Is your boss owing you money? Do you want to get involved in actions to improve workers’ conditions, not just for one week of the year and not just about the issue of unpaid wages? Let us know. The International Week Against Unpaid Wages was established in 2019 by the International Workers' Association (IWA) to highlight the phenomenon of unpaid wages and the possibilities to fight back using anarcho-syndicalist methods. From 10th to 16th October, we will draw attention to this issue in various forms.
WHAT WE DO
Unpaid wages are a widespread phenomenon despite the fact that in many countries it is a criminal offence. As unions, we prove in practice that together we can oppose it, even in workplaces with dubious (or no) contracts and informal verbal agreements.
When we take action to get the unpaid wages we show the bosses that the problems they cause are no longer dealt with by individuals, but by a group of people who know what to do and are determined not to give up. We are making it clear that no one gets away with non-payment of wages (including probationary pay, overtime bonuses, compensation for wages and salaries, etc.) easily.
We can succeed. The more so when we come together, rely not on the courts but on our own abilities and actively engage in our struggles for wages owed. For it is through our own efforts that we can really change the conditions we live in. And if we act through unions, we stand a better chance of not only getting the wages owed, but also of improving the overall situation in workplaces, communities and society in general.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INTERNATIONAL WEEK AGAINST UNPAID WAGES
During the "Week" we raise awareness about non-payment of wages, organise protest actions in front of companies that do not pay wages or those we are currently fighting against, and we discuss ways to help each other in practice.
• If your boss owes you wages and you want to act, contact us.
• Share your experiences of how you managed to get your owed wages.
• Spread our promotional materials on the topic (stickers or posters) in your area.
• Share posts about the topic on social media.
• Take part in activities aimed at improving conditions for workers, not just during one week of the year and not just about the issue of wages owed.
For a better idea, we recommend the following article on what the "Week" looked like last year:
IT IS MORE THAN THAT – THE ANARCHO-SYNDICALIST APPROACH
While unpaid wages can be won, capitalism will always play into the hands of the bosses to try the same old but also new tricks on us again and again to make more profit (or cover their losses).
Rising prices and inflation around the world are making our living conditions even worse. We find ourselves in a situation where unpaid wages have even more devastating consequences on us and the people who rely on us.
This situation opens up a space for questions about broader context, for example about the need for struggles for higher wages. But when we look at how we and the people around us live and how much oppression is happening around us (not to mention the destruction of the planet and the climate crisis), we think that it makes sense to contemplate a completely different social order.
The unions affiliated to the IWA strive for more that just improving workers’ conditions by fighting for higher wages, better working conditions, owed wages, etc. We want a world in which people’s needs are paramount. A world without capitalism and its production for profit, which has brought us to the brink of an ecological catastrophe. A world without hierarchies in all spheres of social life that artificially divide us and are a breeding ground for inequality and oppression. And a world without state as the saviour of capitalism and the holder of power over society. We don’t need any of those things to live a happy life and to develop our society.
That’s why we associate with workers in regions all around the world. We organise ourselves in a way to avoid hierarchical relationships among us and give every single person a say. We share our experiences and build a culture of mutual support.
If you like our approach, contact us.
To learn more about the IWA, visit
Written by Priama Akcia union (IWA/AIT Slovakia )