The Lumberjack, the mouthpiece of the IWW's National Industrial Union of Forest and Lumber Workers, featured this poem on July 10, 1913. The poem sings the virtues of sabotage as a form of working class direct action. As the poem demonstrates, sabotage took a variety of forms that included incapacitating machinery, purposely limiting the pace of labor, or performing work clumsily. Whatever form it took, sabotage always had the same objective: hitting the capitalist where it hurt most - the pocket book.


By The Wooden Shoe Kid

What's the trouble with that saw?
The carriage is out of line;
And don't it beat you maw
How the hands kill time?

The engine is running hot,
That pump needs packing again;
I heard the boss say "I've got
A hell of a bunch of men."

The fireman can't keep steam,
The carriage has jumped the track;
I wonder what does it mean,
Machinery acting like that?

Lordy! Hain't this awful bad,
That shipping clerk is a sight!
He sent the limber to Bagdad,
Which should have gone to Cavite.

The old mill is running in debt,
I think the boss is getting wise;
He came to me and said, 'Jet,
What's the matter with them guys?"

I says, "Old cuss, you know full well,
That through your hellish greed;
You have given these men hell,
And kept them ever in need.

"They are awake at last,
Have donned their wooden shoes,
If you don't come clean, fast,
You'll get a case of blues."

Now slaves these words are true-
This weapon you always own-
If we our duty each will do,
Each will win a home. - Amen.


© Copyright Labor Arts Inc.