IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee Bylaws & Procedures

Article I - Name & Purpose

a) The name of this committee shall be the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and it shall be a standing committee of the North American Regional Administration (NA-RA) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). 

b) IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) shall organize all incarcerated workers in the prison industry, including workers in detention centers, on probation, parole, or house arrest, or otherwise recognized as being significantly impacted by the intrusion of the prison industrial complex in their lives with the goal of eventually forming an Industrial Union. After the IU is formed, IWOC shall serve as a standing committee tasked with facilitating the participation of ex-prisoners who wish to support IU 613 in a meaningful way via local IWOC groups even after they have completed their sentences/probation/parole and obtained a job on the outside and are transferred into a different IU.

c) IWOC is a body of the IWW and shall not act in contradiction of the IWW Constitution or Bylaws.

Article II - Membership

a)  Those active in IWOC shall be considered members of IWOC. All IWOC Locals must create expectations and accountability practices for membership including training, self-improvement, and regular IWOC work. All trustworthy regular participants should be encouraged to join the IWW. 

Article III – Locals

Section 1 - Inside Locals

a) An inside IWOC Local may be chartered by the IWOC Steering Committee once 5+ IWW Members within a facility, state, or other regional boundary have shown evidence of collectivity through their work with an outside IWOC local, branch, or IWOC HQ.

b) Inside IWOC locals should also select a delegate for the Steering Committee from among their membership and identify a trusted outside liaison. The prospective inside local should work with their liaison and the IWOC Steering Committee to determine how the delegate will participate in Steering Committee work.  

c) Inside IWOC Locals shall strive toward becoming a chartered Industrial Union Branch (IU 613). 

Section 2 - Outside Locals

a) Literature Group - A Literature Group shall consist of 1-3 Outside Members.  They shall send literature to the inside, connect inside leaders to the Steering Committee.  They shall also do targeted outside organizing to grow a Support Group.  

b) Support Group - A Support Group shall consist of 4-9 Outside Members.  They shall have a PO listed in the IWOC directory.  They shall be in regular phone contact with inside delegates, report monthly to the Steering Committee, and can apply for funds from the Steering Committee.  They shall strive to grow an IWOC Local that includes ex-prisoners and families of the incarcerated.  

c) Outside Local - An Outside Local shall consist of at least 10 IWOC members, at least 1, but preferably 3 of which must be an IWW member in good standing.  Outside Locals shall have bylaws and be chartered by the Steering Committee.  Locals with at least 5 IWW members in good standing shall elect a delegate to the Steering Committee and are eligible to receive an annual budget from the Steering Committee, but are encouraged to seek funds from their IWW branch first if possible. Locals must be sufficiently representative of directly impacted and marginalized communities or they may have their powers suspended or revoked to focus on local work.

Article IV - IWOC Headquarters

a) IWOC Headquarters (IHQ) shall be designated by the Steering Committee.

b) IHQ shall be the general clearing house and shall be the default point of contact for inside IWOC members and other prisoner contacts.

c) IHQ shall coordinate mailing responsibilities.  

d) IHQ shall have a delegate on the Steering Committee unless a chartered Local exists in that city. 

Article V - Steering Committee

Section 1 - Duties & Responsibilities

a) The IWOC Steering Committee shall be the governing body of IWOC in between the annual IWOC Conferences

b) The IWOC Steering Committee shall be responsible for chartering and de-chartering IWOC Locals.

c) The IWOC Steering Committee shall have the power to author and publish statements on behalf of IWOC.

d) Support growth and training of Branches and Locals

e) Allocate funds from the budget set at Conference

f) Plan the Conference and select proposals from non-Branches to be brought to the Conference

g) Respond to IWOC inquiries

Section 2 - Composition

a) The IWOC Steering Committee shall be comprised of delegates from chartered IWOC Locals, a delegate elected by the ex-Prisoners caucus, and a delegate from IWOC Headquarters if there is no Local in the city where IWOC Headquarters is located.  All delegates are recallable by the body which elected them.

b) All Steering Committee members shall be IWW members in good standing.

Section 3 - Chair

a) The IWOC Steering Committee shall elect its own chair.

b) The IWOC Steering Committee Chair shall be responsible for scheduling regular conference calls, reporting monthly to the GOB, and maintain contact with the GEB and ODB.  

c) The Chair will maintain Bylaws, Mission Statement, MPP language, meeting minutes, records of motions, and other founding documents on file.

Article VI – Process

a) A quorum shall be a majority of the elected delegates.

b) There shall exist one listserv for IWOC members for IWOC Discussion and one listserv for IWOC Steering Committee business.

c) Steering Committee motions and voting shall take place on the IWOC Steering Committee business listserv.

d) A 48 hour draft period for motions is encouraged but not required.


Article VII - IWOC Conference

a) The annual IWOC Conference shall be the highest decision making body of IWOC.

b) The Conference process and host site shall be determined by the IWOC Steering Committee


Article VIII - Media Sub-Committee

a) The IWOC Media Sub-Committee shall consist of 3 members appointed by the IWOC Steering Committee. 

b) The Media Sub-Committee shall be responsible for the maintaining national IWOC website, building media contacts, doing social media, fulfilling interview requests when needed, authoring press releases when needed, and creating the newsletter.


Article IX – Revision

These bylaws can be changed by a majority vote of the Steering Committee or by a majority vote at the IWOC Conference. If these bylaws are changed an updated copy should be submitted to GHQ and the IWOC GEB contact.