Industrial Workers of the World 'Safer Space Policy' Resolution
[This is a petition to put the following motion onto the 2014 referendum ballot. Per Article IX, Sec. 2 (a) of the IWW Constitution, "A referendum on any organization question, including constitutional amendments, may be initiated by the General Executive Board, or by a petition of 5% of members not in bad standing. The number of members at the beginning of each calendar year will be used for the entire year in determining total membership." As reported in GOB 6, membership numbers for Jan. 1, 2014 are unable to be determined due to issues with the database, and subsequently the GEB passed a motion to use membership numbers from the previous year. Therefore, 99 signatures are needed from members in good standing in order to include the following motion on the 2014 referendum ballot.]

Industrial Workers of the World ‘Safer Space Policy’ Resolution

WHEREAS, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) actively opposes bigotry, discrimination, and harassment on and off the job; and

WHEREAS, the IWW does not exclude from membership any worker based on gender, sex, race, ethnicity, geographic location, sexual expression/identity, size, age, (dis)ability, education level, etc. or any combination thereof; and

WHEREAS, all formal bodies of the IWW must aim to uphold these principles by providing the tools to protect and enforce them, ensuring that all workers can fully participate in their union’s activities; therefore

BE IT RESOLVED, that the IWW adopt the following official ‘Safer Space Policy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ‘Safer Space Policy’ shall apply to all offices, meetings, events, or communication platforms that are IWW sponsored; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this policy be added to the ‘Preamble, Constitution, & General Bylaws of the Industrial Workers of the World’ under ‘Selected Resolutions’ as the first item.


Industrial Workers of the World Safer Space Policy

The Industrial Workers of the World is a union committed to the emancipation of the working class. The working class is diverse and as a union we recognize that oppression is many layered. As such, we strive to keep our common places free from oppressive action, behavior, and language.

These oppressive actions and words include but are not limited to: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and any expression of disrespect and/or intolerance of size, gender identity, sexual identity/expression, (dis)ability, age, educational level, and cultural background. Because we want to learn from and educate each other, we will each be responsible for addressing these issues in ourselves and others. This policy is not about censorship, but rather opening a dialog in a respectful way that can result in all members feeling safe and free to fully participate in their union’s activities.

If a member feels this policy is being / has been violated, the following steps should be taken:

1. Reference the policy to the whole group: for example, “In the IWW, we have a ‘Safer Space Policy’ that all members are mutually responsible to uphold. I feel this policy has been violated by talk of ‘[comments made].’ Please keep the Safer Space Policy in mind.”

2. If the policy is still being violated, the issue should be brought up to the person in violation directly and/or the chair, an officer, a delegate, or a member whom you would like to act as an advocate on your behalf so that an effective plan of action can be instituted.

3. If you have no allies locally and invoking the ‘Safer Space Policy’ fails, reach out to the Gender Equity Committee for assistance at GEC@IWW.org.

If a member feels like this policy is being violated and is uncomfortable bringing this up personally, they are encouraged to seek an ally of their choosing to advocate for them. In a meeting, a person can ask for a point of personal privilege to take a break and discuss this with the necessary parties. Meeting chairs, officers, delegates, and members should be conscious of this policy and address issues as they arise.

Further, space shall be defined as any office, meeting, event (including trainings, celebrations, social gatherings, etc.), internet platform (including listservs, facebook, we.riseup, twitter, etc.) that is IWW sponsored, which includes any body formally recognized by the IWW, such as General Membership Branches, Regional Organizing Committees and Regional Administrations, Industrial Union Branches, other committees, and any accountable sub-formation of the aforementioned bodies.

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