Wobblies successful in organizing Starbucks

Wobblies! A Graphic History

This past Fall after protracted pressure from the IWW, Starbucks issued yet another nationwide wage increase. While the combination of precarious hours and a still-low wage leaves many baristas in poverty, it’s gratifying that more money is ending up in workers’ pockets because of the IWW campaign. Indeed, many New York City baristas have seen an unprecedented wage gain of almost 25% in just over two and a half years of Wobbly organizing.

They fought back against Starbucks union-busting attempts and won a settlement agreement, publicized the high-fat and sugar content of too many Starbucks products, and were successful in stopping Starbucks from firing an employee for wearing a Wiccan pentagram (she’d worn it for years, Starbucks only made it an issue after she joined the union.) They are expanding and now have the union in Chicago as well as NYC.

The Wobblies were a legendary labor union in the early 1900’s, known for their militancy and successful tactics. Looks like the current Wobblies have the same spirit and organizing chops.


  • You’re either with us, or you’re against us.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “legendary” – my grandfather and great grandfather both were Wobblies here in Oregon eighty some years age. The name of my business and my business icon have their origines there.

    Bush’s plagiarization of “you’re either with us…” or with the “terrorists’ has cracked me up from the gitgo. Does the stupid sub-human, or its equally stupid sub-human handlers, know they are using a Socialist (read commie pinko) slogan?

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  • I meant legendary in the sense of them doing things no union before and few after have ever done. I read once they marched on a logging camp in the northwest, were met by the sheriff and his thugs. The Wobblies said it’s our lawful right to organize here, the sheriff said I’m the law here, and attacked the Wobblies, driving them back, beating some of them.

    A few days later the Wobblies marched again on that same camp, met no resistance, and succeeded in organizing it. Wow.

    Yes, “an injury to one is an injury to all” (another way of saying “you’re with us or against us”) is straight outta Marxism, isn’t it?

  • Leslie Fish

    As an old Wobbly myself (card #X306686), I was always impressed by the old union’s imagination when it came to organizing. IIRC, the Wobblies possess the world’s greatest library of labor-organizing tactics, which they’re quite willing to share with other unions. ‘Tis pity that so few unions have taken them up on it!


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