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Industrial Workers of the World Set up Shop Right Here in Chicago

A news report from Kevin Robinson, Center Square Journal

The IWW is now headquarted in Northcenter at 2117 W. Irving Park Road. Photo/Mike Fourcher, Center Square Journal.

Maybe you’ve passed this building at 2117 W. Irving Park, but did you know that it’s the headquarters of the international labor union, Industrial Workers of the World? The organization was originally headquartered in Chicago but, starting in the ’90s, began to move around—to Ypsilanti, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati—until returning to the Windy City in January 2010.

Joe Tessone, current General Secretary-Treasurer of IWW, explained the reason for the frequent relocation: “For awhile the organization hasn’t had quite enough people running for office, so [the headquarters] have moved around to make it easier for people to take the job of Secretary-Treasurer. Rather than you having to move to Chicago, the headquarters moved to you.”

Why did the IWW choose Northcenter?

“Our Chicago branch office is on the South Side, at 37 South Ashland, so we wanted some place that was in a different part of the city,” Tessone said. “The space here suits our needs.”

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