“Ben Fletcher’s all-out revolutionary industrial unionism exemplifies Wobbly-style working class solidarity at its creative best.”
— Franklin Rosemont
ONE OF THE GREATEST HEROES of the American working class movement! The great African American Wobbly organizer, Benjamin Fletcher (1890-1949), was noted for his brilliant organizing ability and imaginative on-the-job strategies, as well as for his courage, humor, and excellence as a soapbox orator. Not surprisingly, he was one of the IWW’s most admired and best loved figures. Along with a biographical sketch of Fletcher, reminiscences of him by fellow workers who knew him well, and an impressive selection of Fletcher’s own writings and speeches, Peter Cole’s impressive introductory biographical essay also chronicles the ups and downs of the Philadelphia waterfront union in which Fletcher played such a leading role: Local 8 of the IWW’s Marine Transport Workers Industrial Union 510.
“One of the leading organizers of the industrial Workers of the World. He has a vision far beyond that of almost any Negro leader we know.”
— A. Phillip Randolph
“Courageous and dedicated to the emancipation of the working class.
— Matilda Rabinowitz Robbins
“In a union noted for great organizers, Fletcher was one of the greatest. Local 8's achievements are still a model for us all.”
— Carlos Cortez