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IWW Chronology (1990 - 1995)

Originally Titled, 95 Years of Revolutionary Industrial Unionism, by Michael Hargis - featured in Anarcho Syndicalist Review, #27 and #28. With additions by x344543.

1990

  • Northern California Earth First!, inspired by pro-environmentalist mill-worker Gene Lawhorn and led by Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, renounces tree spiking as a tactic to save ancient forests.
  • Willits, CA: Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney announce "Mississippi Summer of the California Redwoods" (later shortened to "Redwood Summer"), a summer of direct action to protest liquidation logging (and exploitation of timber workers). IWW Endorses Redwood Summer along with Earth First!, Greenpeace, and Seeds of Peace.
  • May 24, 1990, Oakland, CA: IWW-EF! Organizers Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney injured in a car bombing and charged by FBI and Oakland Police with transporting the bomb, charges later withdrawn. International demonstrations held in support of Bari and Cherney. The bombing was an attempt to disrupt the Redwood Summer project being organized by Earth First! to save the Redwoods.
  • Northern California: Despite the bombing of Bari and Cherney, Redwood Summer is partially successful in exposing the rape and pillage of northern California redwood forests and timber workers. Cherney participates while Bari recuperates. Mobilizations represent the largest Earth First! mobilizations yet to-date and the largest IWW organizing effort in decades.
  • IWW-EF! Local #2 established in southern Illinois to combat clearcutting in the Shawnee National Forest.
  • Unsuccessful attempt to organize workers at Barbara's Bookstore, Chicago, IL.
  • IWW participates in International Conference of Revolutionary Syndicalists in Sweden.
  • Minneapolis, MN: Staff at the homeless action group, Up and Out of Poverty, joins IWW.

1991

  • IWW moves out of Chicago for the first time since formation in 1905. San Francisco becomes the seat of the General Headquarters.
  • San Francisco Wobs agitate for a General Strike to oppose U.S. war against Iraq.
  • Workers Group, a workers' association set up by New College of California administration to coopt worker discontent, affiliates with the IWW after management tries to implement pay cuts without consulting the Group.
  • Education Workers Industrial Union Network formed.
  • EF!-IWW Local #1 organizes Redwood Summer II. It is smaller than the previous year's actions, but still continues to raise awareness of the issue.
  • IWW grants defense committee, Wobbly Bureau of Investigation (now known as the Redwood Summer Justice Project), $25,000 to investigate and sue FBI over suspected FBI involvement in attempted assassination of Bari and Cherney.
  • IWW campaigns against incineration of toxic wastes produced by Essroc Materials Company, a cement manufacturing plant, in Lehigh Valley, PA.
  • University of California at Berkeley Recyclers form IWW Job Branch.

1992

  • Albion, CA: EF!-IWW Local #1 organizes the Albion Uprising to protest Louisiana-Pacific Corporation rape and pillage of Mendocino County old growth redwoods. Some loggers and millworkers join in the fight and join the IWW.
  • Lehigh Valley, PA: IWW takes up boycott of Van Heusen shirts in support of Guatemalan unionists.
  • Ann Arbor, MI: People's Wherehouse closes, ending 10-year IWW presence.
  • Allentown, PA: Striking workers at Boulevard Bingo line up with IWW after Lehigh Valley Wobs offer support.
  • Janitors at the End Up, a gay bar in San Francisco, locked out after forming a job branch of IWW. Picketing initiated in response.
  • Berkeley, CA: ASUC Recycler IWWs strike in sympathy with teaching assistants.

1993

  • Allentown, PA: May. Negotiations begin between IWW and Boulevard Bingo. IWW strike wins contract at Boulevard Bingo in July reinstating strikers and winning $25,000 in back pay. Management later reneges.
  • Los Angeles, CA: IWW files for NLRB election at Aaron Records. Loses vote.
  • Philadelphia, PA: Temple University grad student fired for trying to organize and IWW job branch.
  • General Organizing Committee set up for Entertainment and Recreation IU 630.
  • Humboldt County, CA: Logger Ernie Pardini (then an IWW member and a veteran of the Albion Uprising) conducts the very first Earth First! tree sit in defense of Headwaters Forest which was threatened by Maxxam Corporation.
  • British section re-launched with formation of General Membership Branch in Oxford-Swindon area.
  • IWW Industrial/Environmental Toxicology Project begun in Seattle. Philadelphia-based Kinko Co-worker Network/Duplication Workers Network set up.

1994

  • Swindon, England: IWW Education Workers IU620 job branch take part in a nationwide campaign against privatization of the Research Council.
  • Allentown, PA: Boulevard Bingo bosses (Allied Airforce) sue IWW organizer Lenny Flank for libel.
  • Kinkos Co-worker Network grows.
  • Wobs launch Progressive Temps/Temp Workers Union as a union hiring hall for temporary workers in San Francisco.
  • Oxford, England, IWW occupies abandoned cinema in bid to turn it into a self-managed social center. Broken up by police after a short while. Oxford Claimants Union joins IWW.
  • London, IWW Couriers Union is organized.
  • Edinburgh, Scotland, IU620 (Education Workers) job branch set up at Stevenson College.
  • Organizing drives launched at ACCO Manufacturing and among bike messengers in Chicago.

1995

  • San Francisco and Santa Cruz IWW members establish iww.org server and website. The IWW is only the second labor union in the world (the first was an Israeli teacher's union local) with a website and the first international union to have one.
  • Wob fired for organizing at Food Bin/Herb Room in Santa Cruz, CA.
  • Berkeley, CA, Recycling Buyback Station job branch organized.
  • Ottawa, Ontario: Street musicians campaign against $5.00/day fee imposed by city.
  • San Francisco, CA, and Burlington, VT: Wobblies busted during Free Mumia demonstrations.
  • Albany, NY, IWW takes part in Living Wage Campaign.
  • Stevenson College job branch in successful petition campaign to prevent lay-offs, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Chicago, IL: IWW organizer Mitch Neher fired for organizing against speedup at ACCO. Organizing drive fades.