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What is a Wildcat Union?

0 votes
Is it an independent union based on rank and file minority and solidarity unionism, or just an unofficial union?
asked Nov 26, 2010 by anonymous
I have never heard of a "Wildcat Union", however, a wildcat strike is one in which workers take action or strike without the authorization of, or sometimes despite direct orders from, union officials.
Are you speaking of wildcat strikers who choose to form their own union? Is there a specific example of a "wildcat union"?

2 Answers

0 votes
A "wildcat union", if a such a term was actually used, would be a union that engages primarily or exclusively in wildcat strikes. However, "wildcat union" isn't a term I've really heard.
answered Mar 12, 2011 by vaguelyhumanoid (390 points)
0 votes
So far as I can tell, it is to call distinction against more formalized, 'bureaucratic' unions, which are the predominate form in a Capitalist society, whose hierarchy regulates/restricts the actions of its individual members.  Wildcat Unionism would describe itself as similar to the IWW; as a mutualist/mutual aid form of unionism rather than the more traditional marxist union, so often ruled by power dynamics very similar to the ones it was supposedly formed to resist.  Probably not a recognized term by marxist anarchists.

Most notably attributed to Kevin Carson in 'Labor Struggle in a Free Market', Ch 26 in the anthology 'Markets Not Capitalism'.
answered Jan 10, 2014 by TuringPerfect (130 points)