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From History, Workers Speak

One big union, the dream of the Industrial Union, International Workers of the World (IWW); Eugene V. Debs said in a New York speech on Dec. 10, 1905, that the industrial workers are organized not to conciliate, but to fight the capitalist class … the capitalists own the tools they do not use and the workers use these tools they do not own and this is where the power is … no workers no one to use the tools. This is one reason one should never sign a contract, which gives away the workers’ ultimate power of withholding their labor when and where it will be advantageous to the toilers. An IWW poet wrote, “In our hands is placed a power greater than their horded gold; Greater than the might of armies magnified a thousand fold; we can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old. For the unions make us strong. On April 23, 1910, another IWW member wrote, “With other of his class he built the road. Now o’er it many a weary mile, he packs his load chasing a job, spurred on by hunger’s goad. He walks and walks and walks and walks and wonders why. In the hell he built the road.” This is what happens when some worker works for years at a company and then the company moves overseas or just sells out and takes the profit and leaves the workers with nothing. These are things that need to be changed, but change only comes if we fight for it.

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