Another press cliche, endorsed by right-wing politicians, is that the public shouldn’t support the strike as union leaders are corrupt, wealthy, self-serving and ‘militant’.
Whilst it’s true that many union leaders are often very highly paid (though nothing compared to a failed banker or company director) and self-serving. Few, if any, are particularly militant – often doing the least possible to satisfy their increasingly irritated membership. But more importantly, it is the membership, the ordinary union members, their family and friends who are the prime movers. We are not some passive deluded mass, who simply follow the leaders, we decide for ourselves. And we’re furious.
To prevent the corruption that can follow from having a hierarchical wealthy leadership, economically distanced from its membership. The IWW has no paid officials, and all decisions are taken democratically from the membership.