Sprigler’s role in the campaign to recover unpaid wages as a reason for her termination.

The campaign included a march on the boss on August 1. Freshii workers delivered a letter to Irie that demanded that he end wage theft practices and deliver unpaid wages to the workers in full by August 8.

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Help Needed for IWW Freshii Workers’ Union Organizers

FWs in Chicago need your solidarity!


Last month, Freshii workers at 200 A Randolph in Chicago marched on their boss to demand the return of nearly $2,000 in stolen wages and union recognition. Of the two demands, the stolen wages were returned to the workers. While the fight for union recognition continues, Heather Sprigler has been illegally fired in retaliation for her role in the organizing efforts. Last week, Alison Olhava fell ill and her boss, Peter Irie, cut her hours from a normal 35 a week to a dismal 8.  Peter has refused to meet with Alison and her IWW representatives to discuss this change in scheduling.

While ULPs have been filed, Alison and Heather are roommates and their household is badly in need of financial support. Neither Heather nor Alison are paid organizers and both rely on wage work. Their household includes Alison, her partner who is currently seeking employment, Heather, her two…

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