American Labor Union
Initiation Ritual


At the time of opening the President will call the meeting to order with one rap of the gavel and will say:
Those not entitled to remain will retire; the Guard will close the door and will admit no person who is not in possession of the quarterly password. The Guard will examine those present and will report whether they are in possession of the password and entitled to remain.
During the opening the Guard will permit no person to enter or retire from the hall. When the Guard has completed the examination he will advance to the center of the room, salute the President and will say:
Mr President. I have made examination as directed and find all present entitled to sit with us.
The President will give three raps of the gavel. Officers and members will rise to their feet, facing the President, who will say:
Past President, state the duties of the members of this order.
Members of the American Labor Union are pledged to the service of humanity. Recognizing that labor is noble and holy, we have pledged the best efforts of our lives for its advancement, and for the triumph of justice and right principles among mankind. Members should be ever willing to assist a brother or sister, and by daily acts of kindness exemplify to the world our principles of human brotherhood.
Do you all promise to faithfully perform the duties imposed by your membership in the order?
We do.
If so, I now declare this meeting open for the transaction of business. In the consideration of such matters as will come before us, let us be observant of proper decorum, remembering the principles of our organization and the laws for its guidance.
The President will then give one rap of the gavel, when the members will be seated and the meeting will proceed to the regular order of business. In the absence of the President the Vice-President will preside and will appoint a Vice-President for the meeting. If other officers are absent the presiding officer will appoint such officers as are necessary for the proper opening of the meeting and for the conducting of its business.

The President instructs the Guide to retire and obtain the names of those in waiting. The initiation fee must be paid in advance. If all applicants have been duly elected and have fully qualified the President says:
The Guide will retire and prepare the candidates for initiation.
The Guide goes to the ante-room and asks the candidates the following questions:
Are you now or have you ever been a member of the American Labor Union?

Are you willing to bind yourself with a pledge of honor to keep profoundly secret everything you may see or hear if admitted to the presence of the members of this Union?
I am.
The Guide then enters with Candidate, and advancing to the President’s chair, says:
Worthy President, I present you this Candidate for initiation.
Friend, you have been elected to membership in this Union. This is an honor of which you may indeed be proud. You have been admitted to the friendship and comradeship of your fellow working people. But before you can unite with us you must take an obligation such as will not interfere with any religious belief you may have, which all of us have taken. Are you willing to proceed?
I am.
You will raise your right hand and repeat after me, giving your name after the word I:
I, …, hereby pledge my honor that I will not reveal any of the secret work of any Union business to any person whatsoever.
That I will use all honourable means to procure employment for members of the American labor Union in preference to others.
That I will not wrong any member of the Union or any member of his family, or see them wronged, if within my power to prevent it, and I further promise that mu conduct as a member of organized labor will never be such as to cast discredit upon it. I do further solemnly promise that I will when purchasing manufactured goods ask for those bearing the union label. That I will exert myself in the utmost to induce the members of my family, my friends and acquaintances to act in a like manner.
That I will strictly obey all laws and lawful summons that may come to me,
That it will always be my aim to promote the best interests of humanity. And I further promise that should I be expelled or voluntarily leave this Union. I will consider these pledges as binding out of it as in it; to the faithful performance of all of which I pledge my sacred honor.
President seats Union, and advancing to the Candidate says:
You have taken a solemn obligation that binds you to us in ties of fraternal interests. I will now give you the quarterly password, which you are only entitled to receive from the President and only given by him, and never by one member to another.
To gain admission to the Union when in session, give an alarm that will attract the Guardian, and when the Guardian attends you will give him the quarterly password and your working card, and if you are correct he will admit you. You will advance to the center of the room, and facing the President you will salute him with a sign of Fraternity. which is made thus: …. The President will answer by giving the same sign. In retiring you will salute the Vice-President in the same manner.
The sign of recognition is made … and the answer is made ….
After satisfying yourself that you have seen the sign and been recognized, you may say: …. The challenged member will answer …. You will then say …, and the challenged member will answer ….
The grip is made ….
The special meeting sign is made thus: ….
This sign is a lawful summons to attend the meeting, and nothing except sickness, detention through employment or inability to attend by reason of distance will excuse your absence.
This Union is known as No. … of the American Labor Union. Your monthly dues are … and upon your prompt payment of the same will depend in a great measure your good standing in the order.
On behalf of this great army of peace I salute you. Charged with the weapons of intelligence and reason, you have pledged yourself the battle for industrial freedom. The principles of this organization are broad and just and if you will study them well, they will apply shield you from the shafts of criticism and the unjust attacks of labor’s enemies. Advocate these principles fearlessly and everywhere and you will fulfil the greatest obligation imposed by your membership in the American Labor Union.
Facing the new member towards those present, the President will say:
Brothers and Sisters, I now present … name as a member of our organization and as one worthy of your friendship and protection.
The President then says:
A recess of three minutes is declared for congratulations.
In closing the President gives three raps with the gavel, when all members rise to their feet. He then
If you are satisfied and willing, we will proceed to close. The Guide will see that all property of the Union is securely bestowed.
Members, you will bear in mind your obligation. Be careful not to divulge the private business or proceedings of this Union. As we are about to separate for our respective homes, I would urge upon you activity and vigilance for the purpose of advancing the interests of our Union and the objects for which we are organized. Be ever mindful of the trust confided in you, and let no day pass without rendering a kindness to a member, or in doing something to strengthen our Union. Let us, ere we part, reaffirm all that we have been obligated to perform.
And now, by virtue of my office, I declare this meeting adjourned until next … at … o’clock, when I hope you will all be present.