Industrial Workers of the World
Printing and Publishing Workers Union
The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.
There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life.
Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the earth.
We find that the centering of the management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the evergrowing power of the employing class. The trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers.
These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry, or in all industries if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one an injury to all.
Instead of the conservative motto, ‘’A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” 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. The army of production must be organized, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.
Knowing, therefore, that such an organization is absolutely necessary for emancipation, we unite under the following set of guiding principles and rules:
Article 1: Name and Structure, Purpose
Name and Structure
- The name of this body of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) shall be known as the Industrial Union 450: Printing and Publishing Workers Union (PPWU).
- The PPWU shall be composed of formally employed, informally employed, and unwaged workers, unpaid volunteers, and students who currently work or formerly worked within the physical or digital printing and publishing industry, whether employed on a permanent or freelance basis.
- The PPWU shall nurture workplace and industry organizing efforts among formally employed, informally employed, and unwaged workers, unpaid volunteers, and students who currently work or formerly worked within the physical or digital printing and publishing industry, whether employed on a permanent or freelance basis.
- The PPWU shall encourage the growth of industrial union strategies, up to and including the formation of new Organizing Committees and Industrial Union Branch bodies.
Article 2: Membership, Initiation Fees and Dues
- Membership in the PPWU shall be open to all IWW members who produce or distribute printed or digital matter, including — but not limited to — formally employed, informally employed, and unwaged workers, unpaid volunteers, and students who currently work or formerly worked within the physical or digital printing and publishing industry, whether employed on a permanent or freelance basis.
- IWW members who are involved in more than one industry may simultaneously be members of PPWU, with full rights to democratic participation, provided that they are in said industries.
- Standing for the purposes of membership and voting in PPWU is defined under the IWW North American Regional Administration (NARA) Constitution.
Initiation Fees and Dues
- PPWU members may pay dues to any IWW body, whether General Membership Branch, Industrial Union Branch, or Industrial Union, in order to be considered in Good Standing by PPWU.
- Dues shall be assessed at the current IWW NARA rates. In keeping with this, initiation fees shall be equal to one month’s dues.
- Dues are not meant to be a barrier to entry, only a means for the PPWU to independently support its organizing. Whether or not members pay dues, they are welcome to participate in all organizing activities not explicitly prohibited by the IWW NARA Constitution.
Article 3: Meetings, Voting
- Monthly business meetings of the PPWU shall be held by conference call.
- While motions can be made on the monthly business call, voting will not occur during the call, but will instead occur on a designated digital platform, such as Loomio.
- IWW members from other Industrial Unions and nonmembers may be given a voice during the meeting at the discretion of PPWU members.
- Annually, the March monthly meeting shall serve as PPWU’s General Convention, focused on the discussion of subjects, including — but not limited to — bylaw changes, officer nominations, the creation of new committees, and other issues not addressed at other business meetings. Subjects addressed by the General Convention shall be voted on in a referendum immediately to follow.
- Voting shall occur only on a designated platform, such as Loomio. Should a PPWU member request an alternative method of voting, they shall be accommodated within reason. All votes shall be preserved for at least one year.
- The PPWU online voting process is a modified version of Robert’s Rules of Order, for the purpose of meeting the required IWW reporting criteria. Stages of the online voting process are as follows:
- A motion is proposed on a designated communication channel, such as Loomio.
- A minimum seven-day discussion and voting period will begin via a thread created on the designated voting platform and the link is shared via PPWU communications channels. During this period, the motion can be debated.
- During this seven-day period, members may offer “friendly” amendments to the motion, which may be accepted or rejected at the discretion of the member who initially made the motion. The vote shall be on the amended version of the motion.
- While the vote is active, alternative motions may be made for consideration. These alternative motions may be withdrawn by the members who move them and/or may be amended at the discretion of the member who made the alternative motion.
- Voting will be via a poll on the designated voting platform. If any alternative motions are made, the vote shall be converted to ranked choice, including each alternative motion, as well as an option for “No Action.”
- Members may change their vote at any time prior to the conclusion of the voting period.
- An affirmative vote of more than half of the members in Good Standing who are voting is required in order to pass the motion. (Abstentions are not counted towards the total number of votes.)
- In a scenario requiring a more immediate response, a motion for an emergency vote may be proposed:
- The motion intended for the emergency vote must include a thorough explanation for why the voting process should be expedited.
- The emergency vote follows the normal stages described above, however, the discussion and voting period is reduced to 24 hours.
- An affirmative vote of more than half of the members in Good Standing who are voting is required in order to pass the emergency proposal. (Abstentions are not counted towards the total number of votes.)
Article 4: Officers, Duties of Secretary-Treasurer
- The PPWU shall elect a Secretary-Treasurer for a one-year term, to begin on July 1. Notice of election, including dates, times, places, and offices to be filled, will be mailed to all members in April. Nominations for the Secretary-Treasurer will open in May. Elections will take place in June via the designated voting platform. The duties of the Secretary-Treasurer shall be appointed to the individual(s) receiving the highest number of votes via secret ballot. Departing Secretary-Treasurers are expected to spend at least one month training their replacement.
- No member may serve as the Secretary-Treasurer for more than two consecutive terms. A member may run for Secretary-Treasurer again at the end of their second term only if no alternate candidate can be found.
- As needed, the PPWU can elect multiple Secretary-Treasurers, choose to split the position into Secretary and Treasurer, and/or elect an administrative committee alongside the Secretary-Treasurer for the purpose of helping to distribute the workload.
- The PPWU shall elect Delegates to serve as general union organizers and assist in union business for one-year terms, to begin on July 1. Nominations for Delegates will open in May, with formal elections taking place in June via the designated voting platform. Delegates may also be elected throughout the year as deemed necessary, provided that they are approved by a vote of more than half of the members in Good Standing who are voting. (Abstentions are not counted towards the total number of votes.)
- The PPWU shall elect an Organizing Department Liaison (ODL) for a one-year term, to begin on July 1. Nominations for ODL will open in May, with formal elections taking place in June via the designated voting platform. The duties of the ODL shall be appointed to the individual receiving the highest number of votes. Departing ODLs are expected to spend at least one month training their replacement. The ODL is expected to report monthly to the Organizing Department Board via webform and join the Organizing Department Board email list. The ODL shall also chair the PPWU Organizing Committee.
- All PPWU officers must be in and remain in Good Standing as defined by the IWW NARA Constitution. If any officer falls more than two months behind on their dues, they shall be given the option of catching up or being replaced.
- All officers are expected to report monthly in writing and should attend PPWU calls.
- All officers are subject to recall by a passing vote of more than half of the total number of members in Good Standing. (Abstentions are not counted towards the total number of votes.)
Duties of Secretary-Treasurer
The Secretary-Treasurer shall:
- Be the responsible custodian of all records, funds and supplies;
- Issue such supplies to delegates and receive reports from them;
- Maintain such records of these transactions as Bylaws or organizing programs require;
- Liaise with the IWW NARA General Headquarters;
- Endeavor to keep all members in Good Standing and aware of all referenda;
- Complete all necessary legal filings, such as 990 and LM filings;
- Gain and maintain access to contact information for PPWU members (phone number, email address, mailing address, etc.), for example via the IWW NARA’s CiviCRM database;
- Check in with and coordinate with any standing committee Chairs, organizing or otherwise, and ensure their regular timely reports, as well as discuss what needs the committee has and communicate those needs to Delegates;
- Open and maintain bank accounts for organizing projects, if directed by the PPWU via an affirmative vote of more than half of the members in Good Standing who are voting. (Abstentions are not counted towards the total number of votes.)
Article 5: Finances
- The PPWU shall maintain a bank account in its name for the purposes of organizing and union expenses. It shall be the responsibility of the PPWU Secretary-Treasurer to keep a balanced ledger of this account and to act as liaison between the PPWU and bank.
- The primary purpose of maintaining a bank account is to supplement the financial needs of PPWU organizing projects.
- The PPWU Secretary-Treasurer shall make financial records available for inspection within a reasonable amount of time upon request by any PPWU member or member of the IWW NARA General Executive Board.
- The PPWU’s fiscal year shall be July 1 to June 30.
Article 6: Organizing, Job Branches, Job Shops, Industrial Union Branches
In order for an organizing campaign to be officially recognized by the PPWU, the following criteria must be met:
- An affirmative vote to endorse the organizing campaign by more than half of the members in Good Standing who are voting; (Abstentions are not counted towards the total number of votes.)
- The appointment of a campaign organizing committee of at least two PPWU members, who will consult with the workers within the campaign and mentor them regarding the IWW’s resources and methods.
- At each business call, this organizing committee will be responsible for reporting all aspects of the organizing drive which they oversee. All reports should be submitted in writing prior to the call in order to be included in the agenda and meeting minutes.
- The organizing committee may additionally include organizers from other IWW chartered branches as needed.
- In organizing campaigns that have been officially recognized by the PPWU, three or more members in the same workplace who are actively working to build majority union representation where union conditions do not prevail shall constitute a job branch of PPWU.
- Freelancers with shared unique industry-specific interests shall be considered by the PPWU to be “members in the same workplace.”
- The IWW Freelance Journalists Union (FJU), which originated from the New York City General Membership Branch in 2018, shall be an officially recognized job branch of PPWU.
- In geographic areas where no PPWU branches have been chartered, the PPWU and FJU will coordinate with local General Membership Branches and/or IWW members-at-large to recruit new FJU members and work toward chartering a local Industrial Union Branch.
- Job branches may elect their own internal committees and delegates.
- In organizing campaigns that have been officially recognized by the PPWU, three or more IWW members in the same workplace where union conditions prevail and where majority union representation has been established shall constitute a job shop of PPWU.
- Job shops may elect their own internal committees and delegates.
Industrial Union Branches
- Per the IWW NARA Constitution, an Industrial Union Branch (IUB) must have 10 IWW members in Good Standing.
- IUBs in printing and publishing must charter according to the Constitutions of the respective IWW Regional Administration.
- PPWU will assist in the chartering process of new IUBs in printing and publishing.
Article 7: Standing Committees`
- Standing committees can be appointed for projects of the PPWU, such as fundraising, communications, training, legal, and outreach. This does not include campaign organizing committees, which are addressed in the Organizing section of these bylaws.
- Standing committees are expected to have at least one Chair and a set of goals approved by a vote of the PPWU.
- Standing committees are expected to report during PPWU business meetings. All reports should be submitted in writing prior to the meeting in order to be included in the agenda and meeting minutes.
- The role of a standing committee Chair will be to issue reports, discuss the status of the standing committee with the Secretary-Treasurer and ODL, and indicate where they need help with their work. They will also communicate with the Secretary-Treasurer and ODL about any upcoming events.
Article 8: Agreements
- PPWU members will honor all union endorsed boycotts and strikes, IWW or otherwise.
- PPWU members will not cross any union picket line, IWW or otherwise, especially union picket lines at printing or publishing workplaces. This includes digital picket lines.
- PPWU members will be expected to treat each other with courtesy and respect.
Article 9: Amendments, Conflicting Parts, Distribution
- Any article of these bylaws may be added or amended in writing and endorsed by an affirmative vote of more than half of the members in Good Standing that are voting. (Abstentions are not counted towards the total number of voting members.)
- Amendments may be proposed at regular PPWU business meetings, General Convention, or the official online voting platform.
All parts of the PPWU bylaws conflicting with the IWW NARA Constitution are null and void.
These bylaws shall be provided to new members and made available upon request to any IWW member.
Article 10: Anti-Harassment Policy, IWW Safer Spaces Policy
The PPWU endorses the Safer Spaces Policy found in the Selected Resolutions section of the IWW NARA Constitution.
Industrial Workers of the World Safer Spaces Policy
The Industrial Workers of the World is a union committed to the emancipation of the working class. The working class is diverse and as a union we recognize that oppression is many layered. As such, we strive to keep our common places free from oppressive action, behavior, and language.
These oppressive actions and words include but are not limited to: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and any expression of disrespect and/or intolerance of size, gender identity, sexual identity/expression, (dis)ability, age, educational level, and cultural background. Because we want to learn from and educate each other, we will each be responsible for addressing these issues in ourselves and others. This policy is not about censorship, but rather opening a dialog in a respectful way that can result in all members feeling safe and free to fully participate in their union’s activities.
If a member feels this policy is being / has been violated, the following steps should be taken:
- Reference the policy to the whole group: for example, “In the IWW, we have a ‘Safer Space Policy’ that all members are mutually responsible to uphold. I feel this policy has been violated by talk of ‘[comments made].’ Please keep the Safer Space Policy in mind.”
- If the policy is still being violated, the issue should be brought up to the person in violation directly and/or the chair, an officer, a delegate, or a member whom you would like to act as an advocate on your behalf so that an effective plan of action can be instituted.
- If you have no allies locally and invoking the ‘Safer Space Policy’ fails, reach out to the Gender Equity Committee for assistance at [email protected].
If a member feels like this policy is being violated and is uncomfortable bringing this up personally, they are encouraged to seek an ally of their choosing to advocate for them. In a meeting, a person can ask for a point of personal privilege to take a break and discuss this with the necessary parties. Meeting chairs, officers, delegates, and members should be conscious of this policy and address issues as they arise.
Further, space shall be defined as any office, meeting, event (including trainings, celebrations, social gatherings, etc.), internet platform (including listservs, facebook, we.riseup, twitter, etc.) that is IWW sponsored, which includes any body formally recognized by the IWW, such as General Membership Branches, Regional Organizing Committees and Regional Administrations, Industrial Union Branches, other committees, and any accountable sub-formation of the aforementioned bodies.Bylaws approved August 3, 2022