Amalgamated Association of the Iron, Steel & Tin Workers of North America


1. This Ritual shall, under no circumstances whatever, be submitted or subjected to the inspection of any person not, a member in good standing of the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers of North America; neither shall it, under any consideration, be allowed to remain in the hands of any person during the recess of the lodge, except in those of the proper officers; and whenever practicable, it shall be locked up in the desk or drawer in the lodge room.
2. During the opening, closing, initiatory or installation ceremonies, or during the reading of the minutes, the Guard shall not allow any brother or sister to either enter or retire.
3. As much of the impressiveness and solemnity of the initiatory ceremony depends upon the manner in which the charges are delivered, those most capable of discharging this duty should be selected to conduct the initiation.
4. The obligations, charges and responses should be committed to memory, and delivered in a clear, emphatic, distinct and solemn manner; and under no circumstances shall the initiatory ceremony be performed in an indifferent or farcical manner.

Opening of the Lodge

The hour of meeting having arrived, and a quorum being present, the President shall take the chair and give one rap with the gavel, upon which all officers and members shall be seated and a general silence shall be observed.
Brothers (and sisters) we are about to open this lodge of fraternally united Iron, Steel and Tin Workers, for the purpose of considering such measures as will tend to perpetuate our organization, spread its principles, elevate our trade, and advance our interests individually and collectively. All not members of the Order will please retire.
If any of the officers are absent, the President will make such pro tern. appointmen4s as may be necessary.
Brother (or sister) Guide, you will communicate to me the password, after which you will examine all present, and report any officer or member who cannot give you the same.
After completing the examination, the Guide will report as fellows:
Mr. President, I have examined the brothers (and sisters) present, and find them all qualified to remain.
We will now sing the Opening Ode.
In labor’s cause unite.
And join with all your might—
On to the fray.
Raise labor’s standard high,
And to the world reply,
The glorious battle cry—
"Union for aye!"
Combined we then must be
In perfect unity
To win the fight.

Let every man uphold
His union, grand and bold;
It’s glorious truth unfold—
Our cause is right.
Our homes we must defend,
And to this noble end
We all must aim.
Then let our motto be,
"Union and Liberty,
Protection full and free,
In labor’s name."
After which the President will call the Vice President to his (or her) feet, who, upon delivering his or her charge, will remain standing, and in like manner the Secretaries, Treasurer, Agent, Guide and Guard.
Brother (and sister) officers, what are your duties?
To assist you in the performance of your duties, and officiate for you during your absence.
To keep a correct record of the proceedings of this meeting.
To keep just and true accounts between this lodge and its members; receive all moneys, and pay the same to the Treasurer.
To safely keep all moneys of the lodge, and pay the same only on the order of the President and Recording Secretary.
To solicit business for the Amalgamated Journal and report quarterly to the Managing Editor, as required by the Constitution.
To place and replace all property of the lodge in a careful manner, and examine all present at the opening of the lodge, and see that they are qualified to remain; conduct candidates at initiation, introduce visitors, and perform such other duties as the lodge may require.
To guard the entrance to our ledge, and allow none to retire without your command, nor admit any without the Password, only by permission of the Vice President.
The President will now give three raps with the gavel, upon which all the members will rise.
By virtue of my office I have charge over this lodge. I am bound by my obligation as a member and as an officer, to see that our laws are strictly enforced; to preserve order and decorum, and to see that proper attention is given to the business for which we have assembled. It is your duty to remain here until the lodge is regularly closed, and take an active interest in every subject that may properly come before our meeting.
Our respective duties are plain and I need not urge their faithful discharge upon you. Let our Counsel be tempered with kindness, reason, moderation and the firmness of true wisdom and above all, let me earnestly request, that the example and practice of the officers and members of this lodge shall ever be Calculated to advance the true interest of our trade and organization I now declare this lodge open for the transaction of such business as may legally come before it, during which time nothing of a sectarian or personal nature shall be introduced under penalty of our laws.
The President will give one rap with the gavel, when the lodge will be seated.


Upon the announcement of a candidate for initiation the President will direct the Vice President and the Financial Secretary to retire to the ante room and ask the following questions, and collect the required fees.
Have you ever been proposed, rejected, suspended or expelled from any lodge of the A. A. of I., S. & T. W. previous to the present?
Candidate will answer.
Will you obey all the laws and rules of this organization, they not conflicting with the duties you owe your family, your church or your country?
Candidate will answer.
Will you take a solemn pledge to bind yourself to this Order?
Candidate will answer.
Upon satisfactory answers being given to the foregoing questions, the Vice President will take the candidate by the hand, and recite the following pledge, requiring him or her to give his (or her) assent thereto.

Do you solemnly promise, on your sacred honor, that you will never reveal, or cause to be revealed, to any person or persons anything you may here learn, whether you become a member or not, unless you are first instructed to do so by the proper authority?
Do you thus promise?
Candidate will answer:
I do.
The Financial Secretary will collect the fees, after which he (or she) and the Vice President will return to the lodge room, salute the President, and report as follows:
Mr President, the questions have been properly answered.
The fees have been collected.
Brother (or sister) Guide, you will now retire, and introduce the candidate or candidates.
When the Guide is ready to enter, he (or she) will give the alarm at the door.
Who comes there?
A candidate in whom we have every confidence.
The door will now be opened, and the Guide will enter and proceed with the candidate to the chair of the President.
Mr. President, I here present our friend for initiation.
My friend, you have been proposed and elected by the good will and votes of those whose truest wish is the fullest success of our system of unity and brotherhood, that by protection through combination we may assist each other.
Before proceeding further I will ask you a few questions:
Have you come fully prepared to labor with all your mind and all your strength for the social, moral, mental and financial improvement of our members, and to promote harmony and genuine brotherly (and sisterly) feeling among all worthy members of this organization?
Candidate will answer.
Place your right hand upon your left breast. Do you consider the obligation you are about to take binding before God and man?
Candidate will answer, after which the President will give three raps with the gavel, when all present will rise to their feet. The President will now recite the following obligation, and will require the candidate to give his (or her) assent thereto:


Do you of your own free will and accord, and in the presence of these witnesses, solemnly and sincerely promise on your sacred honor, that you will never reveal any of the business or proceedings of any meetings of th1s lodge; that you will faithfully aid and protect the interests of this organization, and all worthy members of the same, as far as it lies in your power? You further promise that you will obey all laws of this lodge, of the International Lodge of North America, or of any other lodge of which you may be a member; that you will pay all dues, fines and assessments provided for by the laws of the International Lodge, or of this lodge; and such dues, fines and assessments levied against you may be retained by the firm and paid over to the Financial Secretary of your lodge; and that you will protect, defend and extend the principles of this organization to the best of your ability; and that you will do your utmost to cultivate feelings of love and harmony among all members of this Order. You further promise that you will always regard and treat every worthy member of this organization as a brother or sister; and that you will do all in your power to procure employment for such brother or sister as may desire situations, in preference to any and all non-union men and women; and as your labor is all the dependence you have to support yourself and family, you will consider your obligation to this Order paramount to all others, and pledge yourself never to join any organization whose practices would deter you from carrying out your obligation to the Amalgamated Association. You further promise that you will not attend any meetings held for the discussion of matters pertaining to your craft outside of a regular or special meeting of the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel & Tin Workers; and should your connection with this organization cease from any cause, you will hold the secrets of this Order inviolate. To all of which you pledge your sacred honor, with the full intention and determination to preserve the same inviolate.
Do you thus promise?
Candidate will answer:
I do.
The President will give one rap with the gavel, when the lodge will be seated.
Guide, you will now introduce the candidate to our Vice President.
Vice President, by direction of the President, I present to you our friend for further instructions.
Brother (or sister), you have now undertaken a noble work, and we expect that henceforth your labors and influence will be with us and for us.
I will now give you a few of the many reasons for our formation: First, the general improvement of all members of our craft, socially, morally, mentally and financially; Second, to cultivate and promote feelings of sympathy, love and friendship among all members, and obliterate all lines of demarcation, caused by creed, color or nationality; and Third, to give our members that position in society, which is their undoubted right as citizens; and to organize for our own protection, and demand a "fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work." To carry out these principles, you must study our laws and regulations, be sober and industrious, attend all meetings of this lodge, unless prevented by sickness or some other unavoidable cause. You will make known to this Order any immoral or dishonorable conduct on the part of its members, whereby it would cause public scandal, or bring the organization of its members into disrepute.
You are obligated not to teach any "green hands" unless by a two-third vote of the lodge.
Show no preference to any non-union man or woman on account of previous acquaintance. If a situation is at your disposal, you are bound, if you know of a brother or sister out of employment, to give him or her the preference; provided he or she performs the duties required of him or her. Do your utmost to inculcate feelings of friendship and benevolence. Demand nothing unjust. Be prudent and watchful and before you make any resistance to what you may think a wrong, submit your case to this lodge or the committee of the works where you are employed, so we can act in harmony for the common good—as the interest of one is the interest of all.
You are strictly enjoined to discountenance that worst bane of the mechanic, and curse of its participants, Intemperance. We regard it as a prolific source from which springs many of the evils which the worker has to endure. Therefore, cease not to oppose to it every kind influence that love to your fellow-man may suggest. Reflect on these instructions and endeavor to act according to their dictates.
Guide, you will now proceed with our friend to the desk of the Secretary, where he (or she) will sign the Constitution, after which you will present him (or her) to the chair of the President where he (or she) will receive final instructions.
Mr President, our friend awaits final instructions
The President will step down and take the candidate by the hand and say:
With pleasure I welcome you to our brotherhood and sisterhood.
The President will now return to the stand.
Brother (or sister), you are now a member of the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers of North America, and as such I would again remind you of the extent and sacredness of the obligation you have just taken, not to divulge the business or any proceedings of this organization.
Let caution be engraved deeply in your heart. You must be watchful of all you say and do, especially in the presence of our enemies, and, as you value your manhood (and womanhood) and your honor, avoid all talk and controversy about the internal workings of this lodge outside of this room. In matters concerning this lodge, be your guide a silent tongue, a faithful heart, truth and union. Truth ennobles and elevates the character of man, and is the only road to true goodness and greatness. Union should ever appear conspicuous in every true brother and sister. It is so closely allied to the divine attribute of truth, that the possession of one insures that of the other. Then, ever guard these two great principles, and you will never have cause to regret the step you have this night taken. In conclusion, I would remind you that you are to regard every member as a brother or sister, and do your utmost to spread the power and influence of this organization. I will now instruct you in the signs, password and other secret work of our order.
After the candidate has received the signs, password, &c., the President will call the lodge to its feet, and proceed as follows:
You are now fully initiated into our order. We bid you a cordial welcome to our … Lodge, No. …, State of ….
We trust you will always prove true and faithful; that you will labor earnestly to advance the interests of this lodge and its members; and that our associations here and elsewhere, will be mutually pleasant and profitable.
The Guide and candidate will now face the lodge, after which the President will proceed as follows:
Brothers (and sisters), you will please come forward and extend a fraternal greeting to our newly initiated member.
The officers and members will now join hands with the candidate. After a few moments intermission the President will seat the lodge and proceed with the regular order of business


Closing of the Lodge
When the order of business has been gone through with, the President will arise and address the lodge as follows:
There being no further business before the lodge we will proceed to sing the Closing Ode.
Come, brothers, reaffirm our vows
So sacred and so dear,
And with united voices rouse
The latent spirits here.
And when we to our labor’s wend
With firm and manly tread
Our pledge with principle we’ll blend
By Union’s spirit led.

We promise to protect, defend
Our Union’s worthy cause,
And never on the world depend
To execute our laws.
But in the cause of labor’s rights
We never will reveal,
Our obligations strong and bright
Which to our hearts appeal.
Brothers (and sisters), before you leave the room and separate for your respective homes, I would urge upon you activity and vigilance in the cause of our lodge, and the objects for which we are organized.. Let no day pass without rendering a kindness to a brother or sister, or something done to strengthen our organization; and that we may not forget our duties, let us again, ‘ere we part, re-affirm all we have heretofore been obligated to perform.
The president will call the lodge to its feet.
By this act we pledge ourselves to remember our obligation, especially not to divulge any of the business transactions of this lodge.
And now by virtue of my office, I declare this lodge adjourned until next …, at ..o’clock when I hope to see all present. Brother Inside Guard, you will open the door and permit the members to retire.