In an article in today’s Grand Rapids Press, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, a radical labor union that has been largely dormant since being suppressed by the US government during World War I for their opposition to the war (ex: the Bisbee deportations of 1192 “enemies of the state” in 1917), had this to say about the current election and the state of labor unions:
At a picnic after the parade, Matthew Clark professed no faith that a Democratic president would make much of a difference. The Grand Rapids man calls for radical change.
A member of the Industrial Workers of the World, Clark, 27, believes workers must seize control of the production process, but he is not sure how to accomplish that.
‘The fundamental structure needs to be changed, away from making a profit,’ Clark said. ‘Workers should be able to control it.’
While these points are certainly valid, it is rather odd that the Grand Rapids Press would focus on a union that has not been particularly active over the past 85 years instead of interviewing current union members about the status of the the US labor movement. At 19 words the quote from the Industrial Workers of the World was the longest quote from an active union memberï¿½the other union member interviewed, a member of Teamsters Local 406, was retired.
The local chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World can be contacted via email at [email protected] and has bi-weekly meetings on the first and third Thursdays of the month at the Division Avenue Arts Cooperative.