The Industrial Workers of the World is a global revolutionary anti-capitalist labour union, formed in Chicago in 1905. It is organized and run democratically by rank-and-file members. Union dues are never deducted automatically from members paycheques, but are instead paid in person directly to union delegates. As opposed to trade or craft unions which divide workers against one another on the work site, the IWW aims to organize industrially, such that all workers in a given industry are members of the same Industrial Union (IU).
The Vancouver General Membership Branch (GMB) was initially formed in 1906 and was one of the most active branches in the early days of the IWW, particularly in the resource industries of mining, logging and shipping. The IWW was declared a banned organization by the Government of Canada during the first World War, but IWW organizers have been able to keep the union alive despite this and other forms of government repression. The current branch charter was issued in 1999.