About Us – Sobre Nos
You made it, Fellow Worker! Welcome to SON HUELGAZ, an official publication of the Industrial Workers of the World labor union in Arizona and Sonora.
Llegaste, Compa! Bienvenido a SON HUELGAZ, una publicacion oficial del sindicato les Trabajadores Industriales del Mundo en Arizona y Sonora.
First off, you might be wondering about the funny name. The “I” stands for Industrial, not International… Just kidding. You mean SON HUELGAZ. What does it mean? Well, it’s a made up word derived from HUELGA which is the Spanish word for strike and the abbreviations SON for Sonora and AZ for Arizona. The publication is conceived as a journal of strikes and strikers, huelgas y huelgistas, in Sonora and Arizona. We want the publication to serve as a link between rebel workers in Arizona and Sonora and we hope that it will contribute to building up an IWW presence in both states.
Antes que nada, vamos hablar sobre el nombre raro. La “I” significa Industrial, no Internacional… Es broma. ¡El nombre SON HUELGAZ! ¿Qué significa? Bueno, es una palabra inventada derivada de HUELGA y las abreviaturas SON para Sonora y AZ para Arizona. La publicación está concebida como una revista de huelgas y huelgistas, strikes and strikers, en Sonora y Arizona. Queremos que la publicación sirva como enlace entre les trabajadores rebeldes en Arizona y Sonora y esperamos que contribuya a construir una presencia del IWW en ambos estados.
We currently have two Branches of the IWW in Arizona, one in Phoenix and one in Tucson. We have individual members, often nicknamed “Wobblies,” in other towns such as Flagstaff, Bisbee, Prescott, and Nogales. Individual workers in Sonora have signed up into the IWW, on and off recently, but they have not had the glue necessary to bind them into a functioning Branch of the IWW. We hope that SON HUELGAZ can provide that glue for Sonoran IWWs. Meanwhile, we want SON HUELGAZ to be a common project among IWWs in Arizona which can help build a regionally-based strength to our union.
Actualmente tenemos dos Ramas del IWW en Arizona, una en Phoenix y otra en Tucson. Tenemos miembros individuales, apodades “Wobblies”, en otras ciudades como Flagstaff, Bisbee, Prescott y Nogales. Trabajadores individuales en Sonora se han inscrito en el IWW, de vez en cuando recientemente, pero no han tenido el pegamento necesario para vincularles a una rama funcional del IWW. Esperamos que SON HUELGAZ pueda proporcionar ese pegamento para les IWW de Sonora. Mientras tanto, queremos que SON HUELGAZ sea un proyecto común entre les IWW en Arizona que pueda ayudar a construir una fuerza regional para nuestro sindicato.
Now, let’s talk about this IWW. The Industrial Workers of the World is a labor union unlike any other. We are not just any old labor union that helps workers organize and fight the boss. We are a living and breathing link to the historic mission of the working class for our full and total emancipation from the slave bondage of capitalism.
Ahora, hablemos de este IWW. Les Trabajadores Industriales del Mundo es un sindicato como ningún otro. No somos cualquier viejo sindicato que ayuda a les trabajadores a organizarse y luchar contra les patrones. Somos un eslabón vivo y palpitante de la misión histórica de la clase trabajadora para nuestra plena y total emancipación de la esclavitud del capitalismo.
If you’ve ever thought that you just wanted to shake your complacent, zombified co-workers and tell them, “Snap out of it! It doesn’t have to be this way!!” – then you have come to the right place. We believe that fighting employers is not just a fun way to pass the time. It’s a way for workers to see that the whole system is rigged against them. Once workers start to ask for the things they need, and witness, firsthand, the bottomless hatred this engenders in the hearts of their former “family” of exploiters, an observant nine-to-fiver will soon start to question why we merely beg for scraps instead of demanding everything.
Now, let’s talk briefly about what else makes the IWW so special. Jealousy has gotten the best of them, and thus many labor unions and assorted orgs have recently succumbed to copy/pasting our unique traits. Nevertheless, here’s why the IWW is different:
1.) You can join as an individual worker, right now, from anywhere, regardless of citizenship status, incarceration status, job position, you name it. Any worker can join the IWW. All you would have to do is head over to iww.org. You can even be a low -level supervisor, in other words a “foreman” with limited authority. You just can’t be an Employer. Or a cop. Our open membership is uncommon because most labor unions have all kinds of rules about who can and cannot join and don’t let individual workers just sign up.
2.) We train you on how to become a fearless union organizer and revolutionary. In the IWW, the sky is the limit. We want you to get as much training, experience, education, and knowledge as you can. Finding the IWW, for many of us, was like discovering a portal to another dimension; the strange and fantastic dimension where the rich and powerful are the villains and everyday working people are the real heroes. I know this sounds crazy, but the IWW is unique in our earnest efforts to turn your average staff member into a flaming staff of justice. Even in the world of Labor, you will find that the honchos are still in charge. The officials of what we call the “Business Unions” would prefer you keep quiet and do what you’re told; let your dues money pay for lawyers and lobbyists; no need to go “Norma Rae” on anybody; we’ll let you know what comes back from Legal…
3.) You can “take the union with you” wherever you go. Whether you quit, get fired, move to another country, get sent to prison, or transmogrify into a celestial being, you’re still a full member of the IWW. Ask around, other unions won’t let you do that. The day you quit your job (or the union lets them fire you!) is the day the Business Unions forget you ever existed.
4.) We maintain and promote true democracy. It’s not pretty sometimes, but the IWW is one of the most democratic organizations out there: every member has a voice and a vote; there are no second and third-tier memberships; there are no permanent leaders and all duties rotate; there are no paid officials making triple digits; regular worker-members run everything; just about everything is voted on and reported back on; decision-making and finances are totally open; pretty much anybody can run for pretty much any position; and there’s always tons to do. Why is this significant? Many Business Unions and even some Workers’ Rights “orgs” have opaque and undemocratic leadership structures. In other words, you might be a member, but don’t go around questioning how things work.
5.) We know where it’s at. You can go around looking, but you’re not going to find an outfit quite like the IWW. We’re a fighting, democratic organization of and for the working class, not the bigwigs. We welcome you whether you are undocumented or incarcerated. Whether you’re a student or a stripper; a caregiver or a coal miner; a clerk or a cook; a homemaker or a housebuilder – the IWW is the union for you. Consider joining the One Big Union, right now, today, and lending a hand to the work.