Becoming a member

It does not take long to figure out that workers and their employers do not have the same interests. Workers want shorter hours, higher pay, and better benefits.

We want our work to be less boring, less dangerous, and less destructive to the environment. We want more control over how we produce goods and provide services. We want meaningful work that contributes to our communities and world. Our employers, in contrast, want us to work longer, harder, faster, and cheaper. They want fewer safety and environmental regulations and they demand absolute control over all decisions, work schedules, speech, and actions in the workplace.

The easiest way to stand up for each other in our workplaces and communities and the easiest way to improve our working conditions is to join a union. That is why employers fight so hard, and spend so much money, to keep unions out of their workplaces. Workers with unions generally have higher pay and job security, better benefits, and fewer scheduling problems. More pay equals fewer hours at work and more hours for enjoying the good things in life. Union workplaces are safer and have less harassment, discrimination, and favoritism. This is because a union gives workers the power to make workplace decisions. The less we let our employers make all of the decisions, the better our lives and communities will be. Unions also provide mutual aid and community. This means assistance with problems at work, but it could also mean help with a community project or fighting a landlord.

Whether your job sucks or is „pretty good“ (at least today), we in the IWW believe you should join us for the following reasons. We need to start sticking up for our coworkers in our workplaces and in our industries. Ask around on your next shift. How many coworkers have two or three jobs? How many are one paycheck away from an eviction? We have a duty to our co-workers, and those who will follow in our footsteps, to make things better. The only way to do this is to organize together. When we band together around our common experiences and interests, we can improve our jobs and industries. Our labor, not our bosses, is what makes our workplaces tick and we can use our labor power to improve our jobs and our communities in the short term. In a lot of ways, that is what unions are all about.

With the IWW, you also belong to a union that has a long term vision and plan for workers‘ control of their own work, without bosses, making our industries and economy democratic.

Founded in Chicago in 1905, the IWW is open to all workers. Don’t let the „industrial“ part fool you. Our members include teachers, social workers, retail workers, construction workers, bartenders, and computer programmers. Only bosses are not allowed to join. You have a legal right to join a union and your membership is confidential. It is up to you whether you discuss the union with your co-workers. If you are currently unemployed, you can still join. We are a volunteer-driven union, and this means we, not union bosses, run the union. The IWW is not controlled by or affiliated with any political party or political movement. No money goes to politicians. Membership dues are used to maintain the union and assist organizing campaigns. As a result, monthly dues are low.

GLAMROC is the acronyme for „German Language Membership Regional Organizing Commitee“ – the administrative superstructure for the IWW-Branches in the German-speaking regions of Europe.
You do not have to be German-speaking or a citicen of the concerned countries, to apply for IWW-membership at the GLAMROC. If you do so, however, your membership will then be primarily administered by the GLAMROC-secreteriat.

From the GLAMROC you’ll get:

  • our internal Newsletter (twice p.a.);
  • access to the internal german mailing-list;
  • a german edition of the IWW-manifesto „One Big Union“;
  • your very own Red Card – the legendary membership card of the IWW.

Please note: Your application is not valid before you have paid membership dues in the amount of two monthly contributions and the application fee in the amount of one monthly contribution to this account:

Account Holder: IWW-GLAMROC
IBAN: DE28430609676009668100

For international transactions: IBAN: DE28430609676009668100
BIC (internationale Bankleitzahl): GENO DE M 1 GLS

Preferably you should institute a standing order for your monthly dues.

Nothing will change until we organize. Joining the IWW is easy. Just give us a call. The sooner you do, the sooner things will improve and the sooner we, and not the bosses, will enjoy the good things in life.

You can become a member by submitting an online-application for IWW-membership.

Or you can fill out our application form (German) and hand it to a Delegate at your local IWW-group or send it by mail to IWW, Haberweg 19, 61352 Bad Homburg, Deutschland.

Or check the International Directory on for informnation about the IWW in your region: