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Will another IWW branch beat Toronto in raising money for women and trans* people to travel to IWW events?

The Toronto IWW Fundraising and Literature Committee is issuing a challenge to other IWW branches: Beat us in fundraising for the Sato Fund. We will be having a fundraising event Labour Day weekend 2014 to raise money for women and trans IWW members to travel to IWW events.

We would like to encourage other branches to fundraise for the Sato Fund, so we challenge others to have fundraisers between now at September 30th, 2014. Email toronto@iww.org to let us know you are in the competition.

What is the Sato Fund?

The Sato Fund was established to memorialize FW Charlene “Charlie” Sato, an IWW member and activist who died in 1996 after a long battle with cancer. As a professor of pidgin and creole language studies at the University of Hawai’i, Charlie often was at the forefront of promoting the rights of aboriginal peoples to use their language in educational and public settings.

After her death, the IWW established the Sato Fund, which was originally intended to “help women with travel costs in order to attend the General Assembly”. The union is proud to continue with this tradition of promoting gender diversity throughout our major decision making and strategy building gatherings. This is accomplished by materially aiding fellow workers with their travel costs (including air/train/bus fare, as well as fuel costs) incurred in order to participate in these events. (More here.)


Red November, Black November

November 11th is celebrated as a day to remember the veterans of state-sanctioned war here in Canada. In the IWW we remember casualties of Class War, who have often died in November. Here is a poem by Ralph Chaplin, who also wrote Solidarity Forever, which expresses some of how we feel about Remembering in November.

Red November, Black November

Red November, black November,
Bleak November, black and red.
Hallowed month of labor’s martyrs,
Labor’s heroes, labor’s dead.

Labor’s wrath and hope and sorrow,
Red the promise, black the threat,
Who are we not to remember?
Who are we to dare forget?

Black and red the colors blended,
Black and red the pledge we made,
Red until the fight is ended,
Black until the debt is paid.

Nov. 5, 1916, over 200 Industrial Workers of the World members were headed to the docks of Everett, Washington, on the ship Vernoa to participate in a Free Speech Fight in support of the rights of union members to speak on the street corners. While they attempted to dock, a group of over 500 deputy sheriffs opened fire on the peaceful unarmed crowd, killing 11 and wounding 27. This is known as the Everett Massacre.

Nov. 11, 1887, four of the anarchist leaders of the Chicago eight-hour movement were executed because they advocated ideas of workplace justice. Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engle, and Adolph Fischer are now forever known as the Haymarket Martyrs. In June of 1893 Illinois Governor John Peter Atgeld issued posthumous pardons to these men, proclaiming them victims of a biased judge and a packed jury.

Nov. 11, 1919, a group of Legionaries marching to celebrate Armistice Day attacked an IWW union hall in Centralia, Washington. The IWW members fought back, killing four of their attackers before being captured and taken to jail. That night Wesley Everest was taken from his cell. He was castrated, then taken to a bridge and hung. While hanging over a river he was shot full of holes. Then his body was taken back to the jail and laid out in view of the other prisoners for several days. This is known as the Centralia Massacre.

Nov. 13, 1974, union activist Karen Silkwood was killed when her car was mysteriously run off the road. There was enough evidence to suggest foul play.

Nov. 19, 1916, IWW organizer, songwriter, and troubadour Joe Hill was executed by the State of Utah after being convicted of murder on flimsy circumstantial evidence. A worldwide movement to free Joe Hill included the Swedish Government and a plea from President Wilson for a “thorough reconsideration of the case,” to no avail.

Nov. 22, 1886, in Thibodaux, Louisiana, by some accounts between 30 to 100 striking black sugar workers were massacred. A newspaper of that time recorded, “Lame men and blind women shot. Children and hoary-headed grandsires ruthlessly swept down! The Negros offered no resistance, they could not as the killing was unexpected…”

Nov. 29, 1919, in the town of Bogalusa, Louisiana, once stood the world largest lumber mill, owned by the Goodyear Corporation. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters attempted to organize the mill, with wide support from the mill hands. After a lengthy campaign of intimidation, terror, and beatings the company goons attacked the union hall, killing four Brotherhood organizers. Lem Williams, Stanley O’Rourke, J.P.Bouchillon, and Thomas Gains were cold-bloodedly gunned down as they sat in the office of the Bogalusa’s Central Trades and Labor Council.

Toronto May Day 2013 – International Workers’ Day

Another May Day has come and gone in Toronto. Toronto wobblies joined the march and had a great party afterwards. Click the preview to see a video one of our members put together of the sights and sounds of the march.

Click to view a video of May Day 2013.

Click to view a video of May Day 2013.

Here are a few pictures. Check out our Facebook album with more.

May Day march down Queen St in Toronto, 2013

May Day 2013 marches down Queen St in Toronto

May Day 2013 in front of Loblaws in memory of Bangledesh garment workers murdered for profit

Wobblies and striking Porter FBO workers in Toronto's 2013 May Day march

Wobblies and striking Porter FBO workers in Toronto’s 2013 May Day march

Wobblies and striking Porter FBO workers in Toronto's 2013 May Day march

Wobblies and striking Porter FBO workers in Toronto’s 2013 May Day march

may day

Five Steps To Direct International Solidarity (April ’13 Industrial Worker)

Industrial Worker April 2013 Front Page

The April 2013 issue of the Industrial Worker is out. You can read and download it here. Below is one article about how Pheonix IWW is building international solidarity.


April 15 Day of Action: Porter Aircraft Fuelers on Strike!

Since January 10, 2013, aircraft fuelers at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto have been on strike over health and safety conditions and wages. The fuelers unionized with the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE) Local 343 in August after years of continual understaffing, high turnover and serious injuries sustained on the job. Porter hired a team of scab workers when the strike began, enabling operations to continue as usual.

On April 15, Porter is even adding another daily flight to Windsor, Ontario.


The final – and only – contractual offer Porter presented to its unionized workers was a shameful $0.25/hour raise for those without a DZ license (for small truck-driving), no raise for those with a DZ license, and the provision of fuel-resistant gloves and coveralls. Since the strike began, Porter has begun to provide its scabs with this protective gear, as if to suggest that the safety issues faced by its workforce have been resolved. The workers are some of the lowest paid in the industry, at a starting wage of $12.00/hour. Toronto is one of Canada’s most expensive cities, where a full-time living wage exceeds $16.60/hour. Porter has declined all offers from its workers to negotiate since the strike began.

Despite numerous public demonstrations, community involvement, pickets and support from other unions across the country, Porter has attempted to sidestep the strike. But we can’t allow Porter to ignore its striking workers or their demands any longer.

Here’s What You Can Do on April 15!

Solidarity demonstration at Billy Bishop Airport – Come show your support for the workers’ demands on Monday, April 15 at 6:00pm. Meet in Little Norway Park next to the airport!

Hold a solidarity picket at other Porter worksites – is your city a Porter destination? Spread the word that Porter won’t negotiate with its workers in Toronto. Below is a list of cities to which Porter flies, and text for a sample flyer.

Flood Porter’s phone lines to tell them what you think – Jam the reservation lines at 1:00PM (Eastern Time), and keep calling them all day! The lines open at 5:30AM and close at 11:00PM (Eastern Time).

Send a letter of solidarity – the Porter aircraft fuelers in Toronto would love to hear from you. Tell them what actions you’re taking to put pressure on Porter!

COPE Local 343
555 Richmond Street West
Suite 701, PO Box 1202
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3B1
Attention: Porter Strike

For the phone zap, call Porter’s toll-free reservations line: 1-888-619-8622. If you can’t reach them on their bookings line, call their customer service line: 1-416-203-2424On the customer service line, ask to speak to the Vice-President, Airport Operations and Customer Service at Porter FBO, Paul Moreira.

Sample Script:

Hi, I am calling from __________ to urge Porter Airlines to negotiate with its striking fuel workers in Toronto, Canada. I am unwilling to fly an airline that treats its employees so poorly and will not be booking a flight with Porter until the labour dispute is resolved.

[If possible, ask to speak to a supervisor, and repeat the above message]

Porter’s Destinations:

BOSTON, MA – Logan International Airport (BOS)
BURLINGTON, VT – Burlington International Airport (BTV)
CHICAGO, IL – Midway International Airport (MDW)
HALIFAX, NS – Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
MONCTON, NB – Greater Moncton International Airport (YQM)
MONT TREMBLANT, QC – Mont Tremblant International Airport (YTM)
MONTREAL, QC – Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC – Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR)
NEWARK, NJ – Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
OTTAWA, ON – MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)
QUEBEC CITY, QC – Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – Sault Ste. Marie Airport (YAM)
ST. JOHN’S, NL – St. John’s International Airport (YYT)
SUDBURY, ON – Sudbury Airport (YSB)
THUNDER BAY, ON – Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT)
TIMMINS, ON – Victor M. Power Airport (YTS)
TORONTO, ON – Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ)
WASHINGTON, DC – DULLES – Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
WINDSOR, ON – Windsor International Airport (YQG)

Here’s text for a sample flyer to distribute in your city

Want to know more? Check out @PorterStrike or http://www.dontflyporter.com/

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