Here’s a curiosity…
It’s been announced on Bristol Indymedia that The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) or Wobblies, as they’re better known, are going to represent a local train driver sacked by First Great Western at an Employment Tribunal in Bristol.
The militant, no-nonsense, direct action anarcho-union was huge in the US in the early part of the 20th Century where it attracted brutal levels of state repression. Lately the union’s fortunes have been mixed although they have managed to organise Starbucks workers in the US with some success over the last few years.
In Bristol, the Wobblies will be representing train driver Patrick Spackman sacked for swearing at a colleague. Spackman says: “I regret swearing at him. And I regret referring to his weight. But for management to call this ‘gross misconduct’ is just ludicrous.”
And a Wobbly spokesman said: “First Great Western have mishandled this case from the beginning. It could easily have been resolved months ago but now it will have to be dealt with by an Employment Tribunal.”
I’d calm down and not take to the streets with the red and black flags just yet though as this episode may not represent the rebirth and irresistible rise of the Wobblies locally you might have hoped. Unfortunately it appears Spackman is also a member and union activist for the RMT who have presumably dropped the case as unwinnable?
Never mind you can’t win ’em all. But let’s not forget: “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,”
If you fancy joining the Wobblies just click the link: