Monthly Archives: August 2015

Open letter to Families Fighting for Justice

Dear Families Fighting For Justice,

This is an open letter to your organisation, which has been made public on the website of Liverpool Industrial Workers of the World, a trade union.

It has come to our attention that your charity makes heavy use of two of the government’s so-called ‘workfare’ programmes – the Mandatory Work Activity and the Community Work Placement schemes. As you will be aware, these schemes compel people to work for you for free over a period of six months, on pain of likely losing their benefits – and therefore their means of supporting themselves – if they refuse, or often if they are just late etc. This cruel system has contributed to many suicides nationally, as well people simply wasting away from malnutrition.

We understand that your organisation does important work, which would otherwise go undone if you were not in operation. It is crucial that people whose loved ones are the victims of murder and manslaughter receive adequate support from the community, so they can begin to steady their own lives amidst what your website identifies as being an “emotional rollercoaster”.

In fact, we believe that the need for such peer support is so obvious, your organisation should be able to make an appeal to the community for volunteers, rather than compelling people to work for you, and risking their wellbeing, as well as undermining the conditions of people who are paid a wage locally.

We would therefore ask you to stop using workfare as soon as practically possible, and sign the Keep Volunteering Voluntary declaration, as Bulky Bob’s did last autumn. If we do not receive a positive response from you, we will regretfully have no choice other than to spread awareness of your charity’s unprincipled behaviour further and wider.

Yours faithfully,

Liverpool Industrial Workers of the World

Your Class Needs You!


About twenty people met in Liverpool Central Library’s meeting room 2 last night, as part of IWW national secretary Dave Pike’s speaking tour of England, Scotland and Wales. Dave’s presentation – called ‘Your Class Needs You’ – attracted a mixture of members, prospective new wobblies (or ‘probblies’ in IWW lingo) and people who were just curious what the IWW they knew from tales of Joe Hill were up to nearly a century after his murder.

It was a lot less eventful than the last time Liverpool IWW met on William Brown Street. In 1921, scouse wobblies led by the writer George Garrett occupied the front of the Walker Art Gallery, and were met with a full scale police riot.

For all us IWW members love the old stories, this was evening very much focused on the IWW of today, and how a new generation of relatively young, casualised workers are leading the way with some inspirational campaigns and struggles. We watched videos of workers from Starbucks, Jimmy Johns and London language schools fighting for improvements to their working lives.

The modern day Liverpool IWW are planning some big things over the next few months, and are thrilled to have settled into our new home of Liverpool Central Library. Watch this space, as well as our Facebook and Twitter. And yes, JOIN US!