Industrial Workers of the World IWW

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)


a trade union organization founded in 1905 in the USA. W. Haywood, E. Debs, and D. De Leon were active in its creation. The IWW based its activity on the need to destroy capitalism as a system and made its aim the struggle against the “policy of class collabration” pursued by the leaders of the American Federation of Labor (AFL). In contrast to the AFL, the IWW was built on the principle of industrial unionism, and it organized mainly unskilled workers. Anarchosyndicalists captured the leadership of the IWW in 1908. Despite errors of an anarchosyndicalist nature, the IWW played a significant role in the history of the American labor movement. During its existence, the organization conducted no fewer than 150 large-scale strikes. The IWW took an antiwar position during World War I and welcomed the October Revolution in Russia. In the 1920’s, after revolutionary elements left the IWW and joined the Communist Party of the USA, the organization gradually faded from the political scene.


Foner, P. S. Istoriia rabochego dvizheniia v SShA, vol. 4. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from English.)
Istoriia rabochego dvizheniia v SShA v noveishee vremia, vol. 1. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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